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Google says proposed online porn ban in the UK is a "mistake"

Google disagrees with a proposed plan in the United Kingdom for ISPs to use automatic porn filters.

Google asia 2011 09 28Enlarge
Google headquarters in Mountain View, California. on September 2, 2011. (KIMIHIRO HOSHINO/AFP/Getty Images)

Google has spoken out against a proposed plan in the United Kingdom to ban online pornography. 

Prime Minister David Cameron is currently consulting with ISPs to see if its possible to place automatic porn filters on all content by default, BBC News reported. Under the proposed plan, users who want to use blocked content would have to inform their ISPs that they are adults, which could be an awkward conversation.

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"We believe that children shouldn't be seeing pornography online. We disagree on the mechanisms. It's not that easy," Sarah Hunter, Google's head of public policy, told the BBC.

At a Google Big Tent debate in England, the company said that it does not support the proposed plan, calling it a "mistake." Google representatives said that the government and private companies should not be the ones that get to decide which websites are appropriate, XBIZ.com reported. TalkTalk, a major UK ISP, has already voluntarily decided to filter content by asking all customers if they want a Homesafe filter installed. 

Google's comments follow the news last week that porn filters present on many mobile phones in the UK are blocking not just sexual content, but political websites.

"Systems designed to help parents manage their childrens' access to the Internet can actually affect many more users than intended and block many more sites than they should," Open Rights Group warned

 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/united-kingdom/120523/google-says-proposed-online-porn-ban-the-uk-mista