Government Demands ISPs Do More To Block Porn

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Government finally comes to its senses on managing porn sites by placing the onus on service providers

The UK government has rejected calls to take a heavy-handed approach on keeping children safe on the Internet, saying it will not be pursuing default porn blocking.

The debate over blocking websites with explicit material has been raging for years but Tory MP Claire Perry re-ignited the issue this year when she demanded an opt-in system, where such sites would be blocked by default.

Opponents have argued children would be able to get around ISP-enforced porn blocking easily and that such technical measures would be costly and ineffective.

Self censorship

The government appears to have agreed. Following a consultation with parents and other interested parties, the Department of Education decided that, as respondents wanted to control filtering themselves rather than let ISPs like BT and Virgin choose, default blocking was not an option.

This is despite the fact there was “marginally more support” for default filtering at the network level, with 14 percent of respondents saying they would like it. That compared with nine percent who wanted the parents choosing controls and seven percent who were for a combination of default filtering and parental choice.

According to the consultation response, there was “no great appetite among parents for the introduction of default filtering of the internet by their ISP”.

The Coalition will instead be taking a light-touch approach, leaning on ISPs to be more active in helping parents. “Government will not prescribe detailed solutions, but we will expect industry to adapt the principles of this approach to their services,” the consultation response read.

This article appeared on TechWeekEurope. Click here for the full story.