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A new system designed to protect children from unsavoury content on the Internet has been unveiled today by the Internet Content Rating Association (ICRA).

The ICRAfilter is free of charge and allows content providers to label their sites.

Once labelled, parents can then use the filter to block access to sites which they feel aren't suitable for their children.

The scheme has the backing of a number of leading industry figures including Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, BTopenworld, Tiscali and the Home Office.

So far some 50,000 Web sites have been labelled,including a top shelf-full of porn.

Stephen Balkam, chief exec of ICRA, said that no system can guarantee a "100 per cent safe surfing experience" but added that the ICRA system provides "the most democratic, culturally neutral, self-determining option available".

To find out more about the ICRAfilter visit their Web site at www.icra.org.uk.

ICRA is an international not-for-profit organisation run by the Internet industry. ®

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