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EU legislation could cripple UK porn filters

British porn filtering on an opt-out basis has been a bit of a bugbear for us here at KitGuru and many of you have voiced similar sentiment in our comment threads. Fortunately then there is a chance that their very existence could be put in jeopardy by a new piece of EU legislation designed to tackle roaming charges, that also has wide reaching implications for net neutrality and by proxy, the ability for ISPs to block content.

Known as the Single Telecoms Market Law, hundreds of pages of documentation has been produced on the current state of various aspects of the online world in the EU and how they are being addressed by governments around the continent. There is much that can be improved it claims, but as the IBTimes points out, the most important part is that customers from various countries should have the same service no matter where they are in the EU.

That should mean that travellers from the continent who were able to view pornography or other online sites with impunity, should be able to if visiting the UK.

youporn
Even though few have them enabled, ISP filtering in the UK blocks many sex education and women’s shelter sites along with some of the porn

John Carr, the UK government adviser on internet safety, said of an early drafted leaked in May that such a law would put British children at risk. “Online child protection would be destroyed at one stroke,” he said. Though private filtering for families would still be legally available under such a scheme. It would only be the mandatory filtering that may be difficult to justify under such laws.

However not everyone agrees that the law will have such wide sweeping effects. In fact, leader of the Pirate Party UK Cris Chesha doesn’t believe it will remove porn filtering from the UK at all. Since the law mentions tiered services and content that does not count towards a customer’s bandwidth and that there was easily enough provisions in there to justify the blocking of sites or content based on arbitrary choices.

Discuss on our Facebook page, HERE.

KitGuru Says: Any true net-neutrality pushing law should make opt-out filtering of anything invalid. Whether we’ll even be a part of the EU by the time this law is expected to come into play in 2017 though, remains to be seen. 

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