Monday, December 23, 2013

BT Launches DNS-based Parental Control; Does it Log Traffic?

Following the UK Government decision to enforce opt our parental control on all ISPs (here), BT  announced recently a new, network-based, Parental control service.

Tim Guest, BT's Homepage and marketing manager, explains: "We’ve offered free parental controls to customers for years, but the protection focused on desktop computers and laptops – now the new controls cover any internet-enabled device using home broadband, from PCs, laptops and games consoles to tablets and smartphones. The filter will still be free to all customers. Anyone joining BT can choose whether or not to activate the parental controls when setting up their internet connection for the first time. We’ll also contact all of current customers during 2014 so they can choose whether or not to set up the controls.

See also - "[The Register]: All Major UK ISPs to Implement Network-based Parental Control" - here.

There will be three set filter levels – strict, moderate and light - which can be customised to suit each family’s needs. Additional websites can be added to the list to be permitted or blocked. The filter can be turned off at specific times, and can also be set to an additional level – ‘homework time’ – for extra peace of mind when children are studying.

The Open Rights Group asked BT a number of questions on the new service (see "BT answers our questions about parental controls", by Peter Bradwell, here). BT says that:
  • "BT Parental Controls is a network based solution which means that all devices connected to your BT Broadband will have the same level of protection applied.
  • Our Filtering solution is based on Domain name resolution and can apply to any protocol used for a blocked domain
  • we do not anticipate that BT Parental Controls will have any impact on user’s speeds however we will continue to monitor this
  • BT Parental Controls utilises a trusted specialist 3rd party to categorise content
  • The BT Parental Controls solution does not inspect or log traffic for customers who do NOT opt in to the service"; [q] if so, is it logged in a way that links the traffic to a subscriber? What logging will there be of blocking events? How does this work? - an answer was not available.." 

See "Free filter boosts online safety for families" - here.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds very similar to the service provided by OpenDNS - I wonder if they are using OpenDNS behind the scenes...