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The six British mobile phone operators have unveiled a joint code of practice to help prevent youngsters from accessing porn, gaming and other unsuitable content on their mobile phones.

The guidelines agreed by Orange, O2, T-Mobile, Virgin Mobile, Vodafone and 3 will also monitor the use of chat rooms by children.

Under the code, people will not have access to 18-rated content unless they can prove their age.

Chat rooms available to under 18s will also be moderated in a bid to prevent the services being hijacked by paedophiles. And parents will be able to add filters to phones blocking access to sites deemed unsuitable.

Operators hope the new guidelines will give people confidence in new mobile services and show that the industry is taking the matter of unsuitable content seriously.

Speaking on behalf of the operators, spokesman Hamish MacLeod said: "Over the past 12 months, the mobile phone industry has been working together to agree on a framework that will govern how content is distributed, developed and accessed by the industry and customers alike. The industry is aware of parental concerns and, through this code, addresses those concerns in a responsible and timely manner." ®

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