Click Yes for Porn

U.K. Internet filtering

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At the end of 2014, subscribers to the major U.K. Internet services were interrupted by a government-mandated request asking whether network-level filtering of smutty content should be turned on. This happened if they were attempting to access any website, no matter how anodyne. The idea, British Prime Minister David Cameron explained, was to present citizens with an "unavoidable choice" about whether to accept a top-level porn filter or not.

The messages made the government's position on the matter clear. They informed users that the state hoped to encourage a "family friendly environment on the Web," one "free from pornography, gambling, extreme violence and other content inappropriate for children." Cameron has accused online smut of "corroding childhood."

The nation's largest Internet provider, BT, indicated that users would be blocked from further browsing until they answered the question. Others are likely to be opted in. Sky, another major ISP, told Wired UK that users who don't respond might eventually be shuffled into the program automatically.

Those who opt for a porn-free Internet may be blocking off other sites as well. Multiple reports indicate that the filters have restricted access to nonsexual content, including websites for a Porsche car dealership and a popular political podcast.

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