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The Online Safety Bill will make ISPs and mobile service providers offer porn-free Internet unless a user 18 or older opts-in later

A new bill in the United Kingdom aims to force internet service providers (ISPs) and mobile network providers to offer internet packages that exclude access to pornographic material by default.

The new bill, called the Online Safety Bill, was raised in the House of Lords by Baroness Howe of Ildicote. It is a Private Members Bill, which requires government support before it can be made into law.

The Online Safety Bill would require ISPs and mobile network providers to sell internet services to the UK public that automatically blocks porn. In order to gain access to pornographic material, a user that is over 18 years of age must call their provider and ask for it directly. Even if the adult user opts-in, they could still be denied access to porn if the website they search for doesn't have an age verification policy.

In addition, ISPs and mobile operators must provide clear and easily accessible information on their porn-free services from the beginning of the service until the end.

ISPs and mobile service providers aren't the only ones targeted in this bill. Device manufacturers would also have to offer customers a way to filter adult material from the internet when the device is purchased. This rule would apply to all gadgets capable of connecting to the internet.

ISPs are not happy with the Online Safety Bill, and have argued that there are already other options available to parents who want to stop their children from watching inappropriate material.

"It is important for parents to take an active role in what their children see and do online and configure and tailor tools as appropriate," said a spokesperson for the Internet Service Providers' Association (ISPA). "Many ISPs already offer solutions as part of their service to help prevent users accessing unwanted content online and ISPs actively promote these to their customers.

"Filtering by default will only reduce the degree of active interest and parental mediation, lull parents into a false sense of security and lead to over blocking. The question also arises of who decides what is pornographic and what is not."

But ISPs, mobile network providers, and device manufacturers may not have to worry too much about the bill. According to PC PRO, Private Members Bills hardly ever pass into law without the support of the government, and it looks as though the government doesn't want much to do with the Online Safety Bill at this point.

"We understand the sentiment behind this Private Members Bill, but it isn’t something that Government would support," said a Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) spokesman. "Much can be achieved through self-regulation and it can be more effective than a regulatory approach in delivering flexible solutions that work for both industry and consumers."

Government restrictions on the internet have proved to be a bad idea recently, with Anonymous China, the Chinese branch of the hacker group Anonymous, defacing and stealing information from nearly 500 Chinese government and corporate websites since March 30. Anonymous China said it did this to rebel against the government's internet censorship.

Sources: Out-Law , PC PRO



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Parents
By amanojaku on 4/6/2012 9:46:14 AM , Rating: 5
Don't want children looking at porn? Make sure the parents are held accountable. To be honest, however, this whole porn issue is way overblown. Little kids aren't (or shouldn't be) aware of porn, and teenagers are already perverted because of hormones. I'm more worried about my kids having unprotected sex than I am of them looking at videos of Two Girls, One Cup. One is just gross, the other is potentially fatal. Priorities...




RE: Parents
By Stuka on 4/6/2012 10:49:32 AM , Rating: 4
I seriously doubt there is any real risk of death from watching 2G1C. ;)


RE: Parents
By Motoman on 4/6/2012 10:58:07 AM , Rating: 2
Mmmm...well, you could be induced to vomit by watching it, and on occasion people do actually choke on their own vomit...


RE: Parents
By amanojaku on 4/6/2012 11:00:40 AM , Rating: 2
Heart attacks and choking on your own vomit! :D


RE: Parents
By Jeffk464 on 4/6/2012 8:39:05 PM , Rating: 2
Whatever happened to the triple X domain? It seems like a pretty sound way to have effective nanny filters.


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