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Wednesday 18 April 2012

Big Society or Big Brother - Is There Any Difference?

The oppressive boot-in-the-face nanny state is advancing apace.  Via Big Brother Watch, we learn that government seeks to control everything you do and see -- not just your lifestyle habits, but your on-line viewing habits, too. If you thought that the Tories were for freedom, for choice, for letting people live their lives without government dictating to you, you have thought wrong.  The Conservative party is fast shaping up to be far, far worse than Labour was in noughties.  We are in incredible danger of losing all of our civil liberties under the false pretense of protecting the children.

What happened?  An "independent" panel of MPs called forth the nannies and other interested parties (ISPs and even one porn producer) and concluded that government needs to protect your young, gullible children from all of the evils out there on the interwebs.  Government wants to create an omnipotent busybody department that monitors and regulates everyone's internet activity.  How much do you want to wager that this group will be amalgamated into the new nanny department? 

Read the full inquiry here. It's 89 pages of unadulterated shite, mostly.  So, I'll just provide the panel's recommendations below for your ease of reference:


1. The Government should urgently review the implementation plans for “Active Choice” and press for an accelerated implementation timetable, more clarity on installation targets for all customers, and funding commitments from ISPs.

2. ISPs should provide better support for internet safety education and initiatives such as ParentPort and improve signposting for these services from their own web domains.

3. Government and industry representatives should draw up guidelines for improving the communication of existing internet safety settings, improving training for retailers, developing a family friendly kite-marking scheme for manufacturers and retailers and improving signposting to pre-installed security settings during device configuration.

4. ISPs should be tasked with rolling out single account network filters for domestic broadband customers that can provide one click filtering for all devices connected to a home internet connection within 12 months.

5. The Government should launch a formal consultation on the introduction of an Opt-In content filtering system for all internet accounts in the UK. The most effective way to reduce overall development cost and create the most flexible solution would be for ISPs to work together to develop a self-regulated solution.

6. Public Wi-Fi provision should also be filtered in this way otherwise home-based controls will be easily circumvented.

7. The Government should also seek backstop legal powers to intervene should the ISPs fail to implement an appropriate solution.

8. Finally, the Government should consider the merits of a new regulatory structure for online content, with one regulator given a lead role in the oversight and monitoring of internet content and in improving the dissemination of existing internet safety education materials and resources such as ParentPort.

Once again, parents, you are utterly incapable of raising a child. Do not forget that.

For the rest of us:  All you really need to do, folks, is follow the money.  Who stands to benefit from such a scheme?  Well, firstly, ParentPort.  That one is obvious. Also, the major ISPs will benefit hugely. Because only the big ISPs will have the financial resources to even attempt to monitor your activity.   The little independent ISPs won't stand a chance, so off they'll go into the ether.  You can count on the big ISPs to support any legislation that will crush their competition like they are gnats!

All big businesses support legislation that will benefit them financially, tobacco companies included.  Yes, the big tobacco companies stopped fighting the display ban because they knew the smaller ones would be unable to compete if no one could see alternative brands.  It is about shareholders -- it is always about money.

And it is never about protecting anyone or anything except for their purses and wallets.

Vote them all out, people.  All of them.  Collectively, they have created this financial mess and are now trying to distract our attention by putting forward all of these terrible restrictions on personal choice and freedom.  If you want to be nannied, move to Australia.  I'm sure there's room for you there.