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The government has launched an official inquiry into child safety on the internet, which could potentially result in the introduction of broadband filtering.

Claire Perry, Conservative MP for Wiltshire, will run the inquiry, which has been designed to consider the arguments for and against network-level filtering of adult content.

Among the options to be considered will be automatic blocks established by broadband providers, which would require web users to opt in to view 18+ rated material.

According to PC Pro, Ms Perry will lead a debate on the benefits of various forms of regulation – such as requiring broadband providers to restrict access to certain websites.

Media regulator Ofcom recently warned that the government's current website blocking plans are unworkable in practice.

Under the Digital Economy Act 2010, service providers are required to take action to prevent copyright violation, including sending out warning letters to repeat offenders.

However, Ofcom claimed this month it would currently be impracticable to protect rights holders' interests via website blocking mechanisms.

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