Thursday, 6 June 2013

Should Internet Service Providers filter content?

Recent news reports are suggesting that four of the UK's major ISP's are planning to introduce content filtering on their domestic home broadband services. These measures are to be put into place so as to protect our children from the ever increasing amount of pornographic material which is popping up (if you'll pardon the pun) all over the net.

But is it the responisibilty of the ISP to filter this kind of content or does the buck firmly lie with the parents?

There are many software prducts on the market which do filter out webistes which have either 'adult' or 'dubious' content. Some are even free to download, and as a parent myself, I have to say that the free one I use is very effective as it asks for a password for any site which it's not sure about.  In the last 2 years we have not had any problems at all.

Of course even if an ISP does decide to set content filtering at a network wide level, there are always ways around it. One suggestion has been to do this at DNS level, a bit of a blunt hammer, but also very easy to get around with a variety of methods. However, we're not going to discuss or condone those methods in this article.

The big question though is, if this happens, then will it open the floodgates for further sensorship and moderation? Are we just one step closer to Orwell's 1984?

As an ISP, we will not be content filtering any of our broadband ADSL services!

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