New UK porn filters falter as ISPs block sex education and abuse support websites

The de rigueur Internet porn filters demanded by British Prime Minister David Cameron of leading UK ISPs face further criticism, after it was revealed that legitimate sites including sex education resources and domestic abuse support websites had been blocked as a result of the questionable initiative.

BT, TalkTalk, and Sky have all kowtowed to the government's demands to automatically block adult content online, whilst Virgin Media says it is currently trialling the scheme ahead of full rollout next year.

However, an investigation by BBC Newsnight has found the efforts of ISPs to be erratic, with TalkTalk's network failing to detect seven per cent of adult websites, whilst simultaneously blocking access to award-winning sex education site BishUK.com, and the Edinburgh Women's Rape and Sexual Abuse Centre in Scotland.

Sky's porn filter fared considerably better, filtering some 99 per cent of sites deemed offensive, but also blocking six domains linked to sex addiction treatment.

The list of blocked BT sites was similarly flawed, with domains owned by Sexual Health Scotland, the Doncaster Domestic Abuse Helpline, and Reducing the Risk all blockaded.

A BT spokesperson said in a statement: "Categorisations are constantly updated to keep pace with changing content on the internet and we will investigate any concerns and make changes as necessary. BT Parental Controls can be customised to suit each individual family's needs."

"No technology is 100 per cent effective. Parents need the knowledge and the tools to help them keep their children safe online. That is why BT, along with other major ISPs, is investing in a multimillion pound campaign to raise awareness of online safety," BT added.

The four major ISPs will be funding a £25 million advertising initiative in 2014 to explain their support of the PM's porn filters and highlight issues around online child safety.

Earlier in 2013, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales slammed Cameron's porn block plans as "ridiculous."