Cameron’s ‘porn filter’ rejected by providers

David Cameron

Campaigners for tough controls dealt a blow as service providers stand firm

LAST UPDATED AT 15:18 ON Mon 17 Oct 2011

A LEAKED copy of internet service providers’ plans for pornography control has been met with dismay from MPs and child protection groups, according to The Sunday Times.
 
A government-backed scheme - dubbed ‘Cameron’s porn filter’ - had called for tighter restrictions which would have forced adult users to sign up in order to access websites with graphic content.
 
Instead ISPs will offer parents advice on how to install controls but will not include a default block, which they claim would be expensive, impractical and involve too much censorship.
 
Claire Perry, a Conservative MP who has pushed for mandatory age-verification technology, described the plans as "deeply disappointing".
 
"These measures are barely any different from the protection being offered [already]", Perry said. "We were hoping for a compulsory opt-in for graphic content but instead have a weak optional opt-out."
 
The ISPs deny that they ever committed to tougher restrictions, and are confident that their new guidelines will meet the recommendations of the government's Bailey Report, which assessed the risks of children being sexualised by web pornography.
 
Lucie Russell, campaign director for the Young Minds children's charity, called the measures "over-complicated and inadequate". There is a feeling among the campaigners that ISPs are happy to prioritise the high traffic they receive from pornographic websites over concerns about child welfare.
 
Pornography accounts for a quarter of all clicks on the web, and around 80 per cent of children aged 14-16 watch it.
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