Letter: Internet curbs

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The Independent Online
IT IS an enigma that the glut of information on the Internet spawns growing paranoia about being starved of this commodity. Jason Burton (letter, 7 March) assumes that rating of content is about reducing the need for government to regulate the Internet, when there is no evidence of it seeking to control legal material.

Mr Burton is right to be concerned about any apparent means of restricting the free flow of information. However, in over a year of debate on this issue with governments, service providers and regulation bodies around the world, I have not come across any significant views that are not in the sole interests of protecting children and do not value the free speech of consenting adults. The beauty of the system we are working on is that it harnesses the technology to achieve both. The rating of the content is done by its producers, not third parties. The acceptance criteria are set by the user.

In fact the system as it already operates (RSACi ratings filtered through Internet Explorer 3) allows adult users to see everything, but to set limits for their offspring via password-controlled access. Personally I agree with Mr Burton that we should not be over-protective of our children, but that is my choice. Others are free to choose otherwise.

DAVID KERR

Chief Executive

Internet Watch Foundation

Oakington, Cambridgeshire

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