Future measures to be introduced restricting public access to pornography

A new nationwide Internet filter for pornographic content is to be introduced in the UK according to government officials. The new restrictions, which users will have to opt out of as opposed to opt in, are to be implemented by default across all homes by the start of 2014.

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“[In the UK] we will have filters where if you do nothing, the parental filters will come pre-ticked,” said Claire Perry MP, David Cameron’s special adviser on the issue of children and pyrography, who announced the new initiative at a Westminster eForum on 14 June.

The move is the latest in a 3-year long government effort to restrict access to pornography online. David Cameron, speaking on the issue, says the new filters are designed to help ensure children are unable to access unsuitable material online:

We need to make more progress on this issue of explaining to everybody that we want to have better filters that parents can switch on to stop access to certain sites and material.’

‘The world has changed so fundamentally with the internet that we’ve got some real threats there to our children […] we’ve to take a lot of action.

There was initially speculation that the government would force ISPs to block access to pornographic content, which would only be made available if a consumer specially requested access to it. This is not the case however. ISPs are voluntarily rolling out the new filters as well, meaning no new legislation or regulations are required.

Although no filter will be able to fully restrict access to any kind of content – there will always be a way to bypass any blocks – the government believes it will help parents better regulate what content their children can access on the Internet.

2 COMMENTS

  1. This will, as with anything the government attempts, actually make matters worse in terms of children accessing porn. Parents will be comforted by the fact that the ever-caring, all-knowing state is protecting their children, and therefore they don’t need to supervise or monitor their children’s internet usage as much – the state is in loco parentis. The problem, of course, is that these filters will be easy to bypass, and children will share the techniques for doing so in the playground, over BBM, and on social networks. This move by the government will actually mean that more children access porn, not fewer.

    • Any tech-savvy teenager will no doubt be able to easily bypass these measures, you are correct. Adult content will be available through p2p, Torrents, or even spread through email or messaging services. The new filters will only present a minor obstacle to any individual who wishes to access such content.

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