UK consultation over automatic blocking of Internet porn nears conclusion

A recent consultation about whether Internet porn should be blocked automatically is drawing to a close in the UK. The Department for Education wanted to look at whether it would be a good idea to have an opt in system for pornography. The idea would be that if people wanted to access pornography on the Internet they would have to opt in with their ISP.

This is something that has been met with heavy criticism by Internet rights campaigners, and concern has also been raised by Internet service providers. They have stated that there should be a system where people can choose, but if they want to have it blocked that is when they have to make the decision, it should not be something that they have to opt in for, but rather something that they have to opt out of.

This is something that some ISP’s have started offering, although it is only available to new customers currently. This means that the vast majority of people who are already connected to the Internet, do not have the option of doing so. It is predicted that a petition that contains over 100,000 signatures is going to be delivered to the government in order to demand an opt in system, which has the backing of Claire Perry, a Conservative member of Parliament.

In an interview with the BBC, Ms Perry commented, “The fact that we have got so much support through this petition, suggests that many people like the idea of opt in. We are happy to see a watershed on the television, and pin protection on satellite, but when it comes to the Internet, this is something that we don’t have. The onus is based entirely on the customer, and this is something that we want to change.” This has been described as a way to help parents filter inappropriate content.