Why don’t ISP’s block porn sites?

The internet in its current state (2010) is the wild west.  Typically you sign a contract with an ISP (Internet Service Provider), and then WHAM! You have the internet. Some ISP’s limit the amount of data you can transfer in a monthly period, depending where in the world you are, some may even limit bandwidth on certain protocols, for example bitTorrent, but I have yet to find an ISP that can provide “Family Safe” Internet.

From a high level perspective the way the internet works is pretty straight forward, you have a lookup chain – You make a request -> Your ISP interprets the request -> fetches the information from the remote site you’ve requested and then -> sends you back the data. There are some exceptions of this typical usage scenario, for example if you’re using a VPN, you can circumvent ISP restrictions or even geographic restrictions (due to encryption), but ALL your internet traffic routes directly through your ISP.

Its 2010, and why don’t we have family safe internet as a product?

For starters, the internet relies on HTTP operating on TCP/IP. There is pretty much only 1 protocol for ALL websites out there, this being HTTP. Because ALL content is served on 1 protocol, there is no sure way to distinguish at a protocol level the type of content you subscribe to. When you purchase an internet subscription, you’re getting EVERYTHING imaginable, both the stuff you want, and also potentially unwanted stuff. The internet just wasn’t designed initially to allow for content restrictions based on protocols. Instead the internet relied on very basic domain name extensions, and this was never intended for filtration, rather geographical and raw organisational structure. For example .com (commercial) .gov (government) .co.uk (company in the United Kingdom). The internet just doesn’t abide by one system, and often domains are selected purely on the basis of availability (the .com’s taken, lets register the .net).

You see ladies and gentlemen, the internet is lawless. Pretty much anyone can register almost anything, and publish anything. Local laws need not apply, because its possible to always find an internet host that will publish your “goods” in a country where such laws don’t exist. Because of this, and because of the sheer volume of content on the internet the onus now lies with the consumer to protect themselves or their family from undesirable content.

Now all this talk is mumbo jumbo, when all you really want is a product that performs the way you want it. For example, if you were purchasing a car and wanted a car with 3 doors and not 5, you wouldn’t have any problems whatsoever finding this. How do you think you would react if your local car salesman told you “Here is a 5 Door, take it and weld the 2 back doors shut!” Well this is the exact same attitude you’ll get from your ISP when you ask them for a family safe internet option, they’ll recommend you install NetNanny. I’ll say it again, I have yet to see ANY ISP offering family safe internet access.

What does this mean?

This essentially means that pornography will become the social norm, and its already happening. Without sounding too dramatic there is a very real chance that if you have the internet, and you have kids, they’re getting exposed to pornography. How about yourself? Are you male, impartial to the odd gawk here and there, or regularly indulge in checking out porn sites.

But what is so bad about porn?

Porn is primarily extortion, designed for one reason only to make money by exploiting our sexual natures. Unfortunately viewing porn has some unwanted side effects.

  1. Porn is a major tributary to the destruction of relationships and it breaks down moral code in a society. By this I mean, play back an experiment in your own mind, take 2 cruise ships with 100 passengers each, one ship’s passengers get entertained with only pornographic movies, the other ship sails around continually without any sexually visual entertainment. If both groups had started out the journey completely innocent and unexposed, and each ship could sail indefinitely without passengers aging. My guess is that it is inevitable that after a certain amount of time, passengers on the ship that were exposed to porn would experience gradual social decay, to the point where marriages would fail, affairs would be commonplace, threesomes would creep in, its not hard to imagine that orgies would eventually also start taking place. This is because of the progressive nature of porn.
  2. Internet porn is savage, and exposes you to stuff you should never see. No human being should ever have to look at woman with dicks, or people having sex with animals, but sadly this type of stuff is embedded along with the softer porn.
  3. Porn is boring, and usually involves the same old routines. By watching this you will desensitize your sexual desire, your lust levels will increase, but your overall excitability will decrease. To the point where you become like an addict, relying on a quick sexual fix.
  4. Porn is misleading and leads to people having sexual thoughts in otherwise normal situations. Some men begin to have social issues, and only see woman for their sexual qualities. This ironically has a negative impact on real relationship scenarios, and men can even find it hard to have regular friends who are of the opposite sex.
  5. Our brains are processing machines, You may be what you eat physically, but your brain activity  is surely comprised of the sensory data you provide it, too much of anything can not be good, even a little of a bad thing cannot be good.
  6. No God system on earth justifies pornography, mostly though by partaking in it assures you extreme punishment in the afterlife or even eternal damnation. Before you say, well I don’t believe in God, think about Pascals wager for a minute (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal%27s_Wager) , this is not to state proof of a God, rather you could be wrong. Since if you do believe in God, you already know porn is wrong. If you don’t, this is not to say God doesn’t exist. The word porn is derived from the word fornication, forget all the other points, and think for a minute, imagine if you die and meet God who is not at all pleased with your conduct! My suggestion is if you have a conscience then try to live up to your internal moral code and don’t get side tracked by porn. Not saying you need to be a perfect person, but surely any attempt to improve your overall quality of life, and get inline with God code would be taking into consideration in your final judgement.
  7. Lots more is wrong with porn.

