All porn sites to be blocked in Israel under new law that requires people to publicly ask for access

The measures are of the kind previously proposed in the UK, where all adult websites would be blocked by default

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The Independent Tech

Legislators have approved a bill that would block all porn in Israel unless people ask to view it.

The Israeli Ministerial Committee for Legislation unanimously approved the bill, which forces internet companies in the country censor adult websites by default. Backers of the new legislation claim that it is a way of stopping young people getting online.

Under the terms of the bill, anyone wanting to access pornography online would have to tell their internet service provider, either by writing to them, ringing them or getting in touch their website.

The approval of the bill means that it now moves to the legislator, the Knesset, for approval and passage into law.

At the moment, Israeli law forces internet service providers to build in content-blocking systems that can recognise certain problem websites and stop people visiting them. But those are turned off by default and users can ask to have them switched on – and legislators worry that not enough parents know that they exist.

The new law would turn the filters on by default, and make anyone who wanted to get around them opt out rather than opt in.

As well as worries about cenorship, campaigners have voiced concern that the block would pick up other websites, like those about breast cancer. And they have also pointed out that forcing people to get in touch with companies to ask for access to pornography should be seen a violation of their right to privacy.

Backers of the bill said that the system would still allow people to see all the information that they wanted to but would keep children safe at the same time.

Legislators behind the bill pointed to the example of places like Britain, which has already implemented a ban on some pornographic websites.

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