Posted on Jun 01 2009 by Darren Farnden | 1 Comment
While the protection of children from inappropriate content when they are online has been a key focus for many for some time, bullying tactics increasingly used by pupils against their teachers online is leading to claims that ISP’s should be responsible for policing Internet use.
Darren Farnden, Marketing Manager
The recent announcement by the UK government that it is planning to crack down on online defamation is the result of mounting pressure from teachers about the growing tendency for children to use the Internet to attack them. This is undoubtedly a serious problem. We have heard of cases where students have set up facebook sites in their teachers’ names with the sole purpose of providing a platform for defamation of character and where pupils and even parents have discussed teachers in a derogatory nature online.
Such incidences show just how easy it is now for children to start using the Internet as a way of abusing teachers. A recent survey suggests as many as one in ten teachers have fallen victim to cyberbullying.
This of course is not just a problem in education – it is a massive issue in business as well. There have been many documented cases of email bullying and libellous statements being made via emails and IM. With the use of ‘social’ networking sites such as twitter also growing in business the prospect of individuals spreading inaccurate or malicious material about their competitors is very real.Read More »
Posted on May 08 2009 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on Will the IWF make the Internet Safer?
Many see the Internet Watch Foundation’s (IWF) block list as an important step in the fight against child exploitation online. The IWF block list is an extensive list of websites that contravene UK law many of which contain inappropriate images of children. The block list has been utilised by 95% of UK ISPs as a method of censoring offensive content from end users. The remaining 5% of UK ISPs are facing increasing pressure from the government and several charities to implement the list. So why haven’t they?
Neil Watson, Technical Support Manager
The remaining 5% is made up of primarily ISPs with smaller budgets. The high cost of the technology used to filter the offensive content therefore provides them with a moral dilemma. In addition their decision is complicated by concerns over the accuracy of the IWF list. Late last year a Wikipedia page was blocked due to an inappropriate image used on an album cover. This resulted in several users’ access to innocent Wikipedia pages being blocked.Read More »
Update: (10th August 2009)
The Interception of Communications Commissioner’s annual report has sparked fresh calls to control the amount of surveillance currently carried out on UK citizens. Read more in this ISPreview article
The question has been asked many times before, but just how did George Orwell foresee the future? Ok, so his timescales were a little off, but are we moving even closer towards a big brother culture? The government’s latest proposals suggest we are!
Neil Watson, Technical Support Manager
Sir David Pepper, Director of the British intelligence agency, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has announced plans to centrally store records of all electronic communications throughout the UK. The Interception Modernisation Programme (IMP) will be the largest surveillance system ever created in the UK and calls for a ‘live tap’ to be placed on every electronic communication in Britain including telephone calls, emails and visited websites.
The GCHQ and its supporters argue this is a necessary step in the fight against terrorism and that the centrally stored data will enable the police and government organisations to collect vital evidence of what it calls ‘terrorist friendship trees’ to identify potential plots and collaborations.
So how far are they willing to go? “quite a long way” according to Geoff Hoon, Transport Secretary, who recently defended the plans on the BBC’s Question Time. He went so far as to suggest “If they are going to use the Internet to communicate with each other and we don’t have the power to deal with that, then you are giving a licence to terrorists to kill people.”Read More »