UK to switch internet filters on by default

British Prime Minister David Cameron is set to force internet service providers in the UK to enable parental filters for all UK homes by default, forcing customers to opt out of the system rather than opt in.

According to Ars Technica, the move was recommended by Cameron’s special advisor on preventing the sexualisation and commercialisation of childhood, Claire Perry, and will be in force by the end of the year.

The move follows the release of a report, called the Bailey Review of the commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood, and echoes the now abandoned plans by Australian Communications Minister Stephen Conroy to introduce a mandatory internet filter.

Earlier this month, Perry outlined the proposal in an editorial in The Daily Mail.

“To be clear: the taking, making, distribution or possession of any sexual image depicting a child under 18 is illegal – no ifs, no buts. Why, then, if this content is illegal, can it be found, online, in the UK?” Perry stated.

“At the moment, the protection system relies heavily on ordinary web users – you and me – taking the time to report an image, and to assuming that we would want to acknowledge to anyone that we had found such disgusting and disturbing material.

“Surely, the blocking would be much more effective if internet companies, whose business models are based on trawling websites across the world, did more to report sites containing illegal child abuse images to the IWF, and funded it better?”

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