Sky rolls out its porn filter, but it's not mandatory just yet

14th Nov 2013 | 14:38

Sky rolls out its porn filter, but it's not mandatory just yet

Cameron's Daily Mail crusade met with fairly sensible ISP action

Sky is rolling out its government requested internet filtering system, allowing its broadband customers the option of setting the filter for appropriate ages or turning off the filter entirely.

The Sky Broadband Shield system has been announced and is available to all users. The filter is currently not on by default but will be so by 2014.

Rather than overtly ask if people want access to adult content, Sky has taken the fairly sensible route of simply putting a ratings system on, so that people can choose whether their household is okay with content suitable in one of three categories, PG, 13 and 18.

There is also a custom option to allow people to choose to restrict certain categories and the option to switch off the filter entirely.

The company recommends opting for 'on' but set at 18, rather than switching it off entirely, because this adds a layer of protection from phishing, malware and spyware content.

Cameron's crusade

When Prime Minister David Cameron stated that ISPs should filter adult content there was an inevitable outcry, with many questions surrounding censoring adult-appropriate material that is perfectly legal.

ISPs will be mindful that for all the spin in the world, making people opt in for legal pornography is unlikely to be received well for many, whilst not putting filters in place will also be met with government-fuelled outrage.

The solution from Sky - when you battle through the inevitable rhetoric about defending our safety - is straightforward and is currently 'opt in', but will become mandatory in 2014.

"Sky Broadband customers will be asked to make an active choice about the filters when getting online with Sky for the first time, or when they upgrade their routers," explains the company.

"Next year, we will ensure that all customers will have made a choice about whether or not to apply whole-home filters."

Also noteworthy is that the strictest level of filtration is still set at 'Parental Guidance' - which we feel sends another message to the government about the BEST way to protect kids from the wild west of the internet.

Sky Broadband pornography censorship filtering
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