We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

It has nothing much to do with ‘porn’

The dismal David Cameron wants to block people from accessing ‘porn’ from WiFi in public places and ‘semi-public’ places. Which presumably means all WiFi as almost every WiFi in the world is capable of being picked up in a ‘public’ place, such as the side walk in front of your house.

And the usual coercion addicted statists will smile and nod that ‘the children’ are being protected. And once the slope has been created, these are the people who will be working to make it as slippery as possible.

So of course once the notion that protecting ‘the children’ from stumbling across porn is accepted, next will be protecting them from seeing ‘hate speech’… and then from anything that is held not to be in ‘the public interest’. Held by who? Why by people like them, of course.

It is not about porn, it is about control. It always is.

21 comments to It has nothing much to do with ‘porn’

  • Sam Duncan

    When I first heard about this I thought it must be some kind of government-provided “free” Wi-Fi they were talking about (well, that’s what the meedja usually means by “public”). Making sure that they couldn’t be accused of tax-funded pr0n, that sort of thing. Which – ignoring the insanity of such a project for the sake of argument – would be fair enough. Their wiffy, their rules.

    But no, it’s just the professional prodnoses monkeying with stuff that doesn’t belong to them again. It’s all this unfettered free-market Thatcherism that’s going about, you know.

  • the other rob

    CHIS appears to be a front for The Usual Suspect in these matters, which tells me all that I need to know.

    Isn’t it time that somebody thought about protecting the children from all those sick freaks who get pathological urges to impose their own views upon everybody else?

  • jerry

    Start small.

    No one will notice or object loudly.

    It’s for the children / if it save one life / if you’re not doing anything wrong why worry etc etc etc.
    The usual distraction /diversionary approach that people fall for over and over and over

    Get this step passed and then on to the next and the next and the next.

    Soon, or eventually ( they are patient & relentless if nothing else )
    TOTAL control.

    It is ALWAYS about control.

    This process has worked and will continue to work until……. ?

  • Regional

    Like gun control is not about guns i.e. If armed right wing whackjobs were a threat to government the government would’ve been shot a long time ago.

  • PeterT

    If Cameron wants fewer arseholes in public spaces he could do us all a favour and resign.

  • Dave Walker

    The whole brouhaha about Internet porn is just another example of the confusion about porn and sexuality in general. Bottom line, “child protection” by porn-blocking is just censorship by another name, and there’s no API programmable, which will tell you the ages of the owners of all the eyes looking at the screen. As people can’t agree whether some art is porn, a computer stands no chance of deciding, and I don’t see setting legions of people to the task of categorising the Internet as being a valid job creation scheme.

    Kids can legally get laid at 16, but can’t view photos or footage of other people doing so (or pretending to) until they’re 18. Meantime, the largest-circulation daily paper carries photos of young ladies not wearing very much. A child of any age can go into a supermarket and buy a copy of one of the “50 shades…” trilogy – or if they prefer better-quality literature, they can go to a bookshop and grab a copy of “Lady Chatterley” or something by the Marquis de Sade. When the original Hammer Films’ “Dracula” was released, it was considered the most X-rated of X-rated films; when it was given a theatrical re-release to celebrate its 50th anniversary, it was re-classified 12A.

    Back “when I were a lad”, I couldn’t help but view censorship as a big adult conspiracy to deny me access to useful information, on grounds entirely unrelated to my capacity to understand it; back then, a stamp of “18” had the same effect that a stamp of “UK TOP SECRET STRAP2″ has now – except the consequences of disclosure by me would have been different, of course. My view hasn’t changed.

    I wonder if there are plans to block access to things like recipes for explosives, too… from a purely technical perspective, starting here would actually be more practical. Before you ask, yes I did blow things up at a small, controlled scale, as a boy – didn’t we all?

  • SB

    It’s not going to work.
    My nephew is the IT man for a number of schools in the north of England. He showed me how the kids get round blocks on their web access. He put in a thumb-drive, logged on via Tor and had porn on screen in less than 20 seconds.
    How is the govt. going to stop this simple wheeze?
    The govt. is a bunch of web-illiterate imbeciles.

  • Lets just pray to god that the little darlings don’t know how to use a proxy server or a VPN, otherwise the good intentions of Mr. Cameron will be just so much pish-and-wind.

