UK Internet Filters Default To 'Family-Friendly'

The major Internet service providers in the U.K. including BT, Virgin, Sky and TalkTalk have turned on their internet filters either in full or in pilot programs, some starting in May 2011, with others only recently deploying the “family-friendly” site blocking service.

However, these filters apparently fail to block all undesirable sites, and actually end up blocking various useful services that customers may want to access including sex education, health, and addiction websites. The internet filter, endorsed publicly by U.K.’s Prime Minister David Cameron, failed to block 7% of 68 sites tested by BBC News, while Sky’s filter blocked 99% of the tested websites.

(BT internet filter prompt)

All Internet users in the U.K. including new and existing subscribers will be prompted to decide whether they want to opt in or out of the service. Next year, the four main ISPs in the region will launch a £25m advertising campaign to inform parents about the benefits of the newly deployed blocking filters.

The first use of the idea of internet filters is probably from David Brin's 1990 movel Earth; he called them filter programs:

People bought personalized filter programs to skim a few droplets from that sea [of information] and keep the rest out. For some, subjective reality became the selected entertainments and special-interest zines passed though by those tailored shells.
(Read more about Brin's filter program)

Via BGR.

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