Pressure group demands UK apes China net filter plan

Without the political censorship...obviously


"All computers should be provided with net filtering software loaded - and the default position for such filters should be on." That is the view of Miranda Suit, one of the organisers of Mediamarch - a voluntary group seeking to reduce the harmful effects of the media on our children, families and society.

Ms Suit was speaking to the Reg about the Chinese government’s decision to enforce the fitting of mandatory blocking software on all new PCs supplied within China from July 1. The stated aim of this software would be to block user access to pornography; although many commentators fear that once the capability was in place, it could be used for political censorship as well.

She felt that a filter based on a government-sponsored list of undesirable websites ran the inevitable risk of deteriorating into state censorship and might be a step too far. However it is probably preferable to doing nothing about such a serious problem.

Moreover, the fact that one approach had drawbacks was not a reason to abandon the search for a solution - or to give up hope that something could be done.

"Porn addiction is a serious issue, which neither government nor computer suppliers are currently taking seriously enough," she said.

"At Mediamarch, we are hearing from a growing number of couples whose entire relationship is being put under enormous pressure through what can only be described as an addiction by one partner to internet porn.

"Porn has always existed in one form or another - but the ease with which it can be accessed through the internet completely changes the rules of the game."

This conclusion is backed up with evidence cited on the Mediamarch site that "exposure to pornographic material puts one at an increased risk for developing sexually deviant tendencies, committing sexual offences, experiencing difficulties in one's intimate relationships, and accepting the rape myth".

John Beyer, director of related pressure group, Mediawatch is less convinced. While agreeing that steps need to be taken to restrict the flow of pornography across the globe, he feels that the Chinese solution is overly bureaucratic.

His preferred solution is for a global agreement on what constitutes acceptable content, combined with an ever-growing set of interlocking voluntary agreements by ISPs to restrict access to extreme material. As reported by El Reg earlier this year: this solution also happens to be the solution favoured by Derek Wyatt, MP, Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Communications. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Developers offered browser-based fun in VSCode.dev and Java action in Visual Studio Code

    Looking at code here, there and (almost) everywhere

    Microsoft has whipped the covers off yet another take on code-in-the-browser with a lightweight version of Visual Studio Code, while unveiling the version 1.0 release of support for Red Hat Java in the freebie source wrangler.

    It comes after last month's preview of the code editor that runs entirely in the browser, and will doubtless have some users pondering the difference between this and Microsoft-owned GitHub's github.dev, which also pops a development environment into the browser. One of the biggest of those differences is a lack of compulsory integration with the VS source-shack; this is unavoidable with github.dev (the clue is, after all, in the URL.)

    VSCode.dev, on the other hand, will permit the opening up of a file from a local device (if the browser allows it and supports the File System Access API) in what looks for all the world like an instance of Visual Studio Code, except surrounded by the gubbins of a browser.

    Continue reading
  • No swearing or off-brand comments: AWS touts auto-moderation messaging API

    Automate everything – but while human moderation is hard, robot moderation tends not to work

    AWS has introduced channel flows to its Chime messaging and videoconferencing API, the idea being to enable automatic moderation of profanity or content that "does not fit" the corporate brand.

    Although Amazon Chime has a relatively small market share in the crowded videoconferencing market, the Chime SDK is convenient for developers building applications that include videoconferencing or messaging, competing with SDKs and services from the likes of Twilio or Microsoft's Azure Communication Services. In other words, this is aimed mainly at corporate developers building applications or websites that include real-time messaging, audio or videoconferencing.

    The new feature is for real-time text chat rather than video and is called messaging channel flows. It enables developers to create code that intercepts and processes messaging before they are delivered. The assumption is that this processing code will run on AWS Lambda, its serverless platform.

    Continue reading
  • UK government puts £5bn on the table in trawl for public sector networks services

    I dream of wires, say Whitehall’s big buyers

    The UK's central government procurement agency is chumming the waters around the market's swimmers, hoping to tempt suppliers into providing a range of computer network services and kit with a £5bn tender.

    The buying spree, which will officially begin when a framework agreement starts in fiscal 2023, involves a large spread of hardware, software and services around IT networks. Included are categories such as networking, internet and intranet software packages, network interfaces, network operating system software development services and so on.

    Crown Commercial Service, the cross-government buying organisation that sits within the Cabinet Office, has launched what is known as a "prior information notice" to start talking to suppliers before it forms the official competition to be on the framework: a group of contracted suppliers from which a huge number of public sector bodies can buy.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021