    Blocking porn on wifi will just goad the little devils into a technological arms race and when you have an asymmetry of forces such as this one expect spotty sex crazed teenagers to be streets ahead of a lumbering and incompetent bureaucracy.

    Go spotty teens!

  • Laird

    Of course it’s about control. Anyone who thinks otherwise is a hopeless naïf.

  • John K

    Yes, it is about control, but it also about the instinct to exercise power in any way available to him. Having become PM, Cameron finds that 80% of our laws come from Brussels, and the government is so broke that there is little leeway for him to enjoy himself spending our money, which provided Tony Blair and Gordon Brown with so much pleasure.

    Cameron is a careerist little ponce, and even if he were not in a coalition, would not have the guts to do something really important, such as instituting a flat rate of income tax at 15%, which might actually stimulate real economic growth, as opposed to the phony QE garbage the bank of England has come up with. So there he is, in No 10 Downing Street, from where once a quarter of the world was governed, and he is reduced to mithering about whether the weight of the office of Prime Minister should “ban” wi-fi porn, or force us to pay ten bob for a “unit” of alcohol (whatever the hell that is), and his Home Secretary cannot even deport Abu Qatadar. Look on my works ye mighty, and despair.

  • Sam Duncan

    SB: Watching porn via Tor? Those kids must be desperate. I’ve never had to use it, but whenever I’ve tested it out it was like being back on dialup. However it certainly works, and an excellent way to popularize its use would be… well, censoring public Wi-Fi would probably get people fairly interested. Well done, chaps!

  • Plamus

    To add to SB’s point: Economics 101 – incentives matter. Not my original thought, but I cannot find a link, so re-phrasing it: if you want a cure for cancer, tell male teenagers that whoever finds it can have unlimited sex with hot girls, and in a month you’ll have dozens saying: “Here you go, cancer cured, where are the girls?” Porn is the best substitute for sex… You draw your own conclusions.

    Prohibition always works… for a few weeks… at best. “Demand creates its own supply” is about as stupid as you can get in economics, but the case of teenagers and porn may just be the one case where it actually holds.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Let me get this straight. Are these kids who are (putatively) being protected against losing their innocence viewing feelthy peectures the same ones who as kindergartners (or maybe not till age 7 or 8) are being taught all about the details and joys of various sexual acts, between various sorts of partners–by mandate of the National Education Board or whatever you folks call it?

  • John K

    Julie:

    Surely you realise that it is all right when the government does it?

  • Rob

    Dave is going to wake up one morning and find that the Conservative Party website, and any other right-of-centre source of information, is going to be shut away behind an “Over-18″ “hate-and-porn” firewall and he will be too stupid to work out what happened.

  • Rob’s comment left me LOLing:-)

  • Paul Marks

    Good post.

    And yes Rob – the powers that be would love to de facto ban even the Conservative party website, as “hate speech” or whatever.

    There is nothing wrong with going to Oxford to do a PPE (I tried to go myself when I was 18 – but the saber toothed tiger ambushed me outside my cave), but there is something wrong (a lot wrong) with believeing all the stuff you will be taught there.

    That is the problem with Mr Cameron – he believes this stuff, or he pretends to believe it.

  • John K

    Paul:

    It is not often that I disagree with you, but you are far too kind to Cameron. The man believes in nothing, save that he was born to rule. That is the nearest to “Cameronism” you will ever get.

  • Paul Marks

    John K.

    You are actually being rather kind to Mr Cameron.

    If he truly believes in nothing – other than he should be in charge, this would (relatively speaking) be a GOOD thing.

    Much better than Mr Cameron (or anyone else) believeing in the stuff he was taught at university.

    An aristocrat without any doctrines other than “I should be in charge” is much less bad than a lot of things I can think of.

  • John K

    Paul:

    Me being kind to Cameron? That is a shocking allegation!

    I do not know if Cameron actually “believes” any of the stuff he was taught at Oxford, but the way he acts suggests that the only thing which matters to him is to gain power and keep it for its own sake. Mrs Thatcher, for example, may have opposed QE and gay marriage because they were against her principles. Cameron is unburdened by any such concerns. Can you imagine anything on which Cameron would make a stand on principle? I can’t.