Activists incensed after British broadband giant blocks ‘adult content’

One of the largest broadband providers in UK has activated new filter to block porn sites for all its new customers.

Broadband giant Sky said it will block “adult content” by default for all new customers adding that the move would result in “much greater use of home filters”, but customers could still opt-out if they wanted to.

The move has already angered internet rights activists, who say that the move was tantamount to not giving customers an informed choice.

The Open Rights Group (ORG), which campaigns to protect internet freedom, said, “Switching filters on by default, even if there are no children in a household, is not giving customers an informed choice about filters.”

Pam Cowburn, communications director for the ORG, further added, “Parents should not be lulled into a false sense of security by thinking that switching on filters will automatically keep their children from seeing unsuitable content. Parents need to talk to children about their internet use and help to ensure that they have the skills they need to navigate the web safely.”

In 2013, Prime Minister David Cameron had that the broadband users needed to make an “unavoidable decision” over whether to enable filters or not.

Quoting Sky, a BBC report said that a majority of existing customers had ignored its “unavoidable decision” email in January 2015, and had their content filter switched on automatically. But only 27 people had contacted its call centre about the plan.

“We think that default filtering is the best way for industry to meet the government’s commitment to reduce children’s exposure to inappropriate content,” said the director of Sky Broadband, Lyssa McGowan.

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