December 27, 2008

Internet sites could be given 'cinema-style age ratings'

The Cabinet minister describes the internet as “quite a dangerous place” and says he wants internet-service providers (ISPs) to offer parents “child-safe” web services.

It always starts as "protecting the children".

His plans to rein in the internet, and censor some websites, are likely to trigger a major row with online advocates who ferociously guard the freedom of the world wide web.

You think? Hmmm. I'm already in a "major row".

“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. We have got to get better at defining where the public interest lies and being clear about it.”

Yep. Definitely in a "major row" now.

Mr Burnham admits that his plans may be interpreted by some as “heavy-handed” but says the new standards drive is “utterly crucial”. Mr Burnham also believes that the inauguration of Barack Obama, the President-Elect, presents an opportunity to implement the major changes necessary for the web.

Read the rest.

1 comment:

Luis Fernandez said...

What gets me is the path these things always seem to take... it always boils down to putting the onus on the ISPs, as opposed to leaving the responsibility with the individual. I could see a government organizing an effort to create a free, open-sourced filter for public consumption. Such an approach would naturally lead to a flexible and customizable result, including platform independence. But I think the temptation to regulate is too great for some.