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.
“[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.