The Prime Minister is expected to make an announcement next week detailing the governments plans on child internet safety.
While details of what David Cameron plans to unveil aren’t confirmed you can expect much of what appeared in a letter sent to ISPs, leaked by the BBC earlier this week, to feature.
The letter asked the UK’s biggest ISPs to contribute to a planned advertising campaign to promote internet safety. The details of this campaign have yet to be revealed but it could be something to do with a recent joint £1 million donation to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) by ISPs or it could be to do with promoting awareness of ‘active choice’ filtering software.
Read Recombu Digital’s guide to Parental Internet ControlsBT, Sky, Virgin Media and TalkTalk have independently launched or announced plans for software that lets parents easily filter access to specific types of sites. The Online Safety Bill would see new and existing broadband customers presented with an unavoidable choice whether or not to use this software.
David Cameron wants to announced that by the end of the year, every broadband customer in the UK will have been presented with the choice to enable filters.
There’s still some debate about exactly how existing customers will be presented with the choice. New customers will be required to answer the question during sign up but it’s expected that those who already have broadband services will, after a certain date, be presented with screen the next time they open up a browser window.
The letter the BBC posted on Monday shows that the government want filters to be ‘pre-ticked’ meaning subscribers who don’t want them will have to ‘opt in’ to access the unfiltered web. ISPs have made it clear that they do not want to force customers to essentially tick a box that says ‘I want to gamble online and/or watch pornography’.
Whether filters are pre-ticked or not, the main thing the government seems to be after is the ability to announce that the great majority of British parents will have been informed that there is an extra degree of internet control available to them.
ISPs had been given until midday today to respond to the letter in time for the Prime Minister to make his speech next week.
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