Friday, December 24, 2010

UK Government Wants "Opt Out" Parental Control

Follow-up on a previous post (here) - Caroline Davies from UK's Guardian reports that Ed Vaizey, the communications minister is going "to meet internet providers, including BT, Virgin Media and TalkTalk, "in the near future" to discuss changing the way pornography enters private homes".

See "Broadband firms urged to block sex websites to protect children" - here.

The new idea will be that "broadband providers should consider automatically blocking sex sites, with individuals being required to opt in to receive them, rather than opt out and use the available computer parental controls."

"Virgin Media said that it had already implemented the technology on its mobile service, but said that parents can control what their children see at home and online. A BT spokesman said they had a "clean feed" system to stop access to illegal sites."

BT''s response refers to a different requirement, which UK ISPs decided to implement on a "self-regulation" basis - blocking  web sites presenting illegal content, such as child pornography to all subscribers (known as "blacklist" and monitored by organizations like the IWF - Internet Watch Foundation).

 "Andrew Heaney, TalkTalk's executive director of strategy and regulation, told the newspaper: "Our objective was not to do what the politicians want us but to do what is right for our customers. If other companies aren't going to do it of their own volition, then maybe they should be leant on." [see DPI Deployment (15) : TalkTalk Uses Huawei to Detect Malware (or Parental Control?) - here

There is a big difference between the blacklist and a full paternal control service - including the size of the URL database, its update rate, and the need for subscriber awareness, policy-based control and service portal when implementing paternal control.

Related links:

Infonetics Research: Policy Management is not only Bandwidth Control - here
Kosher Mobile Internet - Cellcom Israel Offers Web Filtering - here

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