19/04/2012 12:36 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Government And ISPs Should Work Together To Stop Kids Accessing Porn

Child online PA

MPs are demanding that internet service providers (ISPs) put better safeguards in place to ensure kids are protected from viewing online porn and violence.

A cross-party parliamentary inquiry into kids' safety online has has concluded that both government and ISPs need to do more to protect youngsters from unsuitable content.

The inquiry found that children could access pornographic and violent websites with ease. As a result, it has called for the appointment of a government internet safety tsar, and moves for legislation on stronger filters for adult content.

The MPs said ISPs and government should work together to produce guidelines to instruct parents on how to safeguard their home computers and other internet-enabled devices.

They also recommended a government review of an opt-in filter to access adult material on the web, accelerated implementation of content-filtering system Active Choice for new internet customers, and for ISPs to provide network filters that have one-click filtering for all devices connected to the same internet account.

They also called for public wi-fi networks to have a default adult-content bar.

Claire Perry, Conservative MP and chairwoman of the Independent Parliamentary Inquiry on Online Child Protection said the inquiry found 'many children are easily accessing internet pornography as well as websites showing extreme violence or promoting self-harm and anorexia'.

She said it was 'hugely worrying', adding "While parents should be responsible for their children's online safety, in practice people find it difficult to put content filters on the plethora of internet-enabled devices in their homes, plus families lack the right information and education on internet safety."

"It's time that Britain's internet service providers, who make more than £3bn a year from selling internet access services, took on more of the responsibility to keep children safe, and the government needs to send a strong message that this is what we all expect," she said.

ISPs BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin have agreed to offer all new subscribers the option to install parental controls.

Not everyone agrees with the proposals though - Jim Killock, director of the Open Rights Group, said the plans were "appalling" and amounted to censorship, claiming: "Default filtering is a form of censorship. Adults should not have to 'opt out' of censorship. Governments should not be given powers to default censor legal material that adults see online."

More on Parentdish: How to keep your kids safe online

What do you think?
Should ISP's provide tighter filtering, or are kids always going to be savvy enough to find adult content no matter what systems are in place?