Internet porn won't be blocked in UK

Ministers have decided against a blanket ban on internet porn in the UK. A campaign was started in May to bring about a law to force internet service providers to block access to online pornography, much like they must do with The Pirate Bay.

Those who wished to access porn would have to apply to their ISP to have the restriction lifted on a case-by-case basis. The original campaigners claimed a ban would stop children getting access to inappropriate materials.

However, the British government says the move has not been widely supported and it has therefore rejected the idea, favouring the option to have ISPs educate parents on how to block adult content themselves.

In a public consultation, only 35 per cent of  parents surveyed wanted an automatic bar, with 15 per cent wanting the content filtered, with an option to block further material. That left 50 per cent - a majority - wanting no ban.

Claire Perry, the Conservative MP for Devizes in Wiltshire who lead the campaign, told BBC News she was disappointed, but was happy that internet providers will now be encouraged to outline restriction options for parents.

"[I'm] obviously disappointed that the opt-in option has been rejected," she said. "Clearly that was not the preferred choice of the 3,500 people who responded to the consultation and we have to base policy on what's been received not what we want."

The NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) said parents' voices were not being heard, alluding to the small number polled in the consultation. Only 757 of the 3,500 surveyed were parents specifically, the others were other members of the public, academics, charities and communication companies.

While celebrated by those who believe that such a blanket ban would have been an attack on our civil liberties, the move has outraged many others. One commenter on the BBC's website goes as far to say, "A total ban on pornography, enforceable by law with strict punishments for transgression, is the only - and appropriate - answer."

What do you think? Is this a good day for civil liberties? Should this even have become an issue? Or did you agree with the campaign? Let us know in the comments below...

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