UK Porn Filters: David Cameron Promises Worlds 'Most Robust' Child Protection Measures

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Prime Minister David Cameron has said that porn blockers should be turned on by default on computers used in houses with children.

Writing in the Daily Mail, Cameron said that while universal 'default on' filters were not practical - and were rejected by his ministers earlier this week - he would now attempt to force ISPs to ask if new users have children in the house before listing options for filtered content.

If parents answer 'yes' they will be asked to set up filters blocking sexual content, individual sites, turning off access at certain times and other measured designed to protect children from the darker corners of the net.

ISPs would be asked to check that those setting up the filters are over 18.

"To me, the fact that so many children have visited the darkest corners of the internet is not just a matter of concern - it is utterly appalling," Cameron wrote.

"A silent attack on innocence is underway in our country today and I am determined that we fight it with all we've got."

Cameron added that

"Let me reiterate the key points: with our new system, every parent will be prompted to protect their child online. If they don't make choices, protection will be automatically on. No other Government has taken such radical steps before. And once all this is in place, Britain will have the most robust internet child protection measures of any country in the world - bar none."

The Daily Mail and other tabloid newspapers have been campaigning for years to have filters for porn and other content imposed on internet users.

The Mail accompanied its piece with another titled "Victory for the Mail!".

But others have argued that the imposition of automatic filters, or default-on settings, would represent an unhealthy restriction of internet freedom.

Mic Wright at the Telegraph wrote recently that the moves would be "a step towards state censorship".

In its report last week the Department of Education said this week that porn blockers would be ineffective, would "create a false sense of security" and could prevent access to useful websites including medical advice and sex education.

It also said that porn filters were not the "preferred choice" if the 3,500 people who took part in the survey.