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Censorship of internet use when accessed by unregistered 3G phone

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posted on Jan, 19 2013 @ 11:37 AM
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I have been accessing the internet for some years now via an unregistered pre-pay 3G phone tethered to my laptop.
I bought the phone with cash and top the 'unlimited' internet every month with cash at various stores offering the paypoint service. No particular reason for this other than I like the anonymity this provides.

Under the banner of 'protecting our children' the mobile network has always had some censorship such as porn sites, and even the website of a local tattoo artist for some curious reason, but recently I've noticed blocks on the occassional blog I've wanted to view.
That said, I decided to see about lifting the age restriction, so called into the phone networks store to ask how.
This was the conversation:

Me: Hi, how do I get the age restriction/censorship thing lifted?

Assistant: No problem, just provide a credit card and we'll charge £1 then credit it back to the account straight away.

Me: Urm, how about if I don't wish to supply any credit card details? You can see that I'm 'clearly over 25' as the Tesco staff member clicks on the machine when I purchase alcohol without needing ID.

Assistant: You will have to bring two forms of photo ID such as driver licence and passport, even though I can see you're over 18.

Me: No thank you, I'll leave it as it is, the anonymity is preferable to giving your company my details.

I am very resistant to providing my details to any company or government body etc, and even pay my parking tickets to the local council while refusing to give my name and address. They have no business knowing who I am just that the vehicle was ticketed and the appropriate charge is being paid. It has been amusing forcing them to either provide written confirmirmation of a refusal to take cash from the ticketholder (while quoting relevant legislation which obliges the ticket holder to provide details), or, just take the cash from me and call it a draw.
After the involvement of a manager or two they always take the cash.

I digress though, my main ponderings in this thread are:
Is the creeping censorship in unregistered internet use a sign of wider attempts by 'authority' to encourage registration, or just a big company wanting personal details to use/sell on marketing lists?
All thoughts and opinions are welcome, just throwing my story out there for information purposes


*Edit* In the UK, if someone is 'clearly over 25' they are usually able to buy any age restricted products from corporate business (printed/DVD porn, alcohol, tobacco, solvents, knives, fireworks etc) without any requirement to produce ID - even though any of these products could be passed to minors after sale.
If you claim that this is a similar situation, please explain why you feel the face to face stores representing the mobile internet providers on the high street require ID over the judgement of staff, as with all other legally age restricted products..
edit on 19-1-2013 by grainofsand because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 19 2013 @ 11:47 AM
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reply to post by grainofsand
 
It is my belief that it is a combination of things. Foremost everybody wants as much information as they can get from you. The govt. agencies want to know what you're up to, the phone carrier wants to track you for their advertising partners and they want to make sure and have proof that you are of legal age on file so they don't have some ticked off parent trying to sue them for their "little darling" accessing websites that are inappropriate for minors. It is becoming increasingly difficult to remain anonymous in anything anymore!



posted on Jan, 19 2013 @ 11:49 AM
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They are simply covering their ass from a liability standpoint. They told you they would unlock it with ID. It's no different than getting asked to see ID when you buy alcohol.



posted on Jan, 19 2013 @ 11:54 AM
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reply to post by grainofsand
 


The problem is that you could easily give that to someone under [insert age here], and it'd be good to find you responsible, not them.

And when it comes to your way of living, it's up to you to decide if you want to fiddle around like that instead of making life comfortable.



posted on Jan, 19 2013 @ 11:56 AM
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Originally posted by littled16
It is becoming increasingly difficult to remain anonymous in anything anymore!
It certainly seems to becoming that way over the years.


Originally posted by AwakeinNM
It's no different than getting asked to see ID when you buy alcohol.
I would disagree, if someone is 'clearly over 25' every corporate chain in the UK will sell alcohol without ID. The same applies to tobacco products and other age restricted goods. Why no such situation in-store at a mobile internet provider? I see a difference.



posted on Jan, 19 2013 @ 12:00 PM
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Originally posted by Nevertheless
reply to post by grainofsand
 


The problem is that you could easily give that to someone under [insert age here], and it'd be good to find you responsible, not them.
I refer you back to my comment regarding alcohol and tobacco sales which require no ID if clearly over 25.


