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Entanet questions David Cameron's decision to "dictate" ISPs on porn filtering - PC Retail

Entanet questions David Cameron's decision to "dictate" ISPs on porn filtering

'Service providers will incur additional costs which will have to be passed on to customers'
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Wholesale communications provider Entanet has questioned the UK Government's decision to block online pornography by default, as it says this will make life more difficult for internet service providers (ISPs).

Prime Minister David Cameron recently announced plans to work with search engine providers to apply web content filters for certain search terms, in order to protect children.

Entanet says it supports this initiative, but is asking whether ISPs should be responsible for controlling access to web content, rather than parents and guardians. It claims that the new filtering requirements - which will block porn by default - will increase costs to customers.

Neil Watson, Head of Service Operations at Entanet, said: “Cameron has stipulated that ISPs must swing the technology sledgehammer to protect these customers’ children. To do that will inevitably incur additional cost which will be passed on to all customers, regardless of whether they have children or not.

"In a market in which the big players are able to leverage their economies of scale, such an imposition by government serves only to make it even harder for smaller ISPs to compete against them to win customers. Perhaps that’s what Cameron ultimately wants – a market served by a small handful of big players whom it vainly thinks it can control via Ofcom. Most would agree that doesn’t generally happen.

He added: “Rather than take a dictatorial approach to blocking content to all Internet customers, shouldn’t ISPs be allowing children’s parents or guardians to be primarily responsible for controlling what they see? It’s our opinion that content filters should be switched on at the request of parents or guardians, not by some draconian dictate from the Government.

"At the moment, the PM’s requests are not compulsory by law and smaller ISPs can continue to offer an internet service without these constraining controls. We will look out for developments of Cameron’s plan with interest.

"No doubt this will continue to be a much-debated topic, both in terms of how acceptable it is to impose controls on customers and the impact it will have on smaller ISPs."

The full opinion piece can be read here.

Huawei and TalkTalk are behind the porn filtering system praised by Cameron.

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