I have NetNanny, we’re protected

Pretty much all internet activity is defined as a relationship between client and server. In this relationship your PC is the client. It is obvious that you have far more control over the client component, because this happens to be sitting right under your nose. Its also likely that You or members are your family can easily circumvent any attempt you may implement to block pornographic material on your computer. How easy is this to do? VERY EASY, all your 10 year old has to do is insert a Linux LIVE CD, and they can use the “family” computer without even using Windows or your well configured NetNanny! You wouldn’t even know because from your point of view the computer might have been turned off. You have a router you say that blocks out unwanted sites – Who is to say your Son doesn’t have a router of his own that he switches while you’re not at home? I’m not even mentioning that cell phones are also internet capable lately.  Anyways it simply doesn’t matter because all Johnny needs to do is spend the evening or weekend at his pals house, where James has unrestricted internet access and the damage is already done.

Lets also take into account the case of the porn addict who is tech savvy and trying to recover from an addiction, he can implement all the blocking techniques in the world, but at the end of the day only his self control and perseverance is what will make the difference. The internet is just too unprotected from this sort of thing.

What can you do?

If you have an ounce of moral fibre in your body you will assist me, and people like me try to impact on porn, child porn and the devastating effects porn has on our free world and young minds. Do the following

  1. Forward this email to everyone you know
  2. Contact your ISP by email, or if you can by phone, and ask them why it is not possible for us as consumers to have a “Family Safe” internet service.

You can quote me on the following:

ISP’s offer a variety of optional services to their clients, including more bandwidth, larger download volumes, static IP addresses. Surely there must be some kind of “Family Safe” addon that can be purchased. Remember we are not asking them to provide us with this service for free. I would gladly pay an additional fee to have clean porn free internet at an ISP level, even if it didn’t filter EVERYTHING. ISP’s need to start this revolution and need motivation, hence can charge for this service. Like everything with computers, services get better, so will filtration.

PLEASE MAKE A DIFFERENCE TODAY.

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3 thoughts on “Why don’t ISP’s block porn sites?

  1. Hi, interesting article and passionately written. I don’t agree that the net should have any filtering mechanisms though because it will limit free speech, period. In fact there are groups wanting to limit our ability to publish and see what we want, under the guise of truth and morality, but really it’s about commercial interest – the big media companies want to control information and make a profit from it – they use porn as an argument because they know most people will react emotionally to it. Your stance on the effects of pornography on society sounds like a knee jerk reaction and based on emotions, moral ideologies and not real research. I recently read “Everything you know about sex is wrong” published by the disinfo guys. It was very enlightening and had some good articles, written by woman about the real effects of porn on society. Porn allows a safe release to sexual tension in a sexually repressed society aka most of the western world (guided by Christianity since roman times) Go read “The mass psychology of fascism by Willhelm Reich” – the basic idea is the more you control people the more depraved they become. Also using children to bolster your argument is disingenuous. Disney for instance is doing more harm with the sexualisation of youth than porn could ever accomplish – go look at Miley Cirus’s new music video on youtube – it’s more sinister because they claim to be the moral bastion of good old family entertainment but everything they release is covertly sexual like the tons of Hanna Montana pictures were she holds a microphone to her mouth – clearly a symbolic gesture of fellatio. In our technological society we can never protect our children from exposure to porn and it’s not up to corporations to protect them from it. We need to give our children a realistic and truthful point of reference to deal with exposure to porn and their own human sexuality. We need to disarm the confusing and harmful effects porn could have on them by education and instilling free critical thinking about the human condition and place these things have in society. I am personally more concerned about the glorification of violence in the media and the message that it is the only means of conflict resolution.

  2. @Michael,
    Hear, hear! I don’t understand why they don’t at least try to provide a good clean ISP. Perhaps there would not be enough takers. But if they at least ran Netnanny on their end, and charged you an extra few bucks a month I’m sure they would make out fine on the option.

    @Riaan,
    “a knee jerk reaction and based on emotions, moral ideologies and not real research”
    I find your close-mindedness highly offensive. I can see no one can have an opinion, or wish to buy a product that you don’t like. You talk of protecting free speech, then attack someone else’s version of it in the same paragraph.
    -RL

  3. I agree completely with your comments. Riaan’s pro-porn response (he is obviously a troll) only confirms my theory that the porn epidemic is a psychological warfare tool used by the ruling class to keep the masses in a state of confusion and weakness. I have struggled with porn addiction for years, and am finally starting to make some progress through a combination of filtering, self-control, and changes in lifestyle. I have heard statistics that say 3/4 of all men have a problem with porn addiction, and it is now the major cause of divorce. To say that viewing porn is perfectly healthy and harmless, as Riaan suggests, is absolutely laughable. There are millions of people who would do anything to be rid of this plague on society, and it is shocking that no major ISP is offering porn-free options to customers (This does not violate freedom of speech, by the way. It is a service that would be freely chosen by the customers who want it!) The first one to do so will make an absolute killing and all the other ISPs will be forced to follow suit or go out of business. Don’t worry, it may be dark, but the sun will eventually rise.

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