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80,259 News Articles

Government rejects automatic porn filters

Open Rights Group claims victory against censorship

The government has reportedly backed away from making ISPs turn on porn filters by default, although they are being asked to provide porn filters to parents who connect to the internet for the first time.

In future, reports The Daily Mail, anyone logging onto a new internet service provider for the first time will be asked whether they have children. If they say they have they will automatically be taken through a process of installing anti-pornography filters, if they so wish.

They will be asked a series of questions about how stringent they want those anti-porn restrictions to be. The Daily Mail also says existing users will also be prompted to install porn filters.

If ISPs don't offer the porn filters to parents the government could legislate. Most ISPs do provide filters already though. TalkTalk, for instance, already provides its HomeSafe porn blocker to users, for those concerned about their households coming across widely available free online porn.

Campaigners against the proposals, which include privacy groups, said the propsals - which are expected to be published later this month - say the government has back-tracked from introducing automatic blocks on porn, which users would have to lift themselves.

Automatic blocks on certain content put in place by mobile broadband providers for instance are blamed by campaigners for blocking sites that have nothing to do with porn.

The Open Rights Group, which has campaigned against porn filters by default, has claimed victory.

It said, "Essentially, the 'new' proposals sound very similar to the kind of 'active choice' ISPs have been proposing from this time last year. Given that ISPs want to run active choice for new customers, does the UK really need legislation? This is an evolving field, and is probably best left to the market to figure out."


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