UK govt's plan to block Internet porn 'not possible'

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London, Dec 21 (ANI): A plan by the British government to block Internet pornography at source has been deemed as not possible by experts.

According to the Sunday Times, Culture Minister Ed Vaizey revealed the plan to cut off access to pornographic material during an interview, and the government is calling a meeting with ISPs to discuss the proposal.

Vaizey plans to talk to ISPs about setting up an age verification scheme to govern access to pornographic sites, has been confirmed by a spokesman for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.

"This is a very serious matter. I think it's very important that it's the ISPs that come up with solutions to protect children," the BBC quoted Vaizey as saying.

"I'm hoping they will get their acts together so we don't have to legislate, but we are keeping an eye on the situation and we will have a new communications bill in the next couple of years," he stated.

But experts say that the technical challenges mean any large scale filtering system is doomed to failure.

"Ispa firmly believes that controls on children's access to the Internet should be managed by parents and carers with the tools ISPs provide, rather than being imposed top-down," Nicholas Lansman, secretary general of the Ispa industry body, responded to the government proposal.

Lansman said its members provided parents with many different means of controlling what is accessible via the computers in their homes.

"Online safety is a priority issue for the Internet industry and ISPA will be discussing the options available to protect children with Government," he said.

"ISPs currently block child abuse content which is illegal and widely regarded as abhorrent.

"Blocking lawful pornography content is less clear cut, will lead to the blocking of access to legitimate content and is only effective in preventing inadvertent access," he stated.

BT, the UK's largest ISP, said it would be "happy" to take part in any discussion, but stated that there are many legal, consumer rights and technical issues to be considered before any policy was developed.

"Unfortunately, it's technically not possible to completely block this stuff," Trefor Davies, chief technology officer at ISP Timico, added.

He stated the sheer volume of pornographic material online and the number of ways that people access it, via the web, file-sharing networks, news groups, discussion boards and the like, made the job impossible. (ANI)

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