All the latest UK technology news, reviews and analysis


Porn blocking: WiFi providers sign agreement, but filter content already

22 Jul 2013
Wireless icon

The majority of public WiFi providers have reached an agreement with the government to filter adult content from networks that could be accessed by children. The news, however, announced with much fanfare by prime minister David Cameron, seems to be inconsequential, with the providers in question already offering their own filtering services.

Cameron said in a speech this afternoon that he had managed to make agreements with WiFi providers O2, Virgin Media, Sky, Nomad, BT and Arqiva – which provide 90 percent of the UK's hotspots – to ensure that "family-friendly filters are to be applied across the public WiFi network wherever children are likely to be present".

The Cabinet Office told V3 that the companies had signed a joint agreement to filter adult and illegal content, but each will go about it in their own way and won't have one central repository of websites to block. They could not specify whether the agreement went any further than the basic adult and illegal content clause.

Sky was quick to make it clear that 20,000 of its WiFi networks have been filtering adult content since September last year, with the agreement apparently not making any difference to this policy.

BT also joined the chorus of supporters when Cameron first hinted at these suggestions back in April and BT’s today hailed “constructive” talks between the industry and the government, but said they would not have to make a change to their filters.

Nomad, which provides WiFi on trains and aircraft, also told V3 that adult content filtering came with its services as standard. Virgin Media, which provides WiFi on the London Underground, also already has adult content filtering built into its networks.

The same applies to public WiFi provider Arqiva, which says it won’t need to make any changes to its filters.

As well as adding adult content filters to WiFi that is publicly accessible to potentially unsupervised children, Cameron also pointed his intention to create branded hotspots. "We are keen to introduce a 'Family Friendly WiFi' symbol, which retailers, hotels and transport companies can use to show their customers that their public WiFi is filtered."

None of the WiFi providers V3 contacted said they had any plans to take up this suggestion, however.

  • Comment  
  • Tweet  
  • Google plus  
  • Facebook  
  • LinkedIn  
  • Stumble Upon  
Michael Passingham
About

Michael Passingham joined V3 as a reporter in June 2013. Prior to working at V3, Michael spent time at computing magazine PC Pro. Michael covers IT skills, social media, tech startups and also produces V3's video content.

View Michael's Google+ profile

More on Government
What do you think?
blog comments powered by Disqus
Poll

BYOD vs CYOD vs BYOC poll

Which approach is your firm taking to managing employees' mobile devices?
20%
14%
4%
20%
30%
12%

Popular Threads

Powered by Disqus
Galaxy S5 vs One M8 video review

Galaxy S5 vs HTC One M8 video review

We see which Android contender is best for business

Updating your subscription status Loading
Newsletters

Get the latest news (daily or weekly) direct to your inbox with V3 newsletters.

newsletter sign-up button
hpv33

Data protection: the key challenges

Deduplication is a foundational technology for efficient backup and recovery

rdc2

iPad makes its mark in the enterprise

The iPad can become a supercharged unified communications endpoint, allowing users to enhance their productivity

Network Engineer - Urgent

Network Engineer - Southend on Sea / Basildon / South...

Web Developer PHP / MySQL/ HTML5 / CSS3 / JavaScript / jQuery

Web Developer - PHP / MySQL / HTML / CSS / JavaScript...

User Interface Developer - HTML- Fantastic award winning company

Job Title;- User Interface Developer - HTML- Fantastic...

Embedded C Developer - Bracknell

Job Title;- Embedded C Developer - Bracknell Description...
To send to more than one email address, simply separate each address with a comma.