Podcast: What does David Cameron's Great Firewall look like?




linked article needed more pictures showing me what it looks like


The columnist mentions "the bad stuff" a lot. I wonder what the bad stuff is, in his opinion. Pictures of people in a state of undress? Racist assholes? Blood and gore? How often will "the bad stuff" change over the years as his child grows up?


I get the impression that you're trying to make a point at Doctorow's expense, but I can't quite figure out what it is.


That's a good point he glossed over. Different parents have different standards, and what's bad for a toddler might be fine for a teen. My teenage son loves horror, and shares stuff with me that even the mildest censor would block. On the other hand, if I was a white supremacist, I might be upset my kids can't access Stormfront.


Does it look like a bitch?




-Does. It. Look. Like. A. Bitch?!


Hell, there's not even a clear definition of what "adult content" is – let alone "extremism" or "esoteric content".


That'll be the Great Firewall smile


Is the Bullingdon club an extremist group? Some might think that terrorizing the local restaurants is extremist behavior. I was up at Oxford at the same time as Cameron. He didn't get involved in the Oxford Union deriding it as 'Wendy house politics' but he was aparently always up for getting drunk and smashing up a nice restaurant.

The ISPs might have played this one the right way, it remains to be seen. Having complied 'voluntarily' under threat of legislation, the ISPs are now in a position to withdraw and tell Cameron to get stuffed should they decide. Attempting to resist would only give Cameron more opportunities to preen himself in the Daily Mail.

The 'opt-out' mechanisms that I have seen require the user to make a choice but don't actually default to censorship. This is probably because the Cameron filters cost real money to run. So it is not exactly in the interests of the ISPs to have lots of people sign up.

A lot of the media hysteria surrounding the porn filter is pure fiction. Last week there was a story in the Guardian claiming that there was a new university craze for 'Seagulling', an alleged form of sexual assault which would lead to serious criminal charges if true. A quick google search demonstrated that if this alleged craze was in fact taking place it has managed to escape notice in any of the venues where it would be expected to have originated. The only stories on it were some urban dictionary entries from 2006.

Here in the states we have a loud mouthed idiot asserting that 15% of the children under 16 in the US are 'at serious risk' of being involved in child prostitution. This astonishing claim has kicked some of the dimmer Hollywood types such as Ashton Kutcher into frenzied action. If the alleged claims were true we would expect police blotters round the country to be filled with child prostitution cases. But actually they are pretty rare. The hysterical 15% claim turns out to be based on the notion that any child living within an hour of the Mexico border is at risk of being kidnapped and white slaved into Mexico. This is of course something that might happen but it is hard to see how it could be happening a hundred times a year without it being the subject of any of the perennial CNN stories on missing white women.


There are two countries here in the UK. One for the thick proletariat who read the news of the world and the Sun - Cameron is voted into power by them. The other country is a tiny minority of educated people.

So who cares that Cameron's security theater is just that? In affect he has addressed the democratic majorities false concerns with some false security. Of course if you are not a thick prole then you wont like the hell hole that we live in any more. You are of course free to leave for civilized Europe where the ratio of educated to thick prole seems to be reversed.


"It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer"~judge blackstone.

it's an important thing to remember, to keep in the public consciousness at all times. it is better that a million porn sites be accessible than one innocent site be blocked.

so man atrocities of law have began with the inversion of that principle: zero tolerance, the TSA/NSA/other 3 letter agencies, the war on drugs. despots love to turn this around because it allows them to be as callous as they wish, they need not worry about who is harmed in the process so long as they get who they want.

we have forgotten this principal, though we all know it almost instinctually we often have a hard time putting it into words, unknown that it has been in words for a long time. so when given the claims that we need to be "tough on crime" or have a "war on pornography" or a "war on drugs" (the war analogy is loved because we accept casualties in war) people falter. without a reminder of WHY it is more important that the innocent be protected than that the guilty be punished people are left with little to weigh against the views of the despot that we must be "tough", we must have "zero tolerance", we must "stop it at any cost"

john adams put it best:

"It is more important that innocence should be protected, than it is, that guilt be punished; for guilt and crimes are so frequent in this world, that all of them cannot be punished.... when innocence itself, is brought to the bar and condemned, especially to die, the subject will exclaim, 'it is immaterial to me whether I behave well or ill, for virtue itself is no security.' And if such a sentiment as this were to take hold in the mind of the subject that would be the end of all security whatsoever"


The sky was the pink of a third-rate politician's forehead...


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