ISP porn filter blocks sex education sites

The government’s porn filter has blocked sexual health, sex education and other helpful and harmless sites by mistake.

The plan was to have internet service providers (ISPs) block access to adult pornographic sites, but it seems there have been some issues with the filter.

A BBC investigation has discovered that all four of the major ISPs – BT, Virgin, Sky and TalkTalk – who have imposed the filters have rather loose definitions as to what adult content actually is.

Some of the ISPs have blocked access to rape and sexual abuse help hubs, sexual health and sexual education sites and porn addition sites.

Some hardcore porn outlets are slipping through the net as well, so it seems the government’s attempt to restrict such content has proved to be a little ineffective.

The internet filter is optional and you will have to opt in to the parental controls on your hub if you wish to block such content.

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Critics of the filter believe it could be the first step towards internet censorship as the government could eventually force ISPs to block other kinds of website to fall into line.

TalkTalk, Sky and BT have all said the filtering technology isn’t entirely perfect yet and the algorithms used are being modified and updated continuously.

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Update: This story was updated on 20/12/2013 at 9:24.