And when it comes to your way of living, it's up to you to decide if you want to fiddle around like that instead of making life comfortable.
Absolutely, life remains quite comfortable and I enjoy 'fiddling around' instead of complying to everyone like a good little worker bee



posted on Jan, 19 2013 @ 12:33 PM
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Originally posted by grainofsand
I refer you back to my comment regarding alcohol and tobacco sales which require no ID if clearly over 25.


I refer you back to my comment that you can give the card away to someone else who'll be online with that subscription, and when "trouble" happens, you'll be responsible.
You can't do that with alcohol, but if you could, the system would probably be in place.
Also, alcohol is a finite resource in a different way, and you can't commit "crimes" the same way with a bottle of alcohol, except drinking it (if that's a crime).



posted on Jan, 19 2013 @ 12:39 PM
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reply to post by grainofsand
 


Use an out-of-country VPN service, then all restrictions will be bypassed.



posted on Jan, 19 2013 @ 12:45 PM
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Originally posted by Nevertheless

Originally posted by grainofsand
I refer you back to my comment regarding alcohol and tobacco sales which require no ID if clearly over 25.


I refer you back to my comment that you can give the card away to someone else who'll be online with that subscription, and when "trouble" happens, you'll be responsible.
Only through the supply of personal information to the mobile internet provider.
Am I correct in assuming you would support legislation to enforce such disclosure by everyone before access to the internet then?


You can't do that with alcohol, but if you could, the system would probably be in place.
Also, alcohol is a finite resource in a different way, and you can't commit "crimes" the same way with a bottle of alcohol, except drinking it (if that's a crime).
Purchasing alcohol for a minor is a crime in the UK. Supplying alcohol to someone who is intoxicated and incapable is a crime in the UK. Drinking alcohol in a designated prohibition public area is a crime in the UK.
I repeat, if you are 'clearly over 25' the judgement is left to the store worker at the point of sale - no ID required.
I commit no crimes while accessing the internet yet you appear to support an obligation for me to provide my personal details. Is it perhaps because your own details have already been freely provided to your internet service provider?



posted on Jan, 19 2013 @ 12:46 PM
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reply to post by Nevertheless
 

If you as an adult buy alcohol and give it to a mlnor

that is as much of a crime as allowing a minor to use your internet connection

if not more.



posted on Jan, 19 2013 @ 01:02 PM
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Originally posted by Kr0nZ
reply to post by grainofsand
 


Use an out-of-country VPN service, then all restrictions will be bypassed.
Cheers for that, just had a quick search and I'm amazed there is no block on any of the free VPN service providers sites. All proxy server sites are blocked by my mobile internet provider.


Originally posted by marvinthemartian
reply to post by Nevertheless
 

If you as an adult buy alcohol and give it to a mlnor

that is as much of a crime as allowing a minor to use your internet connection

if not more.
Exactly. I can purchase age restricted items which could kill a child without having to produce ID (alcohol, knives, fireworks, solvents etc) yet an internet service provider will not trust the judgement of their staff to determine the age of a customer or lift their age restricted censorship without two forms of photo ID.



posted on Jan, 19 2013 @ 01:10 PM
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Theyre just asking for id for age verification, there isnt anything sinister going on.



posted on Jan, 19 2013 @ 01:18 PM
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Originally posted by Juggernog
Theyre just asking for id for age verification, there isnt anything sinister going on.

Again, as with other age restricted products in the UK (alcohol, tobacco, printed/DVD porn, fireworks, solvents, knives) no ID is required if the store worker at the point of sale can see the customer is 'clearly over 25'
My question remains, why are mobile internet storeworkers unable to make the same judgement?
There is at present no legislation requiring ID to access an internet service in the UK.



posted on Jan, 19 2013 @ 01:41 PM
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Originally posted by grainofsand
Am I correct in assuming you would support legislation to enforce such disclosure by everyone before access to the internet then?

