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Porn block

September 2013

On 22 July, the Prime Minister announced plans to automatically block access to online pornography, after warning that explicit images available on internet websites are ‘corroding childhood’.

In a speech to the NSPCC, David Cameron said that internet users wanting access to pornography will be required to ‘opt-in’ under the new regime, unless they choose to have the filters removed.

Harmful online content will be blocked automatically for all new customers, whereas existing users will be contacted by their internet providers and presented ‘with an unavoidable decision about whether or not to install family-friendly content filters’.

The UK’s biggest internet service providers have all agreed to offer the filters, which would apply to both home and public Wi-Fi networks, ‘wherever children are likely to be present’, including railway stations and cafés.

CARE, which has been working actively for the protection of families online since 2009, welcomed the announcement.

In a statement, the charity said it had been working closely with Baroness Howe, a long-time campaigner for child internet safety, strongly backing her online safety bill which is currently before Parliament, in a bid to change the law in this area.

A CARE spokesman said: ‘We have campaigned for the strict restriction of access to explicit material by the ISPs and mobile phone operators to those who are 18 or over. This would be done by requiring a user to provide identification in order to verify their age’.

In a statement Baroness Howe said: ‘It is very good news that filters will be turned on by default and shall not be overridden unless the user is 18 or over and opts-in to access adult content.

‘I particularly welcome the commitment on age verification. Whichever mechanism you select for protecting children online (‘active choice’, ‘default-on’ or ‘opt-in’), it will not work without robust age verification’.

 

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