Friday, 21 December 2012

A wonderfully positive end to 2012

Last week the government published the results of their consultation into protecting children online which rejected the idea of an automatic block on explicit sites.  However, yesterday

David Cameron announced that web filters would
now be default for all houses with children.

In the future new users will be asked, the first time they switched on a computer, whether or not there are children in the house.  If they answer yes they will be prompted to tailor filters which include options to block particular kinds of content, individual sites or restrict access at specific times of day.  If parents click through the options quickly in the set up, filters against pornography and self harm sites will be left on. They will also have to verify that they are over 18.

Mr Cameron has appointed Claire Perry MP as his adviser on reversing the commercialisation and sexualisation of children.  Mrs Perry led the campaign for wider online filters in the UK and she will now be in charge of implementing this new filter system. 

This is a huge step in the right direction although it remains to be seen just how the system will function and whether or not it will offer the same degree of protection as the ‘opt-in’ option.  It is also still unclear whether this filter will work at device or network level and how it will be rolled out to existing customers; consumers don’t often change their ISPs and, given a 15% ‘churn’ rate, it would take 6 years until restrictions were on most computers which is an unacceptably long time. 

However, this is undoubtedly good news; this new system means that the UK will be leading the world in making the online environment safe for children.

Thank you for your part in making this a reality.

It’s a wonderful, positive way to end 2012. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

No comments:

Post a Comment