So 'super' Dave Cameron, the guardian of our morals, is to announce today that if you use one of the 4 main ISPs in the UK (BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin) you will need to opt-in if you want to look at adult content in the future.
There is some talk about do you Opt-in to seeing adult content or Opt-out of the filter that stops you seeing adult content. For the purpose of this rant I'm going to use Opt-in as it is my belief that I should be able to look at any internet site I want, it is up to individuals to make decisions on blocking not the Government.
This is wrong on every level, I am all for protecting children from inappropriate content but why do I have to 'opt in' to look at adult content? Surely parents should opt in to a service that does this, because we need to protect a few does not mean we should restrict all.
We keep hearing Cameron talking about the nanny state and getting rid of H&S legislation and red tape yet here he seems quite happy to make us only one step better than a dictatorship by having to register to look at some parts of the Internets.
Who is going to be the keeper of the blacklist of sites that we need to opt-in to see? The 4 ISPs won't all have a list each, surely they will have to use a central list managed by who, the Government, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft or perhaps Google?
What is inappropriate, how is it defined? What I find inappropriate is maybe very different from what you find inappropriate. Is it going to be defined by the new Parentport website, which according to the Guardian (no pun intended) parents can use to complain about television programmes, advertisements, products or services which they believe are inappropriate for children. I can see it being very easy for a legitimate business to end up on the list but not so easy for it to get off, potentially ruining that business. We have seen the power of sites like NetMums and the like, it would be very easy for a group of likeminded people to mobilise and report pretty much any site enough times to get it on 'The List'.
Having to opt-in to view something on on the Internet is wrong, it is backwards, BT for example don't tell me that I need to 'opt-in' to dial certain numbers when I get a mew phone line , they allow me to opt-in to blocking them but by default, as far as I am aware, I can call any number I like from my BT phone. So why should I need to opt-in to being able to look at any website I want if I use them as my ISP?
Will the ISPs charge for the 'Opt-in'? O2 charge people £1 if they want to view adult content using their mobile network, you have to mess about with a form and making a payment by credit card but then they credit you with £2.50 on your bill, (this just shows the true cost of £2.50 worth of calls on their network).
Not only are web packages throttled by the very poor speeds you get in some areas of the UK and how much bandwidth you are allowed use to download but now they will be throttled by content as well. When you sign up for a new internet connection You will have options like:
What pressure or incentives will be given to other ISPs to start using the 'opt-in', will they be eligible to apply for government funding to help improve the Broadband infrastructure or will they find it more difficult to get government tenders because in the PQQ next to the question about your policy for buying pencils from reputable suppliers who only use sustainable forests, they will be asked if they use the 'opt-in' service for filtering inappropriate content.