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View Full Version : UK Ponders Mandatory Rating Scheme And Systemic Access Control For The Internet


mkrishnan
Dec 29, 2008, 09:25 AM
http://uk.reuters.com/article/autoNews/idUKTRE4BQ0JV20081229

LONDON (Reuters) - The kind of ratings used for films could be applied to websites in a bid to better police the Internet and protect children from harmful and offensive material, Britain's minister for culture has said.

Andy Burnham told The Daily Telegraph newspaper, published on Saturday, that the government was planning to negotiate with the administration of President-elect Barack Obama to draw up new international rules for English language websites.

"The more we seek international solutions to this stuff -- the UK and the U.S. working together -- the more that an international norm will set an industry norm," the newspaper reports the Culture Secretary as saying in an interview.

Giving websites film-style ratings would be one possibility.

"This is an area that is really now coming into full focus," Burnham told the paper.

Internet service providers could also be forced to offer services where the only sites accessible are those deemed suitable for children, the paper said.

Any moves to censor the Internet would go to the heart of a debate about freedom of speech on the World Wide Web.

I guess I am a centrist on this issue... I think the availability of tools that make parental safeguarding easier and more effective is a good thing, to a limited degree, although I think graded access to the internet beginning with only directly supervised access at young ages is much more important than content filtering.

On the other hand, applying a system like MPAA to web pages would be a gargantuan undertaking that strikes me as having little chance of being either fair or effective, and any kind of standardized, mandatory enforcement related to these ratings seems like it would almost certainly be abused.

edesignuk
Dec 29, 2008, 09:27 AM
"Britain's minister" for anything means they're an idiot without a clue that likes to dream up impossible projects costing obscene amounts of money.

You cannot "rate" the internet, it's ridiculous.

mkrishnan
Dec 29, 2008, 09:29 AM
"Britain's minister" for anything means they're an idiot without a clue that likes to dream up impossible projects costing obscene amounts of money.

I'm really glad to see you have this program for generating employment for recipients of the Upper Class Twit of the Year Award (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSqkdcT25ss). :D

OutThere
Dec 29, 2008, 09:53 AM
This sounds like a project envisioned by someone who doesn't actually use the internet or have a concept of its breadth...

arkitect
Dec 29, 2008, 10:03 AM
This quote from The Guardian… link (http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/dec/27/website-rating-plan-government-obama)
Burnham, the MP for Leigh in Greater Manchester, told the Daily Telegraph. "If you look back at the people who created the internet, they talked very deliberately about creating a space that governments couldn't reach. I think we are having to revisit that stuff seriously now."

The thought that there are some aspects of UK citizens' lives they (the government) cannot control scares them sh*tless apparently…

How much further interference?

OutThere
Dec 29, 2008, 10:21 AM
This quote from The Guardian… link (http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/dec/27/website-rating-plan-government-obama)


The thought that there are some aspects of UK citizens' lives they (the government) cannot control scares them sh*tless apparently…

How much further interference?

I definitely got that vibe in the 10 days I spent in the UK this fall...cameras, police presence, etc. I totally had the feeling that I was under observation and not completely free to do what I wanted.

jonbravo77
Dec 29, 2008, 10:23 AM
This sounds like a project envisioned by someone who doesn't actually use the internet or have a concept of its breadth...

No, unfortunately this project is being started by an individual or a group of ppl that want someone else to parent their children and watch over them.

MacBoobsPro
Dec 29, 2008, 10:28 AM
Only sites suitable for children? So what about all the various sites that require people that sign up be a certain age? You know to protect the kids from pedos getting their info? Does this mean the internet will be dominated by Barney and Friends were more kids will be on the net and so more will be at risk?

Crazeh!

Blue Velvet
Dec 29, 2008, 10:37 AM
I heard an interview with this minister on Radio 4 yesterday... and no, it doesn't sound like he has a clue of what he is talking about.

But make no mistake, in the long run this isn't about ratings for websites. Instead, it's a slippery slope to this sort of situation (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=620822) where proposed blocks are wielded with the political argument that it's done to protect children, and that anyone who disagrees is siding with pedophiles.

Burnham, a father of three, insisted his proposals were not intended as an attack on freedom of speech, but were a necessary counterweight to the proliferation of "unacceptable" material on the internet in a similar mould to the 9pm watershed on television. "It worries me – like anybody with children. Leaving your child for two hours unregulated on the internet is not something you can do. The internet has been empowering and democratising in many ways, but we haven't yet got the stakes in the ground to help people navigate their way safely around what can be a very, very complex and quite dangerous world," he added.


Actually, Minister, I couldn't give a damn about your bloody children... I don't have children of my own and shouldn't have to tailor my online habits to make up for your lack of parenting skills. :mad:

Just watch the Mail and The Telegraph run with this...

Abstract
Dec 29, 2008, 10:41 AM
"If we can't control them, how do we properly and thoroughly tax them?"


I'm just glad that no country has begun charging for emails, as proposed by some idiot earlier.

Marble
Dec 29, 2008, 03:21 PM
I heard an interview with this minister on Radio 4 yesterday... and no, it doesn't sound like he has a clue of what he is talking about.

But make no mistake, in the long run this isn't about ratings for websites. Instead, it's a slippery slope to this sort of situation (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=620822) where proposed blocks are wielded with the political argument that it's done to protect children, and that anyone who disagrees is siding with pedophiles.

I think this is a good opportunity for someone like you to found the "Anti-Pedophilia Party". No one could not join!

JG271
Dec 29, 2008, 03:55 PM
It'll be a massive black hole of money, people will find ways around it anyway. Another clueless idea from the government.

Not to mention the government intervention/control issue, sounds an awful lot like china's filtering of the internet. Not that Labour are concerned about civil liberties.

It already looks like they are trying to slip the communications data bill (http://www.commonsleader.gov.uk/output/Page2461.asp) past us.

Sigh.

Gold89
Dec 29, 2008, 05:10 PM
Actually, Minister, I couldn't give a damn about your bloody children... I don't have children of my own and shouldn't have to tailor my online habits to make up for your lack of parenting skills. :mad:

Just watch the Mail and The Telegraph run with this...

Quite ironic that the more conservative papers would back this idea from the labour party.



The first three steps of socialist control: control personal movement (increase in fuel and car tax, vehicle tracking, general cost of transport), divide the population into negative groups (smokers, motorists, hunters, etc) and finally control information (the internet, spin doctors).

:mad:

AppleMatt
Dec 29, 2008, 05:47 PM
I definitely got that vibe in the 10 days I spent in the UK this fall...cameras, police presence, etc. I totally had the feeling that I was under observation and not completely free to do what I wanted.

That's a very interesting observation. I've only really travelled to third world or developing countries so have always felt a little bit more 'free' (albeit more unsafe too - white men with digital cameras and phones).

I'd like to try both America and Canada, see what it's like; apparently more relaxed!

AppleMatt

trule
Dec 29, 2008, 06:00 PM
On the other hand, applying a system like MPAA to web pages would be a gargantuan undertaking that strikes me as having little chance of being either fair or effective, and any kind of standardized, mandatory enforcement related to these ratings seems like it would almost certainly be abused.

If it were something optional, where a site indicated a MPAA rating in meta data that a browser could use as the basis for access...then thats not such a bad thing. Of course could a site be trusted to rate itself, no, so some kind of rating agency would be required for those sites that wish to be rated. They could issue certificates in the same way secure pages sometimes work.

Still, not that bad an idea...but does not mean we need it :mad:


Censorship is easier...ask the chinese, they are pretty good at it...