by BlueCookie Contributor
Contributor

Porn is not blocked by "Strict" content lock

Summary of problem:
 
duckduckgo.com and bing.com contain many pornographic images, but are not blocked or classified correctly as porn by the EE mobile data safeguarding system.

Details:

I have given my child a phone on the EE network. I have set the "data content controls" to "strict" on this page: https://myaccount.ee.co.uk/app/managedevice

I checked it was working because facebook and twitter and porn sites were blocked.

But my complaint is that pornographic content can still be trivially accessed through the EE network. All a child has to do is:
1) Go to duckduckgo.com or bing.com
2) Type in a porn search term
3) Select image search
4) Click to disable safe search on the DuckDuckGo website or Bing website, which anyone can do because it's not locked like Google safe search is.

Please advise on the fact that the EE strict content controls do not block these pornographic images.
 
20 REPLIES 20
by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: Porn is not blocked by "Strict" content lock

by BlueCookie Contributor
Contributor

Re: Porn is not blocked by "Strict" content lock

Pixel 3 running Android 9 (Pie)

by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: Porn is not blocked by "Strict" content lock

@BlueCookie  Sorry for the late reply.

 

have a read of THIS

 

And just to to ask is there not a setting on the device that locks down what can be changed on the device.  I.e.  you set it up so only google is the search engine and it’s not possible to change it ?  

 

@BrendonH or @Northerner. Might be able to help more as they use Android devices.  

by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: Porn is not blocked by "Strict" content lock

Hi 

 

You can download apps which can block images, but it's near impossible to completely block all sites and images, even with carrier implemented  software. 

 

Thanks




To contact EE Customer Services dial 150 From your EE mobile or 07953 966 250 from any other phone.

EE standard opening hours are 8am to 9pm weekday, 8am to 8pm on weekends.
by BlueCookie Contributor
Contributor

Re: Porn is not blocked by "Strict" content lock

Thank you for the helpful advice. I already have Google Family Link set up.

 

But my question was specifically about EE mobile "data content controls".

 

I believe the issue could be addressed if there was a feature to block specific websites, i.e. duckduckgo, bing, yandex and a few others (or an option to block all search engines, and whitelist google)

 

Does EE use a third party company to categorise web content? What are the chances of this feature being implemented?

 

by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: Porn is not blocked by "Strict" content lock

Hi @BlueCookie

 

Blocking search engines would be outside the parameters as they are not generally known for the core purpose of searching adult material.

 

Many people (like me) don't like Google Search and prefer the freedom to choose what I look at rather than my search results based upon who pays google the most advertisement revenue, or tracked by Google.

 

 

There is no perfect solution unless you want Chinese type controls over the Internet, where the state dictates which sites you can visit. 

 

 

 




To contact EE Customer Services dial 150 From your EE mobile or 07953 966 250 from any other phone.

EE standard opening hours are 8am to 9pm weekday, 8am to 8pm on weekends.
by
EE Community Support Team

Re: Porn is not blocked by "Strict" content lock

Hi @BlueCookie,

 

Welcome to the EE Community. Smiley Happy

 

I’ve passed your feedback over to our network team who have advised that the explicit images are showing because they are cached by the search engine itself. The images can only be seen within the confines of the search engine, as the actual sites will still be blocked.

 

You are right in saying that it is currently possible to disable safe search on those particular search engines, unlike Google Safesearch which ties in with our content lock. Our network team is currently working on a similar solution for the other popular search engines.

 

Thanks for your question.

 

James

 

by BlueCookie Contributor
Contributor

Re: Porn is not blocked by "Strict" content lock

Hi @James_B, thank you for your informed reply.

 

When you say "the images can only be seen within the confines of the search engine", I underststand your point, but it is not relevant. Pornographic pictures don't need any special context to damage young minds, they only need to be seen whether in a magazine, a dedicated porn website or a search engine.

 

I'm not talking about a few explicit pictures that have somehow been missed. These search engines display thousands upon thousands of pornographic images of every possible subject imaginable, they show as many images as any dedicated porn website might.

 

What is the estimated delivery date for the safesearch feature to be added for all popular search engines? (ballpark figure - a week, a month, a year?)

 

Also when will it be possible to block specific websites? Blocking a site by name would allow customers to protect their family from cached porn images even if a search engine is not recognised by EE (e.g. Yandex). It would also help in many other situations, such as a recovering gambler restricting their access to gambling sites. Other ISPs provide this feature to block specific sites chosen by the user.

