Connect to share and comment

Mind the block: In the UK, you won't find your porn online

Online pornography in the UK will be automatically blocked unless customers opt in to seeing it, Prime Minister David Cameron said.

cameron uk blocks online pornEnlarge
Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that UK’s biggest Internet providers will automatically block online pornography unless customers choose to allow it on their home computers. (Jeff J Mitchell/AFP/Getty Images)

By the end of 2013, the United Kingdom’s biggest internet providers will automatically block online pornography unless customers choose to allow it on their home computers, Prime Minister David Cameron announced in a speech Monday.

Internet customers will be asked to accept or decline porn filters, Cameron said. If customers don’t choose either option, the filters will be automatically activated, Tory MP Claire Perry, Cameron's adviser on the sexualization and commercialization of childhood, told the BBC.

The filters will cover all devices connected to the internet account.

"Once those filters are installed, it should not be the case that technically literate children can just flick the filters off at the click of a mouse without anyone knowing," Cameron said. "So we have agreed with industry that those filters can only be changed by the account holder, who has to be an adult."

UK internet service providers TalkTalk, Virgin, Sky and BT have signed on to the initiative, which means 95 percent of British internet customers will be subject to blocking.

In addition, ISPs O2, Virgin Media, Sky, Nomad, BT and Arqiva have agreed tp block porn at public Wi-Fi locations by the end of August.

In his speech, Cameron also announced that possession of online pornography depicting rape would be made illegal in England and Wales, as it already is in Scotland.

“This is, quite simply, about how we protect our children and their innocence," Cameron said.

"Of course, a free and open internet is vital," he continued. "But in no other market — and with no other industry — do we have such an extraordinarily light touch when it comes to protecting our children."

"It has an impact: on the children who view things that harm them on the vile images of abuse that pollute minds and cause crime on the very values that underpin our society. So we have got to be more active, more aware, more responsible about what happens online."

More from GlobalPost: Internet access is "essential" human right, rules German court

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/united-kingdom/130722/uk-block-internet-porn