Sunday January 25 ,2015 : NEW BRIT I.S.P. POLICY REQUIRES PUNTERS TO OPT-IN FOR ‘ADULT’ SITES
Moves by ISPs could restrict internet access to "adult" content sites.
Political pressure on British internet service providers to restrict access to "adult" websites offering gambling, violent or pornographic content unless users first opt-in is beginning to produce results.
ISP giant Sky is the first to roll out a version of the new restrictions, announcing last week that it planned to launch the Sky Broadband Shield filtering program by the first week in February. This will entail Sky users changing their settings in order to specifically opt-in to adult sites; if they do not, their access to such sites will be blocked.
Another ISP, TalkTalk, has issued a similar advisory for its HomeSafe filter, likewise destined for roll-out in February, and requiring users to opt-in for access to adult sites.
BT and Virgin Media have taken a different approach, with BT undertaking a user survey asking its customers how they would feel about automated filtering, and Virgin leaving the decision on whether to activate filtering or not to its clients…so far only 10 percent have taken the option.
The danger, as ever, is that ISP blocks are too enthusiastically applied and end up impacting perfectly legitimate entities, a point already being made by internet freedom action groups that have been quick to seize on bad examples of over-blocking (remember the furore in Australia over a government attempt at ISP blocking and the unintended victims several years ago?)
Heightening tensions on the issue, a 2014 report from watchdog Ofcom revealed that less than 13 percent of users opted in to filtering programs, and that over-blocking errors were not uncommon.