ISPs and civil rights groups attack government 'porno filter' plans - PC Retail

ISPs and civil rights groups attack government 'porno filter' plans

Accusations of censorship "by the back door"
Author:
Publish date:
6_vaizeytool184.jpg

The coalition government’s plans for a default ‘porno filter’ implemented at the ISP level have come under attack from the ISP industry and civil rights groups.

Government Communication Minister Ed Vaizey had called pornography “a very serious matter” and that he thought it was the job of Internet Service Providers to “come up with solutions to protect children.”

However the ISP representative body the ISPA issued a statement saying: “ISPA firmly believes that the controls on the access of children to the Internet should be managed by parents and carers with the tools many ISPs provide, rather than being imposed top-down.”

Civil rights campaigners expressed concern that the move was an attempt to implement a government-controlled censorship system which could be expanded beyond the pornography mandate to other websites the government may decide it didn’t want the public to see.

Boss of the UK based Open Rights Group Jim Killock said: “This is the wrong way to go. If the government controlled a web blacklist, you can bet that Wikileaks would be on it. This is not about pornography, it is about generalised censorship through the back door.”

The government has indicated that it wants ISPs to implement a default filter to protect children from seeing pornography online but those customers could ‘opt out’ of the filter.

There has as yet been no clarification on exactly what material would be blocked or who would decide what material should be blocked. Ed Vaizey threatened the industry with legislation unless ISPS “get their acts together.”

Related