David Cameron Wants to Restrict Internet Porn Access
LONDON — David Cameron expedited the widespread blockage of online porn in the U.K. by instituting default "family friendly" filters on all Wi-Fi capable devices.
“In no other market and no other industry do we have such an extraordinarily light touch when it comes to protecting our children,” Cameron said in a speech today. “Children can’t go into the shops or to the cinema and buy things meant for adults or have adult experiences … but when it comes to the Internet, and the balance between our freedom and responsibility, we’ve neglected our responsibility to children”
British wireless services and ISPs have voluntarily agreed to comply with Cameron’s plan and will now implement adult-content restrictions on computers, phones, tablets and public Wi-Fi networks for new and existing customers. The BBC reported that around 95 percent of homes will be affected by the changes.
By the end of the year, all new Internet service setups will have automatic family friendly filters. Users will need to verify that they are 18 years or over to “opt out” of the restrictions and access explicit content.
Because the companies are acting independently, without formal legislation, no parliamentary action is required.
Parliament member Claire Perry has been appointed as Cameron’s special advisor on the sexualization and commercialization of childhood.
In his speech, Cameron delineated two major issues resulting from an unregulated Internet: the exploitation and abuse of children through child pornography and their premature exposure to porn.
“The nature of that pornography is so extreme, it is distorting their view of sex and relationships,” he said.
Cameron explained the problems’ commonality: “They’re about how our collective lack of action on the Internet has led to harmful and in some cases truly dreadful consequences for children.”
The Britsh Prime Minister proposed a blacklisting of certain “horrific” search terms, which would yield zero results and may trigger an automatic popup directing the user to a help hotline or website.He also pledged to outlaw porn simulating rape.
"Possession of such material is already an offence in Scotland but because of a loophole in the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, it is not an offense south of the border," Cameron said, referring to porn depicting rape."Well I can tell you today we are changing that.”
Cameron insisted that his speech was not meant to “scaremonger” but rather seriously address an issue that he feels endangers “children and their innocence.”
The speech comes after months of a mounting debate in the U.K. regarding the accesibility and potentially harful nature of pornography, respurred in part by two British murder trials in which the defendants were accused of watching porn depicting child abuse.