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TalkTalk Turns on HomeSafe Filter to Block Porn, Gambling and Violence for Customers

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Those with TalkTalk broadband and a penchant for visiting adult-themed websites will soon find themselves locked out, as the service provider has added a block for all customers.

The company has pre-empted the UK Government’s plans to censor the internet, turning on its HomeSafe filter for all customers. This move effectively blocks access to websites with pornographic, violent, gambling-based and other such adult-themed websites for all customers.

It’s not a permanent measure of course, and anyone who wishes to have the filter lifted can have their wish granted by simply placing a call to the ISP. However, we can imagine it might cause some embarrassment making the call, unless of course you find a perfectly excusable reason for asking for the filter to be taken off – unable to access homework, your favourite games website or something along those lines perhaps.

TalkTalk says that unless a customer specifically requests for the filter to be off, their access to adult websites will automatically be blocked as of now. A customer’s decision on the use of the HomeSafe filter will be reviewed year-on-year by TalkTalk, just in case you change your mind, or your kids reach the age where you feel the internet won’t cause them any harm (there is no age for that, believe us).

Some have already criticised the move, with Jim Killock of the Open Rights Group saying, “We welcome a consultation but default filternets are awful.

“They block a wide range of innocent material; and nobody should be advocating broader and simpler censorship.”

We feel that filters are all well and good and can serve an excellent purpose, especially in this day and age, when it comes to young ones using the web. However, we also know that it’s extremely annoying when harmless websites get caught up in the filter for no apparent reason, spoiling your use of the web.

TalkTalk, on the other hand, prides itself in being the first UK ISP to make the move. Dido Harding, Chief Executive of TalkTalk, says that its competitors are “dreadfully slow to wake up to the fact that society as a whole cares strongly about this”.

What do you think; a helping hand or a step too far?

Let us know your thoughts on our comments below or via our @Gadget_Helpline Twitter page or Official Facebook group.
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