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Astonishingly, the UK’s grand porn filter scheme isn’t just blocking porn

David Meyer

Well, knock me over with a feather. Apparently, British ISPs’ on-by-default porn filters — mandated by the government back in July — are blocking things they shouldn’t, such as sex education and sexual abuse support sites.

What’s more, according to a BBC report late Wednesday, the ISPs’ filters aren’t all great at blocking pornography, which is rather the point of this exercise. Here are some examples of what the investigation found:

  • TalkTalk’s filter failed to block 7 percent of the porn sites tested by the BBC, but it did claim a prominent sex ed service and a sexual abuse support website were pornographic.
  • Sky’s filter was very good at blocking porn – and porn addiction websites.
  • BT’s filter, turned on this week, blocked access to a sexual health website and two domestic abuse support services.

Error-strewn blacklists compiled and deployed without clear accountability – who could have predicted it? And this is before we even get to the government’s planned extension of the filtering scheme to block “extremist” content…



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