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UK Internet Providers Block Pornography to Protect Children

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By Elton Jones, Christian Post Reporter
October 12, 2011|7:26 am

In a plan to protect children from online pornography, four of the largest Internet service providers in the U.K. have switched to "opt-in" systems for sexual content viewing.

BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin are the Internet service providers set to abide by these system changes. For those customers who do not abide by the "opt-in" system structure, they will be unable to view any online pornographic material.

A website called "Parentport" will also let parents post up their issues about television programs, advertisements, products or services that they believe are inappropriate for children.

Industry watchdogs such as the Advertising Standards Authority, BBC Trust, British Board of Film Classification, Ofcom, Press Complaints Commission, Video Standards Council and Pan European Game Information will run the site and oversee all complaints.

Current British Prime Minister David Cameron will unveiled the plans for the online initiative yesterday at a 10 Downing Street meeting with the "Mothers' Union," a Christian charity group.

Reg Bailey, the group's chief executive, orchestrated a review alongside the Department of Education staff into the commercialization and sexualization of children. This review was taken under request from the U.K. government. His report asked for government and business to work together on initiatives such as ending the sale of inappropriately "sexy" clothing to young children.

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For example, the sale of under-wired bras and T-shirts with suggestive slogans to minors.

Bailey's report also advised that any retailers that do not take action with the issues stated above will be forced to make the changes in 18 months.

Bailey's report, entitled "Letting Children be Children," advised the new plan. Parents would have access to one single website to make it easier to complain about any TV program, advert, product or service they deem explicit. Age restrictions would be put on music videos and retailers would only offer age-appropriate clothes for children.

David Cameron was pleased with the report.

He offered Reg Bailey his positive thoughts on its policies: "I very much agree with the central approach you set out. As you say, we should not try and wrap children up in cotton wool or simply throw our hands up and accept the world as it is. Instead, we should look to put 'the brakes on an unthinking drift towards ever-greater commercialization and sexualization'."

 

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