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U.K. porn-seekers will have to manually opt-in

LONDON - BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media plan to force their customers to think about setting parental controls on their broadband connections, in a move aimed at protecting children online.

On Tuesday, the ISPs said they have come up with a code of practice to help their customers learn about how parental controls work and how they can be used to block websites, such as porn sites, that are unsuitable for children. As part of this, new broadband customers are now being made to choose whether or not to activate the feature when they first set up their connection.

"The ISPs have committed to improve the way they communicate to customers, enabling parents to make simple and well-informed choices about installing and activating parental controls and other measures to protect children online," BT said in a statement. "The four ISPs are working with parents' groups and children's charities on this important initiative and will continue to do so."

The providers have worked closely with the government and "a range of stakeholders" to bring in the new measures, according to BT. The measures are a response to the Bailey Report, compiled by Mothers Union chief Reg Bailey, which contains recommendations on preventing the early "sexualisation" of children.

Despite reports to the contrary, the code of practice does not mean the ISPs are automatically blocking pornographic sites, and customers who wish to see such content do not have to ask their provider for permission to do so.

You can read more about this story on ZDNet UK

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