Internet service provider TalkTalk has introduced a new filtering system that operates from its customer accounts. The new series of optional filter settings are designed to completely block household access to a range of websites that have been deemed unsuitable for family viewing. The changes take place on the customer account at TalkTalk – without the need to install any additional devices in the home.
The industry trade body – the Internet Services Providers Association – oppose extensive filtering as an infringement on freedom of speech and an easily circumvented solution that should not substitute proper adult supervision.
When asked by Channel 4 news why TalkTalk have taken the decision to act contrary to the trade body’s guidance, chief executive Dido Harding said, “HomeSafe is a big step forward and giving customers the choice of how they filter the internet into their homes has to be the right answer.”
The filter will block millions of sites that they have classified as being unsuitable for users under the age of 18, which includes those websites with content relating to pornographic, illegal drug use, violence, suicide, self-harm and gambling.
Concerns that websites might be subject to unreasonable filtering criteria were also addressed by Harding, who pointed out that rating status and filtering criteria are open to periodical review: “Independent panel that is meeting quarterly to review – to ensure that we are picking up any errors.”
Further information and a product demonstration video are available on the TalkTalk website.