Last week’s report from the Parliamentary Inquiry into Online Child Protection has continued to dominate headlines this week. The Mail and The Sun have supported the proposal to block online pornography as a default unless users specifically opt in but, predictably, the industry has not been supportive.
An executive from Google has attacked the proposal saying that parents are to blame if their children access pornography. The Internet Service Providers Association said the opt-in proposal would impact freedom of speech and disingenuously Jim Killock of the Open Rights Group told BBC Breakfast that the measures proposed would make the internet a more dangerous place for children.
We don’t accept these arguments from any other kind of media where industry, government and consumers work together for the benefit of all. Television has a watershed, films are age rated and satellite broadcasters must put adult material behind a pin-code protection system.
This is merely scaremongering from an industry which makes in excess of £3 billion a year from selling internet access services. The industry needs to take some of the responsibility of keeping children safe online. The technology to do this exists; schools already have sophisticated filters in place and one ISP now offers them as an option.
As one commentator wrote earlier this week ‘since when were the civil liberties of porn users more important than those of children?’