Sky Broadband Switching On Porn Filters by Default

Dec 25, 2015 6:00 AM PST

LONDON — All new and existing Sky Broadband customers will be receiving an email soon asking if they want to turn their porn filters on.

If ignored, the porn filters will be turned on automatically starting in early 2016, providing what Sky Broadband calls an "unavoidable decision."

Sky Broadband launched its filtering product, Broadband Shield, in November 2013, but a year later only 3 percent of its existing customers had opted to switch it on.

In January 2015, Sky Broadband emailed customers who had joined prior to November 2013 and asked them whether they wanted to switch Broadband Shield on. The filter was automatically switched on if customers ignored the email.

Sixty-two percent of the customers it had presented with this "unavoidable decision" had kept some form of parental control switched on, Sky Broadband.

The company said it had seen the biggest engagement with between 30 and 40 percent of all customers leaving the porn filter switched on.

In a statement, Sky Broadband Director Lyssa McGowan said: "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.”

Upon orders from Prime Minister David Cameron, ISPs in the past few years have introduced filters blocking adult content, meaning users have to opt-out to view explicit content.

Cameron this year has ratcheted up his initiative, targeting hardcore porn sites, particularly foreign-based ones, warning they will face being shut down unless its operators take action to stop children accessing their sexually explicit material.

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