Sky to turn on adult content filters by default

Sky will begin turning on adult content filters by default for all customers that have not decided whether they want to “opt” in or out. The provider said in a blog post that the filter changes would be made during the next few weeks.

Sky and other major internet access providers in the UK have been under pressure from the government to make online filtering mandatory. Prime Minister David Cameron has said filters are the best way to protect children, however, they have received a mixed response from the public and the internet industry.

Sky's Broadband Shield, which filters out websites deemed unsuitable for pre-teens, has been available to customers since 2013 but it will now be activated by default. BT, Virgin Media and TalkTalk also provide filtering systems to parents but have not yet decided to make them mandatory.

Lyssa McGowan, Sky's brand director, spoke about the policy, which will affect all 5.3 million broadband customers. She said: "What we're doing now is simply making sure that the automatic position of Sky Broadband Shield is the safest one for all - that's 'on', unless customers choose otherwise."

McGowan added that Sky Broadband customers would receive an email during the next few weeks, "giving them the opportunity to make a decision one way or the other." Any decision is not permanent though, as users can adjust the filters in their settings later if they wish.

The decision to introduce filters has prompted criticism from Open Rights Group (ORG) executive director, Jim Killock, who believes it can block some websites that "provide useful advice to children and young people."

Source: BBC News

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