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UK consumers do not think broadband providers should be forced to impose mandatory adult website blocks, a study has suggested.

Research conducted by ISPreview.co.uk found that 83.9 per cent of respondents are against plans to introduce such a system, as recommended by the Parliamentary Inquiry into Online Child Protection.

Just 16.1 per cent of interviewees called for new regulations forcing broadband providers to act.

Of those surveyed by ISPreview.co.uk, 55.2 per cent expressed the view that service providers currently do enough to protect children online.

Many broadband firms - such as TalkTalk, which launched its HomeSafe product last year - already offer a parental control solution.

Some 74 per cent of respondents believe broadband providers should make such online tools available to their customers.

But more than eight out of ten thought broadband subscribers should have to make an active choice to use them.

Mark Jackson, Editor of ISPreview.co.uk, argued that parents must be given more trust to act on their own initiative.

"Sadly some MPs are already proposing stiffer measures, before the ‘Active Choice’ solution has even been given chance to work," he noted.

"This only adds to the ever growing burden of new legislation that broadband providers are being asked to shoulder."

Mr Jackson warned that mandatory internet filters risk lulling parents into a false sense of security. They can also encourage state-sponsored censorship through mission creep, he suggested.

"We must never forget that website blocking measures are also easy to circumvent, can restrict legitimate sites and cost huge amounts of money to develop," Mr Jackson stated.

He explained that BT has spent up to £500,000 developing its Cleanfeed solution, and this sort of sum would be enough to put many smaller broadband providers out of  business.

Mr Jackson said it would be better to focus on education and awareness, as well as boosting the availability of active choice via self-regulation.

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