Andy Burnham: All your internets are belong to us

In the tellygraph, this hilarious and plankitundinal ignoramus declares his intention to monitor, rate and censor the whole (English speaking) Internet.

Oh noes!

Internet sites could be given ‘cinema-style age ratings’, Culture Secretary says

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Andy Burnham says he believes that new standards of decency need to be applied to the web. He is planning to negotiate with Barack Obama’s incoming American administration to draw up new international rules for English language websites.

The Cabinet minister describes the internet as “quite a dangerous place” and says he wants internet-service providers (ISPs) to offer parents “child-safe” web services.

Giving film-style ratings to individual websites is one of the options being considered, he confirms. When asked directly whether age ratings could be introduced, Mr Burnham replies: “Yes, that would be an option. This is an area that is really now coming into full focus.”

ISPs, such as BT, Tiscali, AOL or Sky could also be forced to offer internet services where the only websites accessible are those deemed suitable for children.

Mr Burnham also uses the interview to indicate that he will allocate money raised from the BBC’s commercial activities to fund other public-service broadcasting such as Channel Four. He effectively rules out sharing the BBC licence fee between broadcasters as others have recommended.

His plans to rein in the internet, and censor some websites, are likely to trigger a major row with online advocates who ferociously guard the freedom of the world wide web.

However, Mr Burnham said: “If you look back at the people who created the internet they talked very deliberately about creating a space that Governments couldn’t reach. I think we are having to revisit that stuff seriously now. It’s true across the board in terms of content, harmful content, and copyright. Libel is [also] an emerging issue.

“There is content that should just not be available to be viewed. That is my view. Absolutely categorical. This is not a campaign against free speech, far from it; it is simply there is a wider public interest at stake when it involves harm to other people. We have got to get better at defining where the public interest lies and being clear about it.”

Mr Burnham reveals that he is currently considering a range of new safeguards. Initially, as with copyright violations, these could be policed by internet providers. However, new laws may be threatened if the initial approach is not successful.

“I think there is definitely a case for clearer standards online,” he said. “More ability for parents to understand if their child is on a site, what standards it is operating to. What are the protections that are in place?”

Who is this mincing windbag? He’s a hot-button-pressing addict with that ‘Thinkofthechildren’ button he’s got, isn’t he?

I won’t be the only bloggist to mention this story – in fact the libel aspect of it has already come up – so I won’t bother with the whole taking apart of this monolith to mongitude. But there’s one truly brilliant quote in here:

Mr Burnham said: “If you look back at the people who created the internet they talked very deliberately about creating a space that Governments couldn’t reach.”

The Internet that was created by the US Department of Defence (DARPA)? And leading US universities? And UK educational establishments that were all UK government funded? And JANET? And CERN in Europe? You complete bog-snorkler.

I shall just ask a couple of questions:

1) Haven’t you heard of parental control software, you berk?

2) The whole English speaking intermernet? ROFL

3) Since there are plenty of non-English speaking sites with indecent images that require no translation, what is he protecting children us all from? Well, logically, it must be the written word. Seditious text.

4) Labour have a Culture Secretary????? That’s priceless.

Meantime, the tellygraph also has a response in it’s OpEd section.



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