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BT will automatically block porn for new customers

Most complained about network might have more angry customers
Mon Dec 16 2013, 12:35
Could images like these be accidentally filtered by the ISP pornography filters

UK INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER (ISP) BT has announced that it will block pornography by default for new customers, so get ready for some awkward conversations.

BT, which Ofcom outed as the UK's most complained about Pay TV provider today, has become the third UK ISP to introduce the new measures, which see the network following in the footsteps of Sky and Talktalk by introducing network level porn filtering by default.

When new BT customers first access the internet, they will have to choose whether to keep the filters - which block pornography and gambling websites, among others - or switch them off. BT will contact existing customers in 2014 to make the same decisions.

The ISP's customers will be able to choose three levels of filtering - strict, moderate, and light - and BT said that these can be customised to suit the user.

BT MD of marketing and digital Pete Oliver said, "BT takes the issue of online child protection extremely seriously and we are very pleased to be able to launch the whole-home filter to help parents keep their families safe online. It adds to the many tools we already make available for free to our customers.

"We've been focused on the issue of online safety since we developed the world's first Cleanfeed filter to block child abuse images and made the technology available free to other ISPs across the world a decade ago."

Before you start writing an angry letter to BT, it's worth noting that the ISP doesn't really have much choice. BT was pressured by the UK government to block pornography, with Prime Minister David Cameron having announced in July that such filters should be present in every household by the end of 2013.

However, the scheme has already faced a lot of criticism. Petitions have been launched asking the UK government to back down and instead back more education about the safety on the internet, while others have voiced concerns that the filters could end up blocking innocuous websites.

Virgin Media is the only UK ISP that has yet to announce such filtering measures, but it is expected to do so soon. µ

 

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