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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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By Brandon Hill on 4/6/2012 11:01:16 AM , Rating: 5
So these lawmakers have no problem blocking anything related to pornography, but what about violence or extreme gore?

Nekkid boob = banned
Severed head = OK

Note: I don't think that either should be banned, but the hypocrisy is alarming

RE: Violence
By Trisped on 4/6/2012 2:00:16 PM , Rating: 4
How many websites do you know of selling violence and extreme gore? How much money do they make? Are they in the top 100 or top 10 highest grossing industries?

I think this is an example of one person/group trying to slay one dragon at a time, not an issue of hypocrisy.

Note: the proposed bill does not ban the content, it requires an adult's explicit authorization. You and your kids can still get it, as long as an adult opts-in.

RE: Violence
By Brandon Hill on 4/6/2012 2:15:00 PM , Rating: 5
People pay for porn? ;)

Seriously though, wouldn't this bill be tackling freely available pornography anyway? It's not like kids will be getting into pay porn sites...

This isn't an issue of money, this is an issue of a select group of people projecting their morality values on others.

This is not an issue for government. Parents should be policing this themselves. If your underage kids are accessing porn on your home computers against your will, YOU have failed.

RE: Violence
By Jeffk464 on 4/6/2012 8:40:30 PM , Rating: 2
The brits are ok with boobs, they even show their heads on network TV. I think they want to avoid exposing kids to hardcore sex.

RE: Violence
By PrinceGaz on 4/7/2012 10:42:12 AM , Rating: 2
Boobs can't be the issue as any kid can go into a newsagent here in the UK and buy a tabloid newspaper which has a topless model on page 3.

RE: Violence
By Invane on 4/6/2012 11:17:47 PM , Rating: 2
Makes you wonder about our priorities, huh? God forbid some kid see a picture of a naked boob. What exactly do they think is going to happen?

The censorship aspect of this does concern me though. Now you have to opt in to some list in order to view pornography. I don't like it at all.

RE: Violence
By Reclaimer77 on 4/7/2012 11:58:44 AM , Rating: 1
This kind of blows away the continued stereotype of Americans being prudes and the UK being fully comfortable and embracing of human sexuality.

Online "Safety" bill....lmao!

"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates

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