Safermedia Watch


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Extract: Pippa Smith of SaferMedia Recommends...

Fifty Shades of Grey

Link Here 9th August 2012
Full story: Fifty Shades of Grey...BDSM book scores an international hit

Such is the power of the media hype Fifty Shades of Grey has become an overnight hit with young women and even teenagers who are reading it quite openly with none of the embarrassment which would normally have accompanied such a book before, even including most of the Australian women's swimming team after discovering it in a service station on their way to the Games from Manchester, presumably alongside other novels and within sight of children.

It is not just EL James and her own perverse imagination which are subverting public morals so dramatically; it is the whole of the communications industry which is driving e marketing to an audience who have become gradually desensitised over time by films and TV programmes targeted often specifically at the 16-34 age group, and which increasingly feature sexually explicit material and bondage.

Sexually provocative music lyrics and videos by Madonna, Lady Gaga and Rihanna's S&M are popular with teens and children. Retailers of bondage gear are also making a killing it seems with reports that the book has led to a surge in the sale of whips, handcuffs and other instruments of torture.

...Read the full article



Update: Parental Internet Controls...

Government consultation re-opens after privacy failure

Link Here 5th July 2012
Full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

The Department of Education has partly resumed its public consultation after recently being taken offline for privacy failures.

The online response form is still removed though. Data provided by users of this service was erroneously made available to other users of the service.

To recap:

The government is to consider putting extra pressure on computer users to filter out pornography when setting up internet accounts. The latest system, called active choice-plus , is aimed at reaching a compromise. It would automatically block adult content, but would set users a loaded question, along the lines of whether they want to change this to gain access to sites promoting pornography, violence and other adult-only themes.

Ministers are suggesting that people should automatically be barred from accessing unsuitable adult material unless they actually choose to view it.  It is one of several suggestions being put out for an e-consultation on how to shield children from pornography.

The discussion paper asks for views on three broad options for the best approach to keeping children safe online. It is an e-consultation where responses can be made online. The paper's introduction reads:

Tim Loughton, Minister for Children and Families, and Lynne Featherstone, Minister for Equalities and Criminal Information are joint chairs of the executive board of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS). They are writing to members of UKCCIS to seek their views and advice on parental controls. The request is to members of UKCCIS and other organisations and individuals, especially parents, who might want to respond.

The questionnaire consults on the merits of three proposed solutions .

Active Choice : customers are presented with an unavoidable choice or series of choices through which they consciously choose whether or not they want filters and blocks installed on their internet service or internet-enabled device.

Opt-in : where the internet service is provided with filters already in place to block access to certain websites (e.g. legal pornography), and the customer has to tell their ISP they wish to opt in to these sites if they want to access them.

Active choice plus : A system that combines features of both systems, where customers are presented with a list of online content that will be blocked automatically unless they choose to unblock them.

See consultation details from Closing Date: Thursday 6 September 2012.

Meanwhile nutters claim 100,000 signatures to petition calling for default blocking of website content for adults

5th July 2012. See  article from

100,000 people have signed a petition calling for more to be done to ensure that internet service providers (ISPs) block pornography.

SafetyNet's petition urges the Government to force Internet Service Providers to make accessing pornography an adult only opt-in service .

The campaign was started earlier this year, in a bid to protect children's innocence online, by Premier Christian Media and Safermedia. Miranda Suit, co-Chairman of Safermedia, said:

This figure demonstrates clearly that the British public share our conviction that internet pornography is playing a crucial role in the sexualisation of our children.

Since this petition was launched, there has been a constant stream of news backing up our case, that hardcore online porn is shaping the sexual culture of our young people and doing untold harm.



Update: Nutters Gathering...

Nutters have gathered a petition of 95,000 in support of default website blocking of adult content

Link Here 14th June 2012
Full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

A petition calling upon the Government to force internet service providers to make accessing pornography an adult only opt-in service has gathered more than 95,000 signatures.

The petition's organisers, SaferMedia and Premier (Christian) Media Group, are aiming to reach 100,000 signatures before the petition is closed in a few weeks.

They claim that the filter would give parents greater control over what their children are viewing online and stop sexually explicit material coming into the home.


27th April   

Update: Shadowy Labour...

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Labour add to the shrill nutter cacophony calling for one size fits all website blocking
Link Here Full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

Senior Labour MPs have supported a default block on adult websites.

Jenny Chapman, the shadow minister for justice, and Helen Goodman, the shadow minister for culture, media and sport, pledged their support.

In an article for the Daily Mail they condemned the access to pornography as a modern-day form of pollution . They wrote:

Children are regularly seeing pornography and sometimes being groomed for sex. Righting these wrongs is not an attack on civil liberties. Adults will still have the choice to access material they want to see.

