BT, O2, TalkTalk, Virgin Media, SKY: We urge the government/internet service providers to rethink their filtering plans which are detrimental to free speech and child safety.
So far after the ISPs announced plans to introduce blocking filters for children, there has been gradual more information over what actual websites will be blocked.
Under their new pornography filters that are currently being phased in, many websites that have nothing to do with porn are being blocked. Such as many LGBT+ sites, such as LGBT Labour, LGBTory and LGBT LD. Blocking these websites will have an negative consequence, in making children and teenagers more aware of their sexuality. Blocking them access to websites that could give them advice, support and help would again, not make them more safe. It would make them less safe. Even using a homophobic tone by BT in giving parents the option to block "Gay and Lesbian lifestyles"
BT have gone even further with their blocking plans, by giving parents the option to block Sex Education websites, domestic violence support websites and even support for issues such as Self-Harming.
For children, having these websites blocked could make them isolated and blocked any help or advice they could go too which they wouldn't want to, quite rightly, make their parents aware and therefore would be detrimental to their safety, let alone making them more safe. Added to the fact, these websites that help children have nothing to do with porn
There's even attempts to block Political Parties and Newspapers. Again, how is this linked to porn? How will this make them more safe? It won't. More information available to children the better.
We also feel, that the filtering plans have gone too far and are extremely detrimental to free speech, something like internet and the United Kingdom holds dear in its heart. We feel that the censorship of newspapers for example threatens and eradicates that very tenant of a liberal democracy called free speech.
Even on the attempt at blocking hard-core porn, the ISPs are failing to do so as seen on Newsnight and instead are blocking genuine websites that can actually make children SAFER, rather than putting children in more dangerous situations such as blocking Childline and the NSPCC. Giving parents the option at blocking these websites is silly, dangerous and utterly the wrong thing to do for the basic principle of protecting children.
Therefore we urge the ISPs to reconsider their plans to block websites such as Childline, NSPCC, LGBT+, Political Parties and Newspapers, which have nothing to do with porn and even giving parents the option of blocking Childine and NSPCC could leave children less safe than before the block.
- BT, O2, TalkTalk, Virgin Media, SKY
We urge the government/internet service providers to rethink their filtering plans which are detrimental to free speech and child safety.
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