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ISPs end PM's web smut block dream

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The big four ISPs – BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media – have scoffed at suggestions that Brit web surfers could be forced to 'opt in' to view online grumble flicks.

The proposed censorship, backed by Prime Minister David Cameron, was understood to be part of a government-supported effort to shelter children from pornography, but the ISPs say they have merely created a "code of practice".

Included in these measures is an "active choice" for customers to decide if they want to activate parental controls in the home, the four firms said in a jointly released statement.

"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," the four added.

Rather than an all-out war the Tory leader appeared to launch yesterday against carnal filth, the ISPs will simply tell parents who sign up for net access to either activate child-friendly protections or choose to disable the filters.

The measures address proposals spelled out in the Bailey Report – written by Reg Bailey, CEO at Christian charity Mothers' Union and released in the summer – in which Bailey asks firms to make it easier for parents to block adult and age-restricted material on the internet. ®

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