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The Internet Service Providers' Association (ISPA) has welcomed the government's decision to consult with all stakeholders on the censorship of adult websites.

Last week, the Department for Education - in response to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Online Child Protection - launched a public consultation which proposes three potential responses.

The government is seeking to gauge opinion on automatic blocks on adult websites, an active choice to enable parental controls when signing up for broadband deals, and filtering by default with the ability to opt-out of website controls.

Children’s Minister Tim Loughton noted that there is "no silver bullet" to the problem of minors accessing age restricted material over the internet.

"No filter can ever be 100 per cent foolproof," he noted.

"Automatic filtering on its own risks lulling parents into a false sense of security and there can never be any substitute for parents taking responsibility for how, when and where their children use the internet."

Mr Loughton commented that the answer lies in finding ways to combine technical solutions with better education, information and, if necessary, regulation further down the line.

For the broadband industry, the ISPA is seeking additional clarity. It wants to be sure that service providers fully understand their responsibilities and legal obligations.

Nicholas Lansman, ISPA Secretary General, noted that the association supports active choice and hopes the consultation refocuses the debate on the most effective way to control access to inappropriate material.

At the same time, he expressed hope that it does not lead to the default blocking of pornography - something broadband providers would be required to enforce and police.

"[Broadband providers] are committed to making the internet a safer place and offer their customers a number of different ways to protect themselves online, be it on a router, device or network level, or through education and awareness," Mr Lansman stated.

"The Active Choice agenda, recommended by Reg Bailey, covers retailers, device manufactures and [broadband providers], and a number of players are already offering or working towards this."

He said the ISPA agrees with Tim Loughton that default filtering lessens parental mediation and "should not be viewed as a silver bullet".

"The most effective way to control access to inappropriate content is to raise awareness amongst parents of the tools available to support and empower parental decision-making," Mr Lansman added.

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