Cyber Security Made Easy

CybersecurityBy Amrit Chuvakrebs
Special to YNOT

LONDON – Earlier this month, the UK’s Dept. for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) published a consultation detailing the UK’s current efforts to block access to online pornography on the part of minors and recommending a “robust” new system for online age-verification for required use by operators of pornographic websites.

While the consultation represents an admirable effort on the part of those involved in its writing, as a cyber security expert and father of at least four children by at least two different women — one of whom still occasionally speaks to me (albeit only at custody hearings) — I’m concerned the proposed measures don’t go nearly far enough to ensure the online safety of children.

According to the consultation, the DCMS has a clear objective: “to protect children from distressing or unrealistic images of sex,” something the DCMS clearly understands isn’t going to be easy, unless we poke out the eyes of every child immediately upon their birth — an obviously pragmatic and sensible proposal I’ve been forced to abandon, in light of the fact it never gets very far with any legislative body to which I suggest it.

Given kids have a variety of means at their disposal to seek out and consume ruinous pornography, the DCMS says “more than one solution is needed” and “there is no single solution here.”

“Tech savvy young people determined to access pornography will always find ways to do so, and the internet is only one of the routes via which children are exposed to pornography,” the DCMS stated in its consultation.

Personally, I think this is a cop-out. In my opinion, there is a simple solution to this problem, and it requires doing only one thing. Despite what you’ve heard, cyber security —unlike pimping — is easy. All we need to do is ban the internet itself.

Now, I know this idea isn’t going to be popular with some, like businesses that make money from any manner of online endeavor, porn addicts and anybody under the age of dead, but if you think about it, the only way we can truly ensure kids aren’t harmed by the internet is to kill the internet before it can kill our children.

It’s also true that banning the internet will solve a lot more than exposing kids to pornography. Just think how much less spam you’ll receive once you can no longer receive email at all, for example.

Without the internet to aid and abet their nefarious hobbies, identity thieves will have to go back to old-fashioned fraud techniques, the hacktivists known as Anonymous will have to go back to playing Dungeons & Dragons, and we’ll never have to read another inane tweet from Martin Shkreli, even if he buys the only remaining copy of some shitty rap album and subsequently refuses to testify in front of Congress about how he became such an utterly contemptible cocksucker.

Do you waste a lot of time on Facebook? Well, if we ban the internet, you can turn your attention to more productive and socially useful activities like scrapbooking; taking long, satisfying dumps or getting really, really high and traumatizing Mormon missionaries who show up at your door.

The list of benefits that will stem from shutting down the internet goes on and on. ISIS can’t use the internet to recruit new members if there is no internet, Donald Trump won’t have his very important daily business interrupted by nearly as many haters and/or losers and I’ll again never accidentally text a picture of my scrotum to any of my former employers.

Most importantly, though, closing down the internet will mean it’s virtually impossible for kids to get their hands on pornography, because all the available porn will be found in stuff like magazines, books and DVDs, none of which your kids would be caught dead looking at, because those things are for lame, stupid old people — just like reading, cleaning up your own messes and working for a living.

As has often been said in a professional sports context, “the best defense is a good offense.” While this axiom sometimes makes me wonder why we never see an NFL coach trot out his offense to defend against the advance of the other team’s offense, when it comes to cyber security it still makes perfect sense.

Look, if porn were attacking our kids through a hole in the floor, we’d just close the hole, right? I’ll tell you what we wouldn’t do: We wouldn’t endlessly debate whether or not to try putting a different filter over the hole or complain about people who have good information to offer about women’s health not being able to climb into our bedrooms in the middle of the night with stethoscopes, charts and graphs.

Just as we all know how to fix a big hole in a hardwood floor (duct tape and popsicle sticks), we also know how to stop the march of internet porn. The real question is, do we have the will to do it?

For the future of our society’s children, including every one of them I may or may not have fathered, I sincerely hope the answer is yes.


Amrit Chuvakrebs, is the former CEO of Impervicon Security, primary author behind the cyber security blog SecBodhisattva and advocate of radical legislative reform as a vehicle for making the internet a substantially safer place by completely denying access to it on the part of all potential web users.

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Ben Suroeste

Gene Zorkin has been covering legal and political issues for various adult publications (and under a variety of pen names) since 2002.

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