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Sky Broadband Shield: Porn-blocking filter is 'switched on'

Customers will have to opt-out of the filter if they want to access online pornography

Zachary Davies Boren
Wednesday 21 January 2015 10:38 GMT
David Cameron announced plans to force internet providers to bring in new porn filters for any households with children present
David Cameron announced plans to force internet providers to bring in new porn filters for any households with children present (Rex Features)

Sky Broadband will automatically block adult content, unless customers explicitly 'opt-out' of the filter, it has been announced.

The Sky Broadband Shield, already available for broadband customers, will be switched on for every one of provider's 5.3 million users in the coming days.

In a blog post, Sky Broadband brand director Lyssa McGowan said: "From January, we’ll be emailing our customers who haven’t chosen to activate or disable Sky Broadband Shield explaining its benefits and giving them the opportunity to make a decision one way or the other.

"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."

The filter is designed primarily to prevent children from being exposed to inappropriate online content - from violence to pornography - and to better protect the user from malware-infected or phishing sites.

Two years ago David Cameron began campaigning for internet service providers [ISPs] to introduce mandatory online filters, arguing that online pornography is "corroding childhood".

The wider public has largely not opted-in for existing online filters, with only 13 per cent of new internet users choosing to activate a filter.

Sky has stressed that getting rid of the filter, or just changing its settings, is simple: "Customers can activate Sky Broadband Shield, adjust or decline it at any time."

The filter's 'watershed' feature - which can be accessed via MySky - enables users to select age rating options (PG, 13, 18, Custom or none) for different times of the day.

Users trying to access adult content website at a time in which the filter is in effect will instead be met with a page informing them of their current settings, and requiring them to 'log-in' to adjust them.

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