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#Public Sector

UK Gov compiling ‘whitelist’ to counter porn filter over-blocking

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The UK government is reportedly making changes to the adult content filter system to prevent over-blocking of legitimate, age-appropriate sites, run by charities with the aim to educate young people about health, sex and drug issues.

According to BBC News the UK government is now working on the “master list” with the help of charities and other groups. The list will soon be shared with the ISPs to ensure that the educational sites are not affected by the filters.

In July last year, the government announced plans to block porn by default to prevent children from being exposed to pornography. Major British internet service providers (ISPs) including BT, SKY tagged along by introducing optional filters to new customers.

PM David Cameron claimed that the filters will stop young people from “stumbling across hardcore legal pornography”. But the filters, which were supposed to prevent children from inappropriate content, blocked access to many educational and charity sites and garnered heavy criticism.

The UK Council for Child Internet Safety is now drawing up a list of approved websites inadvertently blocked by the porn filters. The group headed by David Miles, is looking into various ways to set up a standard system that allows sites accidentally blocked to report to ISPs and get on to the approved list.

David Miles said “The need for the list of sites wrongly blocked would become more pressing in 2014 as ISPs contacted established customers and asked them to choose whether to switch on the filters.”

For now, the UK ISPs are just asking the new customers to make a choice about implementing the filters. But, later in 2014, the filters will be extended to existing subscribers also.