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July 29, 2013

Huawei reportedly defends role in UK online filtering pornography

Critics claim filtering system will build a database of people's online habits.

By CBR Staff Writer

Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei has reportedly defended its role in filtering online pornography in the UK.

Last week, Prime Minister David Cameron praised a porn filtering system controlled by the Chinese company.

Telecom provider TalkTalk uses Huawei’s HomeSafe technology to identify adult sites from which users can select to opt out.

And such filtering is expected to become more widespread in the coming months following a campaign by Cameron to make it harder for children to access explicit websites.

However, critics claim the filtering system could prove inaccurate and risks creating a database of people’s online habits.

But in a statement cited by the Wall Street Journal, a Huawei spokesperson said: "The technology is an industry standard URL-categorising solution which gives telecoms operators control over the service they offer to their customers."

"The solution in turn gives their customers choice and control over of which categories of website can be accessed through their broadband service. The system is similar to other solutions in the market and is based on key word categorisation. URLs are added under instruction from the customer," the spokesperson said.

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Cameron recently said that ISPs will be asked to automatically block access to online pornography sites unless the subscribers choose to receive it.

Under the plans, any new broadband accounts set up by the end of 2014 will have family friendly filters automatically selected.

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