Posted by That Other Mike on 27/12/2008
Age-ratings plan for websites
Websites could be given cinema-style age-ratings under plans by the Government to limit access to “unacceptable” material, Culture Secretary Andy Burnham warned.
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Mr Burnham said “clearer standards” were needed as to what could be displayed online.
He said it was his “absolutely categorical” view that there was material on the web – including beheadings – which should not be available to anyone.
He confirmed one of the proposals being considered by ministers to protect children from harmful material was the introduction of age-ratings for websites.
“That would be an option. This is an area that is really now coming into full focus,” he said.
Another option said to be under consideration was a requirement on internet service providers to offer a service which would give access only to websites which are suitable for children.
Mr Burnham insisted his proposals were not intended as an attack on freedom of speech, but that some material on the web had gone too far.
“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,” he said.
“I think there is definitely a case for clearer standards online. You can still view content on the internet which I would say is unacceptable. You can view a beheading.
“There is content that should just not be available to be viewed. That is my view. Absolutely categorical. This is not a campaign against free speech, far from it; it is simply there is a wider public interest at stake when it involves harm to other people.” Via Yahoo! News
More news available here.
Oh, fuck that shit!
I’ve become more and more disgusted by the Labour Party in recent years; the real deep-seated revulsion towards it began, for me, with the refusal to allow a general election following the leadership contest which resulted in Brown becoming Prime Minister – while not constitutionally required, this would, at least, have provided the party with a symbolic new beginning and at least a patina of the legitimacy which Blair so deftly destroyed.
Further events which have caused me to doubt not only the ability of the Labour Party to govern but also its commitment to civil liberties include the ID cards fiasco, as well as the recent proposals by Jacqui Smith to enshrine radical feminist doctrine into law by adopting a partial version of the Swedish model of regulation of prostitution (a la the boiling frog scenario) something I’ve previously blogged about and which is opposed by more or less every group with a legitimate interest in the matter.
Enough is enough! Under the guise of attempting to protect children, the Labour Party is attempting to usher in a new era of Internet censorship and yet further attack our civil liberties.
Mr Burnham said:
“It’s not about banning or stopping people having that freedom of expression,” he said. “It’s simply about clearer signposting, more information, so people know where they’re working.”
It fucking is about banning! You mentioned beheadings online – if I want to watch a fucking beheading, I’ll watch a fucking beheading. I’m an adult. Don’t try to protect me from my own choices; stop trying to be my parent, because I don’t need one.
As for the child protection angle, don’t make me laugh! You know who should be protecting children from accessing unsuitable material on the internet? Their parents. Until you can demonstrate the influx into the lives of children of beheadings or bestial porn or whatever else you feel like gathering some phony moral outrage over this week in your quest to regulate every aspect of our lives, you can fuck off, Andy Burnham, and take your illegitimate Prime Minster with you. This is just the first step towards actual censorship of the internet, and we will not stand by and let it happen.
If you want to protect children, help their parents; don’t try to be mine.