ISPs block adult sites

By Rachel Hand topicIcon Internet News

Cameron launches clean-up

Four major internet service providers (ISPs) will ask users to opt in to adult content, as part of the UK government's drive to prevent the sexualisation of children.

Prime Minister David Cameron is today meeting with representatives from Christian charity Mothers' Union. Earlier this year, Cameron commissioned the charity to produce a report on child protection measures. Several of the ideas the charity put forward will be backed by the PM, although it has not been revealed whether the measures will be enforced by law.

BT, Sky, Talk Talk and Virgin will be asking new subscribers whether they want to block adult content on their home PC, laptop or mobile devices. Users will then have to opt in to view any explicit content. Furthermore, a new website called Parentport is set to launch, where parents can complain about any site, advertisement or product they deem unsuitable for children; Parentport will then forward the complaint to the relevant regulator. Other changes set to be backed include restrictions on music videos, billboards, TV advertising and clothing designs.

The profane domain

Last month saw the launch of a new .xxx domain by ICM Registry. This global domain was intended for use by the adult entertainment industry, with ICM Registry boasting that the nature of its content would be 'clearly signposted'. Meanwhile, users who didn't want to see that kind of material would be able to steer well clear.

Tom Glass, creative director at theEword, said: "Helping adults avoid explicit sites with warnings or a scheme like the .xxx domain is all very well. However, it's easy to imagine that parents would want an additional level of control and security, so an ISP-level block could be an ideal solution for young families or schools."