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TalkTalk to give broadband film-style ratings

Parental controls could reduce internet piracy

TalkTalk is developing film-style classifications for its broadband connections in a bid to reduce internet piracy.

TalkTalk's CEO Charles Dunstone said: "We are working on introducing parental controls within our network, so your household can decide whether you want to be a U, 14 or 18 certificate or unclassified."

Dunstone said that by choosing a U or 14 rating, computers using that connection would be prevented from accessing filesharing, pornography and gambling sites.

"Whilst it won't stop all piracy it could help to reduce significantly the volume of files that are downloaded illegally," Dunstone added.

He said that "through doing it we can also help the content industry by blacklisting sites that have BitTorrent files on them".

Dunstone also revealed that TalkTalk's plans do not "violate basic human rights, nor ride roughshod over judicial process", unlike current proposals by the government which could see illegal filesharers cut-off from the web.

The proposals, which have been subject to a consultation period that ended yesterday, made up part of the Digital Britain report and have been supported by Business Secretary Peter Mandelson.

However, ISPs have slammed the scheme claiming it would cost too much money, which will eventually be passed onto the consumer.

"The approach proposed by Lord Mandelson is based on the principle of 'guilty until proven innocent' and substitutes proper judicial process for a kangaroo court," Dunstone said.

"What is being proposed is wrong in principle and it won't work in practice. The unintended consequence of Mandelson's plan will be to encourage more Wi-Fi and PC hi-jacking and expose more innocent people to being penalised wrongfully."

Dunstone added that TalkTalk will "continue to resist any attempts to make it impose technical measures on its customers (unless directed to do so by a court or recognised tribunal)".

PC security advice

Broadband speed test

See also: BPI alerts BT to 100,000 suspected illegal downloaders


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