UK ISP’s Force Customers to Make Filter Choice

Xbiz and Wired magazine report that ISP’s in the UK have recently been “hijacking” certain non-secured Internet browsing sessions from their customers in a last-minute bid to alert them of their options regarding the controversial mandatory filtering law. This measure is only being applied to customers who have ignored all previous attempts to notify them that they legally must choose whether or not to have their Internet connection filtered. Some ISP’s will automatically block “adult” websites for those customers who don’t opt out by early next year.

Although the attention-grabbing tactic has been widely criticized, I personally believe it is reasonable for the ISP’s to make every effort to contact customers before mandatory filtering takes effect. One can only imagine the flood of calls to support desks after large swaths of the Internet suddenly disappear from before the eyes of clueless Internet users because of PM Cameron’s ill-conceived and foolish publicity stunt to “save the children.”

Update on UK “Face-Sitting” Protest

Several newspapers carried the story of the “face-sitting” demonstration outside the UK Parliament which protested the recently enacted restrictions on streaming adult video content. This report from The Independent includes photos and some brief video clips:

Porn protest: Face-sitting demonstration is underway outside parliament

Quote from government spokesman:

A spokesman for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said: “The legislation provides the same level of protection to the online world that exists on the high street in relation to the sale of physical DVDs.

Reply from commenter Schrodinger’s Cat:

What he meant to say was: “The legislation provides the same level of arbitrary moral-fascism, prudery and restriction of freedom to the online world that exists on the high street…”

Vine video

Net Neutrality Won’t Harm ISP’s

US Internet service providers, in their desperation to avoid FCC net neutrality regulations, have recently begun floating the claim that common carrier status would impose significant new taxes on American consumers. Much of this claim comes from the AT&T-backed “Progressive Policy Institute” and represents a cherry-picked, unrealistic, worst-case scenario, according to watchdog groups Media Matters and Free Press.

Debunking another false claim of ISP’s, an article at DSL Reports cites representatives of Verizon, Charter, Comcast, TWC as admitting that Title II regulation won’t harm the companies or hurt innovation or investment.

London Protest Planned Against UK Porn Restrictions

Sexual rights activist Charlotte Rose is organizing a protest this Friday against the new UK law which restricts selling certain types of adult video content produced in the UK. One could characterize the event as a “sit-in,” because the action will include demonstrators performing “face sitting,” one of the acts that is now banned as supposedly too dangerous to portray on video lest viewers get hurt trying it at home.

Note that the above linked article incorrectly states that it is illegal to watch videos with prohibited content. However, according to Robert Rosen, in his entertaining piece for The Independent, titled “No female ejaculation, please, we’re British: a history of porn and censorship”:

The aforementioned sex acts … are now banned from porn in the UK, but only if it was produced in the UK for online paid-for video-on-demand (VoD), which … brings British VoD up to
the same standards that already apply to porn distributed on DVD.

Watching this sort of erotica is not prohibited in the UK, however. Which means that American pornographers will have much to toast this holiday season, as they gear up to produce more spanking, caning, and so-forth videos, thus filling the void
the new British regulations have created—that is, assuming the major British ISPs aren’t blocking them.

Italians Bare (Almost) All for Science

The Daily Mail (NSFW images) reports on an unusual Facebook page called Tette per la Scienza, or Breasts for Science, in which women (and a few men) post scantily clad selfies while holding placards promoting science to the general public. The page also has a companion Tumblr blog and Twitter feed, although the article did not provide links.

Project creator Lara Tait says: “A woman is free to do what she wants with her own body, also put it to the service of science if she wants.” As much as I agree with her libertarian sentiment, it’s anyone’s guess as to whether — or when — Facebook or the others will shut down the pages as “indecent.”

I find it interesting to contrast this light-hearted European attitude with the recent American “shirtstorm” over Rosetta scientist Matt Taylor’s irreverent sartorial choice, as reported by USA Today and elsewhere.

An image from the Daily Mail article follows (NSFW):

Tette per la Scienza

Tette per la Scienza