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The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to oppose the use of "blocking" as a way of regulating content on the Internet.

The vote (460 in favour, 0 against and 3 abstentions) this morning means that ISPs will not be forced to restrict access to Web sites.

Instead, they have been given the green light to continue with self-regulation.

Today's decision has been welcomed by Louisa Gosling, President of the European Internet Services Providers Association (EuroISPA), as a "forward looking and
informed decision".

Said Ms Gosling: "We are also very pleased that the Parliament has come out strongly against blocking, which is not only a technically disastrous solution, but also raises significant free speech and democratic concerns."

She added that blocking is "technically difficult, democratically questionable and undoubtedly inefficient" and believes that there are far better ways to deal with content issues, such as using special hotlines and ratings systems. ®

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