 

These issues are of critical importance because right now EE strict content control setting DOES NOT WORK. It is trivially easy to find porn on EE strict mode, the user does not need any technical knowledge of proxies or VPNs, indeed even a child can be viewing porn on EE strict mode within seconds.

 

by BlueCookie Contributor
Contributor

Re: Porn is not blocked by "Strict" content lock

@Northerner Yes I do want the option of  "Chinese type controls" as you put it. I have the right to dictate which sites my children can visit. But I need EE to implement a solution for that.

 

Using censorship software on the device itself is fraught with problems. Even OpenDNS is quite problematic as it has too many false positives and prevents legitimate requests like regular gmail attachments.

 

by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: Porn is not blocked by "Strict" content lock

@BlueCookie

 

EE don't control the Internet and are not responsible for how you or anyone use your devices. Even the Chinese state controlled garden wall Internet can be bypassed.

 

If you want total control then don't give them a smartphone, but rather a basic phone with no Internet access or maybe educate them on safe usage. 

 

Thanks




To contact EE Customer Services dial 150 From your EE mobile or 07953 966 250 from any other phone.

EE standard opening hours are 8am to 9pm weekday, 8am to 8pm on weekends.
by Skilled Contributor
Skilled Contributor

Re: Porn is not blocked by "Strict" content lock

Move to Apple and iOS. Can do all that via Screen Time settings.

 

ewan

by BlueCookie Contributor
Contributor

Re: Porn is not blocked by "Strict" content lock

@ewanrw thank you, I have tested out the "website restrictions" section on an iphone and I can see that safesearch is enforced on Google, Bing, Yahoo and DuckDuckGo.

 

So it seems this is technically possible because all search engines support "safe search" at the DNS level. I would like EE to offer a similar feature at a network level so that customers may enjoy the same level of safety on Android or other non-Apple devices.

 

by BlueCookie Contributor
Contributor

Re: Porn is not blocked by "Strict" content lock

@James_B - I'm still waiting to know what is the timescale for EE to implement "safe search" for all search engines and not just Google.

 

It seems that Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo and Yandex all support safesearch at the DNS level which will allow EE to enforce safe search when "strict content lock" is selected on the EE website.

 

by
EE Community Support Team

Re: Porn is not blocked by "Strict" content lock

Hi @BlueCookie,

 

Sorry, I don't have a timescale I can share with you at this time, but I'll let you know if I get any updates.

 

Thanks

 

James

by BlueCookie Contributor
Contributor

Re: Porn is not blocked by "Strict" content lock

@James_B 

 

By failing to block porn in the major search engines, even when "strict content block" is enabled, I believe EE is currently in violation of the BBFC guidelines on content. It would be a shame if the BBFC, who are acting as the current regulator, had to resort to punitive measures in this case.

 

Could you please urgently escalate this issue to the appropriate team at EE, or let me know specifically who I should contact? I would like a proper response to the fact that massive amounts of pornographic content is freely available via the major search engines, for EE accounts that have strict content block enabled.

 

by Skilled Contributor
Skilled Contributor

Re: Porn is not blocked by "Strict" content lock

by Grand Master
Grand Master

Re: Porn is not blocked by "Strict" content lock

@BlueCookie   Have you complained to these other search engine providers that this is possible?  While EE and google are working together to make sure that if content lock is enabled it stays enabled the other search providers also need to make sure that if it’s enabled it is enabled.  If by using these other providers you can get around the lock via their own settings then surely they need to be informed.   While EE can inform them and work with them to make sure all is working correctly unfortunately nothing is a quick fix and these things take time.   

 

Can you not set the device so only one search engine is usable?  Ie a lock setting on the device to stop certain changes on the device.   What device is it as someone might be able to give you advice if this is possible. 

by
EE Community Support Team

Re: Porn is not blocked by "Strict" content lock

Hi @BlueCookie.

 

As @James_B mentioned earlier in the thread, this has been fed back to our network team.

 

We'll let you know if we get any further updates.

 

Jon

by BlueCookie Contributor
Contributor

Re: Porn is not blocked by "Strict" content lock

@Chris_B I have discovered that all the major search engines ALREADY provide a means for network providers to ENFORCE safe search at a network level (if the user desires). Many phone networks have employed this method with Google, but have left the other search engines wide open.

 

I would like the Network Team at EE to enforce safe search on all the major search engines, just like they do with Google. Here is a comprehensive set of documentation explaining in detail how to achieve this:

 

Other useful guides - by reading these you can see how much thought and effort has already been made in the right direction - it's now up to the network providers to implement these features for customers:

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