Monday, 22 July 2013

Active choice

I suspect this will not meet the wording they are expecting, but we'll do our bit for offering active choice.

The order page now has :-


You have to choose one or the other - if you choose censored you cannot proceed with the order :-


26 comments:

  1. Wouldn't it be funny if every ISP did this... then you'd need to provide a different message: "Sorry, for a censored Internet you can move to North Korea"

    Any thoughts on how to handle existing customers? You should probably get them on-record as opting-out well ahead of any mandate that would force you to filter them.

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    1. Existing customers have had the fact that they are opting for unfiltered internet in the terms and on the order form for some time now.

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  2. And as one of your customers, this is one of the reasons I signed up 18 months ago.

    Technical support with principles.

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  3. If the government object to your wording, and expect you to sign up customers to a filtered service, you could always ensure that the 'censored' internet access doesn't get any IPv4 or IPv6 routing, or throws them into a captive portal with the only options being lifting the filter or cancelling their account.

    It's the only safe way if they force you to sign up customers with a filtered service, since you cannot guarantee how and from where pornography may get delivered to their devices, and whether it may be in a form that might reach the eyes of inappropraite people.

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    1. You certainly can't say that the captive portal doesn't block all porn. It does! (And everything else too.)

      (This might actually be practically useful, too -- a way to say "I know I won't use this line for a while, blackhole everything but HTTP to a single place, which gives me a password to unlock the line again". And let people say "turn this off for good" in the control pages since otherwise it would become a DoS attack vector.)

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  4. Okay. So, clearly, I need to start using your services. Hm.

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  5. Okay, I need to switch to you guys.

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  6. As per Born Today, really happy to have a great ISP.
    No BS, no throttle, filter, just plain good (fantastic) tech support and principles.

    I think of the children as (little) beings with a brain that need to be educated, learn to be critical and responsible...

    And yes child pornography/abuse should be fought but how many innocent Iraqi children did we (US/UK) bombarded, kill, mutilated vs. victim of porn abuse - reality check please. The factor is probably a few 100,000:1 if not higher and still no "Think of the children" there!

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  7. Wow. I wish I could sign up for your service, but I'm in the US. Congrats. Glad to see some ethics combined with some balls!

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    1. Don't suggest my site has "balls", as that would get it on the block list :-)

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    2. "Here you see my 1.5yo niece playing with some coloured balls."

      I'm waiting for the daily mail to call me SICK AND PERVERTED now.

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  8. I don't even think the PM himself really thinks it's a good idea, if he's being advised properly, the whole situation is highly politically charged and not a practical thing. Everyone who knows how technology works knows that this is a very daft proposal, but the Parent groups and anti-smut campaigners are a powerful and vocal lobbying force.

    IT all reminds me of that Brass Eye episode about Paedophiles, really...When it comes to Angry Mob versus Reason - Angry Mob wins everytime.

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  9. my full support for your pro-free speech stance. I suggest that those customers who have very young children be given help so that they are able to choose AA rather than simply being sent away to an inferior ISP.

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    1. Parenting is never easy, and I am sure that, for many, the Internet has come as a bit of a surprise - but I do think that parents should be in control of any filtering. Modern operating systems have in place parental control systems already. We really do not need a "Nanny State" here.

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    2. Is there parental control software available for say iOS, Android, Linux ? What about a filter database service that can be hooked up to a filter engine in your own firewall appliance so that devices on your lan are covered by one central engine including those devices for which filtering software is not available?

      I've seen such engine capabilities in Juniper devices (horribly expensive, experts only, where's the filter database service?). You could perhaps turn a pc into a firewall-router as a a source of cheap hardware?

      I think David Cameron's speech mentioned the hassle of administering multiple devices and maybe the problem of non-MS or OSX devices.

      I am fine with filtering as long as you the parent are in control of which database is used and can scrutinise the content's completeness and appropriateness, plus whitelisting and blacklisting need to be under the user's control not that of the ISP or database service provider.

      AA could perhaps point users to a page with tips about effective parental control software or LAN appliances. Perhaps something for the AA wiki? Sysadmins for businesses large or small will have something to contribute from their experience with finding corporate filter solutions.

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  10. Having just been switched by you guys from a BT line to a TalkTalk line I realised that BT have the perfect solution to Internet Censorship. Make everybody's lines so unusable that by sheer frustation you switch your PC off & go read a book!

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  11. I fully support your position, but be alert to the possibility that BT, and probably other carriers, will start to make life even more difficult for you than they do now as they are leaned upon by the government. eg "Do you want to continue to get BDUK contracts, then why not be helpful to us and do what you can to put this pipsqueak truth speaking upstart in his place?" You can probably think up more plausible scenarios than that.

