Government Decides Against Opt-In Porn Filter

Last week, a cross-party committee of MPs made a strong call for service providers to be forced to adopt an "opt-in" system of pornography censorship.

Such a scheme would mean that pornography was filtered out by default, and a customer would have to contact the ISP (and provide age verification) to lift the filters. This rightly worried rights activists, who saw it as a dangerous road to tread in terms of internet freedom.

Big Brother Watch called it a "moral argument, not a serious attempt to understand the challenges of new technology".

However, it seems that the government isn't going to take this route. Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, is apparently favouring an "active decision" system to help prevent the increasing amount of youngsters who are accessing adult content online.

Under this system, ISPs would ask customers whether they wanted pornography filters enabled, when they logged on. Although it isn't clear whether this would be a one-time question, or a query that would be asked before every online session (the former, we'd imagine).

According to sources at Whitehall, Hunt has definitely decided against an outright, opt-in ban, but not due to reasons of civil liberties being infringed.

Hunt has previously said: "I think we may need to go further in the Communications Act and make it a requirement that all ISPs get all their customers to make an active decision about the level of filtering and the level of parental controls that they wish to have. So that, I think, would be the best way to deal with the issue of offensive content."

Source: The Telegraph