The China Syndrome

This has to be, by a long, long distance, the stupidest comment I have read in a very, very long time:

Here’s another interesting departure. It seems a bit odd to thank China for this can-do report, endorsed so speedily by Gordon Brown, but that country’s efforts to control sensitive political information on the web have at least flagged up a key issue, which Byron agrees with – that the internet is not so huge, global or vast that it operates outside of the established conventions. So it is possible to have a considerable bearing on what is out there, both nationally, and internationally, by bringing pressure to bear on internet service providers. So Illegal content can be pursued, ISPs asked to act, and take-down times monitored.

Yes, why don’t we all give thanks to one of most politically repressive and censorious regimes in the world for giving our native busybodies the idea that even more intrusion into our private activities is not only a good idea but technically feasible as well.

Tell you what, let’s go the whole hog and have done with it.

We’re already going to end up being frogmarched off to a government attendance centre to hand over our fingerprints and other biometrics once the state gets around to making ID cards compulsory, so why not just tack on another test while we’re in there.

Let’s just put a sensor on everyone’s crotch, pass them an Adams catalogue and bang up for a life anyone who shows the remotest sign of a penile twitch – it’s for the kiddies after all and you can’t do enough for the kids.

Any libertarians out there like to hazard a guess just how much we might be able to shave off income tax simply by culling all the interfering ‘doing it for the kids’ busybodies?


Sorry, been looking through the actual Byron report and the comment above is now only the second most stupid thing I’ve read in a long time… the most stupid is this:

4.60 For these reasons I do not recommend that the UK pursue a policy of blocking non-illegal material at a network level at present. However, this may need to be reviewed if the other measures recommended in this report fail to have an impact on the number and frequency of children coming across harmful or inappropriate content online.


You don’t recommend blocking NON-ILLEGAL material at a network level – that’s at the ISP end of things – but this might have to be ‘reviewed’ if kids keep finding their way to ‘harmful or inappropriate content’?

So in other words, if her recommendations don’t work – the main one being another fucking committee ‘the UK Council of Child Internet Safety” – then we all get to sit behind the Great Firewall of Byron and have to prove who we are and how old we are to access any age-locked but otherwise legal on-line content.

Anyone check the suppliers list for the ID cards scheme to see if there are any companies on there who knock out USB-based card readers, because that’s where this is heading.

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