Broadband providers are forcing customers to decide on porn filters

The four biggest broadband providers in the UK are forcing their customers to make a decision about whether or not to turn on adult content filters by reportedly ‘hijacking’ their web browsers in order to push them into deciding.

BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media began offering adult content filters following pressure by the government. All new customers are now asked whether they wish the filters to be turned on when signing up to a broadband package.

The focus has now turned to making existing customers answer the question, with Prime Minister David Cameron's December deadline for putting filters in place now upon the providers.

BT has taken the lead by redirecting customers to a page asking them about the filters when they browse the web, only allowing them to continue browsing if they make a choice.

Sky and Virgin Media are also putting customers through this process, but both allow you to continue browsing without making a decision.

TalkTalk, the first major provider to introduce network-level filters, isn't interrupting its customers general browsing, but it is forcing them to decide whether or not to activate the filters when they log into their account.

The filters have been criticised for how limited they are in preventing children from accessing adult content. For example, they can still search for indecent images using Google Images.

They've also been criticised for 'over-blocking', with TalkTalk's filter preventing customers from accessing an award--winning sex education website and BT's doing the same with domestic abuse charities.

And, according to a report published by UK communications referee Ofcom in July, TalkTalk was the only provider with whom more than 10% of new customers offered filtering took it up.

If you want to avoid being forced to make a decision about adult content filters, you might want to consider switching to a smaller broadband provider, such as EE or Plusnet, as only BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media are obligated to put them in place.

Source: Wired.co.uk

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