What’s wrong with “Good, clean wi-fi”?
David Cameron says he backs “good, clean wi-fi” plans to filter public wireless networks from inappropriate content. Apart from this being a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist (cafes across the land plagued by hoards of toddlers watching porn), the potential problems are obvious.
Most public wifi networks already have content filters in place, however, and as an example of the sort of things they block, let’s look at the “UK’s largest public-access WiFi hotspot network”, The Cloud:
(The Cloud are a BSkyB subsidiary who provide wifi in Mcdonalds, Cafe Nero, the City of London and for a number of other business, cafes & public places.)
Want to login to an LGBT dating site?
But what about a ‘straight’ dating site? No problem
How about the Queer Youth Network? (‘A national non-profit run by and for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) young people.’) Blocked with a similar error message.
So The Cloud aren’t keen on LGBT sites, how about Brook, who ‘provide free and confidential sexual health advice and contraception to young people’? Apparently providing advice and condoms is abortion.
And Marie Stopes? Who offer ‘expert, supportive advice on abortion, vasectomy and sexual health’? Nope.
So perhaps making these kind of unpredictable filters, that catch lot of innocent and very valuable sites in them, mandatory isn’t the wisest move. Though at least it’ll be popular with prudes.