Porn to be opt-in only with UK's biggest ISPs

Written by Antony Leather

October 11, 2011 // 12:20 p.m.

Tags: #internet-porn #isp-blocking-porn #porn-to-be-opt-in-only-with-uks-biggest-isps

Customers of the UK's four largest ISPs will soon have to specifically opt-in to view sexually explicit websites.

An article at The Guardian states that the measures will be introduced to shield children from sexualised imagery.

The ISPs enforcing the measures will include BT, Sky, Talk Talk and Virgin Media, with subscribers being blocked from sites hosting sexually explicit material by default. As a result, parents will gain more control over which websites are viewable over the household's Internet connection.

To view blocked websites, subscribers will have to opt to do so, although no information on how far the measures will reach, or how subscribers will be able to opt-in, has yet been released.

The measures have been previously proposed by the Mother's Union, members of which are meeting David Cameron today, when he is expected to announce the new measures. Restrictions are also expected relating to content on billboards and other forms of advertising and children's clothing.

Earlier this year, David Cameron wrote to the Mother's Union chief executive, Reg Bailey, saying:

'As you say, we should not try and wrap children up in cotton wool or simply throw our hands up and accept the world as it is. Instead, we should look to put 'the brakes on an unthinking drift towards ever-greater commercialisation and sexualisation.'

However, the proposed measures have already attracted concern from consumer groups, depending on how they'll be enforced. Commenting on the latest proposals on The Open Rights Group blog, the organisation's executive director, Jim Killock, said 'that there is a world of difference between offering sensible child safety, and trying to persuade adults to live with layers of censorship.

'Thus the devil is therefore in the detail, and how “options” are presented. Will adults be asked if they need parental controls, or if they want to “adult content” switched on? We will oppose anything designed to induce adults to live with censorware which would inevitably deny citizens access to commentary, health and medical advice.'


Do you agree with the proposed measures? Let us know in the forum.

UPDATE: Our sister site PC Pro now has a full run down of what each of the four major ISPs are actually doing.

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