Prime Minister David Cameron announced earlier this week that the UK will begin blocking online pornography from next month, both in private homes and in public places.
The Prime Minister said that possessing online pornography depicting rape would become illegal in England and Wales, bringing the law into line with Scotland, and has called for certain “horrific” internet search terms to be “blacklisted”, meaning that they would automatically bring up no results on most internet search engines.
The UK’s four biggest internet service providers have agreed to the use of family-friendly filters, which will be automatically selected for all new customers by the end of the year, although they have the option of switching them off.
In addition, millions of existing customers will be contacted by their internet provider and told that they must decide whether or not to use the filters to restrict “adult” material.
However, if the customers fail to make a choice, their filters will be activated by default. Given the service providers’ agreement, this means that the filters scheme should cover around 95 per cent of homes.
Mr Cameron also announced that videos streamed online in the UK will be subject to the same restrictions as those sold in shops and that a secure database of banned child pornography will be used to trace illegal content and the paedophiles viewing it. In the meantime, experts from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre will be given more powers to examine secretive file-sharing networks.
Search engines have until October to introduce further measures to block illegal content but Mr Cameron has made it clear that if they do not agree to a blacklist of search terms, he will legislate.
Mackrell Turner Garrett Solicitors in London
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