Porn filters on mobile phones censor normal web content in UK
London, May 16 (ANI): UK's Open Rights Group (ORG) has claimed that pornography filters on mobile phones were censoring normal web content.
A report by ORG found that mobile filters that were made to prevent children from viewing adult content incorrectly blocked about 60 websites.
According to The BBC, the affected sites included political commentaries, personal blogs and community websites.
Peter Bradwell of the Open Rights Group, author of the report, said the study proved such tools were ineffective.
"Child protection filters can actually affect many more users than intended and block many more sites than they should. These blunt blocks effectively add up to a system of censorship across UK networks," he said.
In a response published on the ORG website, Hamish MacLeod, chairman of the Mobile Broadband Group, denied ORG's claim.
"Even allowing for the ORG missing a few, 60 misclassified websites does not amount to anything that could reasonably be described as 'censorship', particularly when mobile operators are happy to remove the filters when customers show they are over 18 and will re-classify websites when misclassifications are pointed out to them," MacLeod said.
In 2004, UK's mobile operators, with sponsorship from the Mobile Broadband Group, published a code of practice on how to offer a safe browsing experience for children.
At that time, few children accessed the Internet via mobiles.
The result was that filters were automatically put on all pay-as-you-go handsets, regardless of the age of the user.
In order to remove the filters, users needed either to ring up customer services or go to a mobile shop with age proof.
The government is now considering to apply similar blocks to fixed-line broadband services. (ANI)
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