Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Let's Talk, a plea for Common Sense

The balanced BBC view on Andy Burham's Telegraph interview. Rory Cellan-Jones invites the culture minister to talk.

...yes, Andy Burnham's suggestion that Britain and the US could get together and impose some sort of web code does beg all sorts of questions. Who would decide what was permissible? How would trillions of constantly changing websites be policed? How would it work with existing ratings schemes such as PICS, set up by the W3C consortium? And isn't it up to parents, not the state, to watch over the way their children use the web?

Then again perhaps the blogosphere is underestimating the subtlety of Mr Burnham's approach. After all, it was unlikely to have been the primary audience he had in mind when he made his remarks to the Telegraph. He may be betting that millions of parents share his concerns, and sense of helplessness about the web. He is also probably correct in thinking that governments are more able these days to apply pressure on both ISPs and on major web international brands than web libertarians would like to think.

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