Tories latest cut: Internet porn?

Communications minister Ed Vaizey is set to meet the top ISP's "in the near future" to discuss the possibility of internet pornography being automatically blocked in the UK.

It is suggested that the Government is keen to switch to a blanket block, with users having to opt-in if they want to view pornography on their web devices.

Vaizey is to meet the likes of BT, Virgin Media and TalkTalk to discuss changing the way pornography enters people's homes, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills confirmed. The idea is to protect children from being exposed to pornography on the net.

It is thought that a similar method to the one that is currently in place to stop people inadvertently viewing child-pornography would be used.

"This is a very serious matter. I think it is very important that it's the ISPs that some up with solutions to protect children", Vaizey said. 

"I'm hoping they will get their acts together so that we don't have to legislate, but we are keeping an eye on the situation and we will have a new communications bill in the next couple of years".

Pocket-lint editor Stuart Miles appeared on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Monday morning to discuss the problem.

He pointed out that, despite campaigners praising the proposal, it is both a difficult and ambiguous approach.

"It's a lovely idea and a lovely notion that we should protect our children and I'm all for that", he said. "But actually monitoring that and policing that is an incredibly difficult thing to do".

"The problem I have with this solution is that it's a slippery slope".

"Where do you limit it, who decides what is healthy pornography, and what is bad pornography?"

Claire Perry, a Conservative MP who has campaigned for tighter controls with web pornography said last month that 60 per cent of 9 to 19-year-olds had accessed porn online, with only 15 per cent of parents knowing how to filter websites.

Surely the Government should therefore concentrate on educating parents as to how to block access on their PCs rather than dictating to the masses what can, and what cannot be seen.

After all, 1984 was a very long time ago.

You can listen back to Stuart's appearance on Today over on the BBC's website.



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