At the end of last year David Cameron said he would like to ensure that all households with children would have to install web filters. This is a great step in the right direction but it falls some way short of blocking harmful material as a default unless users opt in to access it.
This ‘default-on’ option would not offer the same degree of protection as the ‘opt-in’ option.
- It is a promise that has yet to be delivered
- It will only apply to large ISPs and not smaller ones
- It is a voluntary arrangement and will have no statutory backing
- Will not protect the most vulnerable
Last Tuesday The Online Safety Bill had its first reading in the House of Lords. It has been introduced with the aim of reducing children and young people’s access to inappropriate, potentially harmful, material online.
The Bill has been introduced by Baroness Howe. Should it become law, it would require:
- Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and mobile phone operators (MPOs) to provide an internet service without access to pornography as a default - with adult subscribers able to opt-in to receive such material.
- Electronic device manufacturers to provide a means of filtering internet content at the time of purchase.
- ISPs/MPOs to make available information about online safety - which would be broader than just filtering information - as part of their on-going relationship with subscribers.
If you agree that these measures would offer children the best protection from harmful online content: have your say!
The Bill had its First Reading on 14th May; the next step will be a Second Reading debate which should take place later this year.
Safeonline.org.uk has been updated to you to contact members of the House of Lords to urge them to support the Bill and press for an early Second Reading. The website is a one-stop-shop which includes facts about the issues, links to key resources and tips on how to write to Peers.
With your help we can give this Bill the momentum it needs on its journey through the House of Lords. This is an opportunity for everyone to have their say; it is an important first step towards seeing online pornography ‘switched off’.
Please help up spread the word. Do consider emailing this to your friends and contacts and linking to us via Facebook and Twitter.