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Cameron’s “opt-out” porn filters may face EU challenge

Leaked documents suggest plans to control access to adult content may be under threat.

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David Cameron’s plans to block online pornography may be blocked by the EU.

Cameron outlined plans in 2013 for internet filters to be applied by default, requiring users to have to specifically opt-in to view pornography and other adult content.

Outlined in Council of the European Union documents, seen by the Sunday Times, the plans suggest that controls be allowed only if the user gives consent and if they have "the possibility to withdraw this consent at any time."

Cameron’s plans have been criticised on the grounds that they constitute a form of censorship and restrict the freedom of the internet.

"[The internet] is one of the most profound and era changing inventions in human history," Cameron commented in July 2013.

"But because of this, the internet can sometimes be given a sort of special status in debate," he added. "In fact, it can almost be seen as beyond debate, that to raise concerns about how people should access the internet or what should be on it, is somehow naïve or backwards looking."

Cameron continued: "we need good filters that are preselected to be on, pre-ticked unless an adult turns them off, and we need parents aware and engaged in the setting of those filters."

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A crackdown of the internet also featured in the Conservatives’ 2015 manifesto, which pledged, "we will stop children’s exposure to harmful sexualised content online, by requiring age verification for access to all sites containing oornographic material and age-rating for all music videos."

Sky Broadband announced back in January that it would be activating its filters by default. TalkTalk‘s HomeSafe, however, still requires customers to explicitly opt in or out.

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