Bid to force ISPs to filter out pornography on net rejected

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COALITION ministers have ­rejected calls for internet ­providers to be forced to ­automatically filter websites for online pornography.

A joint report by the Home Office and the Department for Education said that a public consultation found “little appetite” for default filtering by internet service providers (ISPs).

Under the proposals by ­campaigners seeking tighter controls on internet porn, ­customers would have had to contact their ISP if they wanted the filter switched off.

However, the report said ministers would ask ISPs to configure their systems to “actively encourage” people to switch on parental controls if there were children in the household using the internet.

The report was slipped out with little fanfare following 
a high-profile campaign in support of default filtering.

It said, however, that there had been little enthusiasm for the idea among respondents to the public consultations.

“There was no great appetite among parents for the introduction of default filtering of the internet by their ISP: only 35 per cent of the parents who responded favoured that ­approach,” it said.

The report said ministers had been guided by expert advice that default filtering could create a false sense of security as not all harmful content is blocked, and it does not encourage parents to learn about keeping their children safe ­online. Ministers will now work with industry, charities and experts in relevant fields to bring about their preferred approach.