Well no, I would prefer that the virtual is being kept virtual and not "real".
However, that's not how the world looks and apparently there are crimes that can be committed. That is nothing new.
So, I can understand why the ISP does what it does.

Anyway, having such an "anonymous" subscription as you do doesn't help much, as the cell-phone can still be traced.



posted on Jan, 19 2013 @ 02:27 PM
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Originally posted by Nevertheless

Originally posted by grainofsand
Am I correct in assuming you would support legislation to enforce such disclosure by everyone before access to the internet then?

Well no, I would prefer that the virtual is being kept virtual and not "real".
However, that's not how the world looks and apparently there are crimes that can be committed. That is nothing new.
So, I can understand why the ISP does what it does.
Why? There is no legislation or industry related voluntary code insisting this. Do you really not think that the value of gathering personal information is involved somewhere along the line. I repeat, I can purchase age restricted items which can kill a child without having to produce ID due to the 'clearly over 25' policy of every other business.


Anyway, having such an "anonymous" subscription as you do doesn't help much, as the cell-phone can still be traced.
Hmm, if any powerful 'authority' agency wanted to find me I'm sure my chances are no better or worse than anyone else on this island. My position can certainly be triangulated fairly accurately, but there are no personal details attached to the phone which a private company can sell for marketing purposes..



posted on Jan, 19 2013 @ 02:30 PM
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OP wants to be difficult, the question has been answered... You can circumvent the block by using a proxy IP adress, like they do in china and other regions where it is a problem..



posted on Jan, 19 2013 @ 02:42 PM
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Originally posted by gangdumstyle
OP wants to be difficult, the question has been answered...
That was an unwarranted assertion about my intentions, and also incorrect.

You can circumvent the block by using a proxy IP adress, like they do in china and other regions where it is a problem..

I am unable to access any proxy server sites due to the blocks, and I am yet to try out a free VPN as kindly pointed out by a previous poster.

Regardless, the OP was not a question asking for help, it was the sharing of my experience for information purposes and wider discussion about the reasons for mobile network store workers needing ID to be satisfied that I am over 18. A situation which does not happen when purchasing alcohol, tobacco, knives, fireworks, solvents or printed/DVD porn.
edit on 19-1-2013 by grainofsand because: Typo



posted on Jan, 19 2013 @ 02:45 PM
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Originally posted by grainofsand

Originally posted by gangdumstyle
OP wants to be difficult, the question has been answered...
That was an unwarranted assertion about my intentions, and also incorrect.

You can circumvent the block by using a proxy IP adress, like they do in china and other regions where it is a problem..

I am unable to access any proxy server sites due to the blocks, and I am yet to try out a free VPN as kindly pointed out by a previous poster.

Regardless, the OP was not a question asking for help, it was the sharing of my experience for information purposes and wider discussion about the reasons for mobile network store workers needing ID to be satisfied that I am over 18. A situation which does not happen when purchasing alcohol, tobacco, knives, fireworks, solvents or printed/DVD porn.
edit on 19-1-2013 by grainofsand because: Typo


Call a friend to give you a list of a few and your set..



posted on Jan, 19 2013 @ 02:51 PM
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Originally posted by grainofsand
Hmm, if any powerful 'authority' agency wanted to find me I'm sure my chances are no better or worse than anyone else on this island. My position can certainly be triangulated fairly accurately, but there are no personal details attached to the phone which a private company can sell for marketing purposes..


Sure the triangulation works too, but the phone doesn't have to have any personal details attached to it.



posted on Jan, 19 2013 @ 02:53 PM
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Originally posted by gangdumstyle
Call a friend to give you a list of a few and your set..

Your advice is noted, but as I said, the slant of the OP is questioning the need for ID to lift blocks when there is no legislation forcing ISP's to do this, and no other age restricted products require it in the UK if the customer is 'clearly over 25'.





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