UK unveils plan to block online porn by default

By on July 22, 2013, 10:15 AM
porn, united kingdom, uk, david cameron, porn ban

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has revealed a plan that will effectively block all online pornography from being accessed in the nation, with the government attempting to crack down on the "corroding" influence of adult content on children. Under the plan, porn will be blocked by default for UK households, and anyone wishing to disable the filters will have to contact their internet service provider to make the change.

The plan will be introduced by the end of next year, according to The Guardian, and as a first step, by the end of this year anyone who sets up a new broadband account or switches providers will have to disable the filters to access porn. When going through the process of setting up an account, the ISP-level filters will be enabled by default, and can only be removed by the account holder. Cameron said that "it should not be the case that technically literate children can just flick the filters off at the click of a mouse without anyone knowing".

Aside from introducing filtering of porn, Cameron also announced that it will be illegal to posses "extreme pornography", which covers content such as simulated rape. The government is also working with the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Center (CEOP) to create a blacklist of "abhorrent" search terms with the idea that this will help prevent pedophiles from accessing illegal content. Cameron is calling on the major search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo to block "sick" content through measures such as the blacklist.

The Rape Crisis group in the UK has put their support behind the plans, stating that "the government today has made a significant step forward in preventing rapists using rape pornography to legitimise and strategise their crimes and, more broadly, in challenging the eroticisation of violence against women and girls."

It remains to be seen how effective the mandatory filters will be at preventing children (and adults) from accessing online porn. Methods to get around the block will likely be posted online shortly after the filters are introduced, meaning that people could make a quick search to find out how to bypass the filter and access adult content once again.

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