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UK won't automatically block Internet porn

British ministers rejected a proposal to automatically block internet access to pornography on all computers.

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British ministers have rejected a proposal to automatically block Internet porn, citing a lack of support from the nation's parents. In a survey, only 35 percent of parents said they wanted an automatic filter. (Christopher Furlong/AFP/Getty Images)

Government ministers in Britain have rejected a call to automatically block Internet porn from all computers, saying there was not enough support from the nation's parents. 

The proposal would mean than anyone who wanted to view adult videos or images online would have to contact their Internet service provider and specifically request access. 

The BBC reports that a public consultation found that only 35 percent of parents wanted an automatic block on Internet porn while 15 percent wanted some content filtered, and an option to block other material.

Claire Perry, a Conservative MP who headed the proposal, told the BBC she was "obviously disappointed" in the result. 

"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."

CNET reports that the public consultation found "no great appetite" among parents for the default porn blocker. It said an 'opt-in' approach could lull parents into a false sense of security and would 'over-block' access to non-pornographic websites "which provide helpful information on sexual health or sexual identity, issues which young people may want information on but find difficult to talk to their parents about."

Britain's four main Internet service providers have already signed a voluntary code of practice that gives customers a choice of whether to apply the adult content filters, according to the BBC. 

Alan Wardle, head of corporate affairs for the NSPCC told CNET he wants more protection. 

"The best option to protect children is for adult content to be automatically blocked by Internet service providers," he said. "Hardcore pornographic videos are just a few clicks away and a quarter of children have been sent unsolicited sexual material online."

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/united-kingdom/121215/uk-wont-automatically-block-internet-porn