The UK Conservative Party has announced plans to limit access to online adult content and pornography by insisting on age verification systems.
The intention was announced by culture and media secretary Sajid Javid, who suggested that the same rules that apply on the high street should apply on the internet if society is to tackle online access to pornography.
Javid said in an editorial published on the Conservative's Facebook page that the party would make the changes quickly if it wins the election.
"If the Conservatives win the next General Election we will legislate to put online hardcore pornography behind effective age verification controls," he wrote.
"Of course, adults should be perfectly free to look at these sites. But if websites showing adult content don't have proper age controls in place - ones that will stop children looking at this kind of material - they should and will be blocked altogether.
"No sex shop on the high street would be allowed to remain open if it knowingly sold pornography to underage customers, and there is no reason why the internet should be any different."
The details of such a move have not yet been worked out, but Javid said that the system would be created with the support of industry and overseen by an independent regulator.
"For the past five years we have been working with industry on a voluntary basis, an approach that led to the creation of default-on family filters. But filtering is just one way in which we can keep our children safe online. Now we can - and must - go further to give our children the best start in life," he added.
"It is right that we act now and do what we can to restrict this content. It is right that we have the same rules applying online as we do offline. And it is right that we do everything we can to protect our children."
The minister admitted that the system will have its critics, and indeed the filtering initiative has often been seen as a failure.
Perhaps pre-empting complaints about online liberty, Javid added that the access control system must go on regardless of criticism and controversy.
"I don't believe that we should abandon such an important principle simply because the latest threat to our young people comes from a technology that also brings incredible benefits," he said.
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