Parents to decide if porn will be blocked as standard

A new consultation will allow parents to voice their opinion on three proposed methods for filtering online porn.

Internet porn could be a step closer to being automatically barred from view as the government prepares for a deeper look at potential 'opt-in' measures and asks for parents' views on three possible filtering systems.

The first proposed method involves all adult content to be filtered as standard, with users having to contact their Internet service provider if they choose to view it. The second option is slightly less stringent, involving users being asked whether they wish to view adult content when they connect a specific device to the Internet, including laptops, phones and tablets.

The third option being discussed is a combination of the first two systems, known as 'active choice plus'. It will block content as standard and users will be given a choice to unblock sites as they choose.

The new consultation is the latest stage in the government's review of adult content filters. Members of parliament have been discussing various filtering methods over the past couple of years, arguing that children now have greater access to the Internet over laptops and phones, and as such can easily view potentially harmful material -- not only pornography, but also websites promoting self-harm, anorexia and suicide.

"We have always been clear we would turn up the heat on industry if it did not make fast enough progress," said children's minister Tim Loughton. But such filters can never be "100 per cent foolproof", he warned. "There can never be any substitute for parents taking responsibility for how, when and where their children use the Internet."

A good point, but it does raise the question of why everybody should be subject to such censorship if it's not going to be effective anyway. Perhaps a more appropriate course of action is to better equip parents with the knowledge needed to protect their children from harmful material.

The consultation will last for 10 weeks, after which the views will be discussed by parliament before any new legislation is created.

What do you think to the proposed filters? Is it right to censor everyone in an attempt to protect kids? Let me know your safe-for-work thoughts in the comments below or over on our squeaky clean Facebook page.

Tags:
Software
About the author

Andrew is a senior editor at CNET and has always been fascinated by tech. When not getting up close and personal with the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.

 

ARTICLE DISCUSSION

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

Hot on CNET

The Next Big Thing

Consoles go wide and far beyond gaming with power and realism.