You are currently browsing EDRi's old website. Our new website is available at https://edri.org

If you wish to help EDRI promote digital rights, please consider making a private donation.


Flattr this

logo

EDRi booklets

UK government said no to default filtering for online pornography

19 December, 2012
» 

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Britische Regierung sagt Nein zur automatischen Filterung pornografisc...


The UK government announced on 14 December 2012 that it rejected a proposal to force Internet providers to block online pornography.

The government’s response to the strong campaigns led by Claire Perry MP and the Daily Mail newspaper is based on a consultation into Internet child safety and parental controls run by the Home Office and the Department of Education between 28 June and 6 September 2012.

The report of the consultation says that parents have not shown too much enthusiasm for default filtering: “There was no great appetite among parents for the introduction of default filtering of the internet by their ISP: only 35 per cent of the parents who responded favoured that approach.” What the parents rather wanted was “information about internet safety risks and what to do about them.” An automatic ban or "opt-in" approach could give parents a "false sense of security" as no filter can block "all potentially harmful content" says the report.

As it was many times argued by civil rights groups and Internet experts, filtering is not a reliable solution as it can be easily circumvented and, furthermore, it can lead to blocking legitimate sites and legal content as it was also shown by a study issued in 2012 by the Open Rights Group in conjunction with the London School of Economics.

However, the government says that Internet providers should actively encourage parents to switch on parental controls. In 2011, BT, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Sky Broadband agreed on a code of practice, and will offer parental internet controls called ActiveChoice. Already, many ISPs offer options to parents who want to block adult content.

Nick Pickles, director of Big Brother Watch, believes the government decision “is a positive step that strikes the right balance between child safety and parental responsibility without infringing on civil liberties and freedom of speech. The policy recognises it is parents, not government, who are responsible for controlling what their children see online and rightly avoids any kind of state-mandated blocking of legal content."

“Porn filters” fail parents and children (17.12.2012)
http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2012/12/internet-blocking-uk-porn/

Internet porn: Automatic block rejected (15.12.2012)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-20738746

Independent Parliamentary Inquiry into Online Child Protection – Findings and Recommendations (04.2012)
http://www.claireperry.org.uk/downloads/independent-parliamentary-inqu...

Ministers reject calls to protect children from online porn by filtering sexual content (15.12.2012)
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2248628/Ministers-reject-calls...

EDRi-gram: UK government wants an automatic filtering of adult sites (4.07.2012)
http://www.edri.org/edrigram/number10.13/uk-law-block-porn

 

Syndicate:

Syndicate contentCreative Commons License

With financial support from the EU's Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Programme.
eu logo