TalkTalk broadband to have age ratings

CEO says scheme could cut down piracy
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Creating a cinema-style age rating system for internet connections could help prevent piracy at its source, according to the CEO of TalkTalk.

Charles Dunstone told the Financial Times that the Carphone Warehouse, which operates TalkTalk broadband, was working on a scheme to allow customers to choose an age rating for their internet connection.

“We are working on introducing parental controls within our network, so your household can decide whether you want to be a U, 14 or 18 certificate or unclassified,” he said.

U or 14 ratings would block every computer on the network from accessing pornography, gambling and file-sharing sites, in the same way many workplaces do.

“Through doing it we can… help the content industry by blacklisting sites that have BitTorrent files on them,” Dunstone told the FT.

Dunstone has spoken out a number of times against the government’s plans to punish illegal file sharers by cutting them off from the internet. Earlier this month, he and a number of other internet service providers signed a letter expressing their concern “that the government’s latest proposals on the ‘how’ to reduce illegal filesharing are misconceived and threaten broadband consumers’ rights and the development of new attractive services.”

The TalkTalk executive also issued a statement criticising the plans last month.

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