But in a civilised society we must also protect our children. What we want to see is the same balance of rights and responsibilities as we have in the real world.

They also claimed that sales of televisions with internet access meant even more children will be one click from the strongest material .

They attacked Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt's proposal, which involves asking the four major ISPs to offer new customers the chance to opt out of access to pornography. They argue it would be 2017 before the proportion of households included reached 90%. They added that the plan does not go nearly far enough.


24th April   

Update: Searching for Perspective...

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Naomi Gummer of Google comments that the extent of sexual content online is exaggerated
Link Here Full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

Naomi Gummer, a public policy analyst at Google, said it was a myth that laws can prevent children from viewing explicit material, because the pace of technological development would render legislation a blunt instrument .

MPs are calling on the Government to introduce an opt-in system which would mean users would be automatically excluded from accessing internet pornography unless they specifically indicated they wanted to view them.

But Miss Gummer said many parents are complicit in allowing their children to view social networking sites despite being too young and only a minority of children had been upset by what they had seen online.

She told a conference of child welfare experts:

The idea that laws can adequately protect young people is a myth. Technology is moving so fast that legislation is a blunt tool for addressing these challenges. But also the truth is that parents are complicit in their kids using underage social networking sites. It is about education, not using legislative leavers.

She added that the extent of sexual content online was exaggerated:

25% of kids have seen sexual images, but only 14% saw them online. Of that, 4% say they were upset by the images, 2% of those images are hard-core and violent and the rest is nudity in the same way as perhaps seen in the offline world.

Meanwhile nanny statist Claire Perry doesn't believe in censorship...BUT...

See  article from

Claire Perry said:

I am no fan of a nanny state, and as pro-freedom as the next person... BUT...

...Read the full article



19th April   

Comment: Perry and the Blockheads...

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Claire Perry's parliamentary inquiry reiterates her call for a default ISP block on adult content
Link Here Full story: Internet Blocking Adult Websites in UK...Government push for ISPs to block porn

Claire Perry's parliamentary inquiry sponsored by Premier Christian Media has reiterated her call for a default ISP block on adult content.

Anyone wanting to view hardcore images online [or any other adult content such as Melon Farmers] would have to opt out of the default blocking, according to a panel of MPs and peers looking into child protection.

Their report said that six out of ten children download adult material because their parents have not installed filters. The use of blocking filters in homes has fallen from 49% to 39% in the last three years.

They concluded that parents were often outsmarted by their web-savvy children and felt unconfident in updating and downloading content filters. Many parents were oblivious to the type of material available on the internet and were often 'shocked' when they realised the content that children were accessing.

Claire Perry, the Tory MP who chaired the non-governmental Parliamentary Inquiry on Online Child Protection, said:

This is hugely worrying. While parents should be responsible for their children's online safety, in practice, people find it difficult to put content filters on the plethora of internet-enabled devices in their homes.

The inquiry called for ISPs to offer one-click filtering for all devices within a year. This would block out adult content for all domestic broadband users and stop them accessing pornography on mobiles and iPads as well as PCs and laptops.

The inquiry said that the Government should launch an official inquiry into internet filtering and ministers should seek backstop legal powers to intervene should the ISPs fail to implement an appropriate solution .

Carefully selected witnesses before the inquiry pointed to changes in the availability of hard-core images: As a result, more hard-core imagery is now available in the "free shop front" of commercial porn sites, the report said. It also found that only 3% of porn sites asked for proof of age and 66% did not contain any warning that they were for adults only.

Comment: Claire Perry's default blocking would censor adults and fail children

19th April 2012. See  article from

Commenting on Claire Perry's committee findings, Jim Killock, Executive Director of the Open Rights Group said:

These recommendations, if enacted, would endanger children, create disruption for small business, and would not work technically.

Default filtering is a form of censorship. Adults should not have to opt out of censorship. Governments should not be given powers to default censor legal material that adults see online.

Our work on mobile networks is showing that default censorship is disrupting businesses, campaign groups and bloggers. Yet it is trivial for a child to avoid the network blocking that Claire Perry recommends - sites using https are invisible to network blocks. Furthermore, default blocks may be appropriate for some older children, but too weak for others.

Parents need help, but 'default blocking' is an appalling proposal.

Comment: And for a little light relief, why not try the Daily Mail. They do a Jackson Pollox, throwing all sorts of negative terms at an empty canvas, to see what mess it makes

19th April 2012. See  article from

Miranda Suit, founder of campaign group Safermedia, told the inquiry:

This generation is going through an experiment. No one knows how they will survive this unprecedented assault on their sexual development. They are guinea pigs for the next generation.

These broadband providers are making massive money from the internet. They should not be making money from our teenagers future sexual health.'

...Read the full article


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