Every household in Britain connected to the internet will be obliged to declare whether they want to maintain access to online pornography, David Cameronwill announce on Monday.
In the most dramatic step by the government to crack down on the "corroding" influence of pornography on childhood, the prime minister will say that all internet users will be contacted by their service providers and given an "unavoidable choice" on whether to use filters.
The changes will be introduced by the end of next year. As a first step, customers who set up new broadband accounts or switch providers would have to actively disable the filters by the end of this year.Well, who could possibly object? But I trust that, whatever system is adopted, it is more effective than that established here in Spain. That system appeared to based on blocking websites or web pages that contained naughty words, including "sex", "porn", "prostitution" and those words referring to various body parts. This had the unwanted effect of blocking access to all sorts of sites and pages, including many of a medical nature, as well as perfectly respectable newspaper and magazine articles which happened to mention any of the banned words. (The only benefit of the system was that the Daily Mail website appeared to suffer particularly badly.)
In the end, I phoned up my broadband supplier (which appeared to be in charge of the filter) and had the thing turned off. But nobody except me has access to my computers. It is likely to be a bit more difficult if you have kids in the house.