It “removes comments on videos and related films” to allow teachers to “recommend video content to be placed in a library for other schools with the software to access,” says Times Online.
The UK government is already attempting to have the three strikes and you’re off the net business plan implemented as law of the land on behalf of the entertainment industry.
“Proposals to suspend the internet connections of those who repeatedly share music and films online will leave consumers with a bill for £500 million, ministers have admitted,” it says , going on:
“The Digital Economy Bill would force internet service providers (ISPs) to send warning letters to anyone caught swapping copyright material illegally, and to suspend or slow the connections of those who refused to stop. ISPs say that such interference with their customers’ connections would add £25 a year to a broadband subscription.
“Ministers have not estimated the cost of the measures but say that the cost of the initial letter-writing campaign, estimated at an extra £1.40 per subscription, will lead to 40,000 households giving up their internet connections. Impact assessments published alongside the Bill predict that the measures will generate £1.7 billion in extra sales for the film and music industries over the next ten years, as well as £350 million for the Government in extra VAT.”
Now, in the new scandal, “most schools have blocked access to the video-sharing website because of concerns about exposing pupils to violent or sexual content,” says Times Online, going on >>>
But teachers say that the blanket ban restricts their teaching and prevents them from accessing a mass of educational material on the website.
Dozens of town halls and hundreds of schools plan to spend up to £10,000 a year each on a filter that removes comments on videos and related films. It allows teachers to recommend video content to be placed in a library for other schools with the software to access.
The solution? Bloxx censorware.
“Web Filtering for students is one of the most important areas where Bloxx is essential,” boasts the company, going on >>>
Not only for blocking the students from accessing unwanted websites, but also for protecting the students from dangers such as:
- Inadvertent exposure to inappropriate images or content
- Solicitation by sexual predators in chat rooms and by email
- Online bullying or harassment
- Piracy and illegal downloads of software, music or video
- Spyware, viruses and phishing
File downloads and peer to peer sites can also be blocked, to prevent excessive bandwidth usage, freeing up the network for all users to access equally.
By also blocking Anonymous Proxies, students who thought that they could get around the filter will be dissapointed that they cannot access blocked sites via a back door.
In a Bloxx Bollocks Puff Piece, Bolton Council says it’s the “first Local Education Authority in the UK to deploy the recently launched Bloxx Media Filter”.
“The Bloxx Media Filter lets teachers quickly identify curriculum-related YouTube videos and then with just a few clicks, tag, assign these to a subject area and age range and submit the videos for approval,” says the item. “Once approved, students can easily search and view videos which are streamed directly from YouTube through the appliance directly to classroom PCs, without related video clips, contextual advertising or user submitted comments being displayed.”
Adds Times Online, “David Mitchell, headmaster at the Heathfield Primary School in Bolton, the first local authority to install the Bloxx Media Filter in all of its schools, said that access to YouTube would improve teaching at the school.
“ ‘This will give a big range of tools to help teach the children, to reach those who learn visually in the class,’ he said. ‘It is the comments underneath [the videos] that are disturbing and people are using undesirable language that we don’t want the children to see. But if you can watch them without that then there is a vast resource . . . that you can use to describe a scene or start a debate.’
“Teachers say that they would use YouTube to access videos of scientific experiments that are too dangerous or complex to perform in the classroom, scenes from Shakespeare’s plays and footage of other cultures or foreign landscapes. The system is dependent on teachers submitting videos for approval. It then filters out content surrounding the footage and links to other films. A selection of suitable material is then created for other staff to use and for pupils to look at.
“Hundreds of schools and 30 local authorities are in talks to buy the filter, which costs between £2,500 and £10,000 a year depending on the number of computers being used. At least 60 councils already use the other web filtering services on offer.”
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Times Online – Broadband consumers to foot £500m bill to tackle online piracy, December 28, 2009
implemented as law – ‘3 strikes’ cost to UK taxpayers? £1/2 billion, December 28, 2009
Bolton Council – Bolton Council Selects Bloxx Media Filter to Deliver YouTube Content in a Safe and Secure Environment, January 14, 2010
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Net access blocked by government restrictions? Use Psiphon from the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto. Go here for details.