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Cameron on internet porn

Family friendly content filters are proposed by Prime Minister David Cameron, to combat online pornography. By the end of this year, when someone sets up a new broadband account the settings to install family friendly filters will be automatically selected, the PM said.

Cameron called on ‘Google, Bing, Yahoo and the rest’ to act, as a moral duty. He spoke of the cultural challenge that ‘many children are watching online pornography – and finding other damaging material online – at an increasingly young age’.

He praised companies like Vodafone that he said already do a good job at giving parents advice about online safety; ‘they spend millions on it and today they are launching the latest edition of their digital parenting guide’.

For the speech in full visit the Number 10 website.

Comment

Andrew Ferguson, site editor of thinkbroandband.com, said: “The new code of practice that will see some of the most wide reaching changes to the Internet experience of millions in the UK has been announced by the Prime Minister David Cameron, but it is with some concern the area of legal adult pornography is so closely linked with the child abuse material. On the area of policing child abuse, there is an easy consensus that it should be removed from the Internet as part of a wider campaign to reduce the amount of real life child abuse that occurs. Over the years the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) has done instrumental work at driving this sort of material out of the UK and co-operation with overseas agencies is having an effect worldwide. The ‘moral duty’ on larger search engine providers like Bing and Google to operate warning messages when people use search phrases associated with child abuse material online as a measure to reduce the gateway effect where people may be drawn into the dark illegal world has a much wider potential for creating collateral damage.

“The area of default-on Internet safety filters where new broadband customers of the largest providers are presented with a filter page to block pornography is set as the default option will make the job of applying filters easier for parents, but by the same token their simplicity may also be their problem. Parents will know all too well that embarrassing time of life when your children become teenagers, and in the current economic climate continue to live at home well past their 16th birthday. With new network level filtering, it becomes very difficult to present different levels of filtering for the varying ages in a home.

“So while we can expect a cleaner more family friendly Internet there will be many questions left unanswered and it is right that people ask lots of questions. We hope that parents do not rely solely on the new filtering measures, no filtering system can be perfect, there will be cases of over blocking and under blocking and as parents it is duty to install responsibility on our children and answer all those questions which usually start with a simple – why? Blocking pornography will not create a child safe internet connection; there will still be masses of violence, gambling, drugs, alcohol and other content you may want to block. The reality is that a true child safe Internet connection is actually pretty limited.”


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