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    1. I am not sure BT can make it difficult for us - they sell us layer 2 links which would not need (or sensibly have) any of this filtering. But they are not the only carrier we can use and they know it.

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    2. The problem is, in all too many cases they *are* the only option for the 'final mile', short of paying somebody to get out the JCB and dig a new trench for your own wires. Even your Be/O2/Sky/Fluidata and TalkTalk services go over BT copper - and if Ofcom permitted, BT could theoretically slip in a contract clause barring unfiltered services going over that copper. Scary, hard to enforce and I'd certainly hate to see it happen, but not quite impossible much as we would like it to be - and, of course, it was BT who created CleanFeed in the first place, so they're unlikely to take a stand.

      For that matter, BT did manage to screw up IPv6 packets in transit across their network (which is actually how I first came across A&A, via dwmw2's tale of eaten-packet woe and A&A's heroic efforts to fix it) ... never underestimate the damage that can be wrought by a clueless telco doing silly things in the core network!

      (I'm with Entanet right now, since Be don't cover my exchange and Home::1 wasn't out when FTTC arrived here; they are CleanFeed-free and broadly anti-filtering as far as I can see, but haven't spoken about the filtering demands yet AFAICS, so I see the application of a MAC once the 12 month contract is up.)

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    3. At present we can do encrypted PPP if we want to - taking that away would be a big step. If encrypted they can't filter, and would not be required to I expect.

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  12. Or of course once clicking the Censored option, there could be a pop-up offering you the contact number for Social Services, as you clearly can't trust yourself to monitor you own child's activity on the internet!

    As a parent it's my responsibility to monitor my children's use of the internet, there's plenty of software that can lock Little Jonny onto a particular website, so he can't go from 'CBeebies' to 'Nuns Gone Wrong' by accident. And if he did, I'd wonder what kind of homework would bring up search results that included that in the first place!

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  13. Keep up the good work, Revk. As a Chinese expat, I have to say I very much appreciate what you are doing with your ISP! I think Internet is like the kitchen, if your children cannot look after themselves, you wouldn't let them go into the kitchen alone!

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    1. exactly

      you walk them to school ... even tarry and watch like an hawk to make sure you see that they made it through the door ok JUST IN CASE!!

      you dont let them out on the street on their own, why the hell would one let kids too young to take care of themselves or understand stuff beyond their years/experience on the information super highway on their own ???

      ppl should stop using the internet as an unpaid nanny !

      I dont agree with filters, even on our own computers

      when our daughter was a tiny toddler we didnt have any stair gates
      neither at the top or bottom of the stairs

      she was taught from day #1 dont go near the edge

      sure, when she started to crawl, we had to watch her using eyes in the backs of our heads for quite a while ... but very soon she could approach the edge of the landing and sit there and look ... but she respected the height and never attempted to climb down (till she was given permission to do so under supervision and she knew even as a babbling crawling babby that she could only crawl up or down the stairs UNDER SUPERVISION)

      now if you can teach a 6 month old baby respect for heights and safety ... you can certainly teach young people and adolescents to use the internet safely, initially when younger under constant personal supervision and then later let out the reins longer and longer ... trusting an adolescent to be ever more responsible

      the only filters that should be installed should be in the intellect of the young person
      the young can and should be taught was is and isnt appropriate, respectful an caring, and how to deal with new or troublesome encounters in a learning and open support seeking manner

      dont make any subject a taboo and dont be dismissive of a young persons ability to discuss and understand, EVERYTHING can be explained in an age appropriate manner

      they are [y]our kids ... spend time with them !!! there is no short cut and no substitute !!!

      dont delegate, and certainly dont delegate to some unknown unaccountable body in the dark recesses of govt or quango

      the internet is NOT an unpaid nanny!

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  14. i think you have room for a *third active choice*

    you CAN provide a 100% perfect filter ... if the prospective customer chooses this option...

    they can pay you for internet provision 100% perfectly filtered

    and of course the only way to achieve this is to pass exactly ZERO PACKETS ... their kiddies definitely wont encounter any porn on that connection what so ever GUARRANTEED
    in that way the 'rents can be completely sure their kids are safe on your internet provision :)

    customer choice at it's best

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  15. Excellent this made my day, good to see you taking this stand.

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  16. Nice to see this stance got to gizmodo

    http://www.gizmodo.co.uk/2013/07/uk-isp-suggests-moving-to-north-korea-if-you-want-a-censored-internet/

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