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UK ISP Sky Broadband Launch Network Level Internet Filtering Service

Thursday, Nov 14th, 2013 (3:19 pm) - Score 2,661

Sky Broadband (BSkyB) has today joined TalkTalk to become the latest of the big Internet providers to introduce their own network level filtering (censorship) service at the behest of Government demands. The new solution is a free addition and has been designed to block (censor) websites that contain “adult content“.

Existing customers who want to enable the SkyBroadband Shield service can do so via their ‘My Sky’ account page on sky.com. New customers will similarly be asked whether or not they wish to enable the solution during the order process (note: the “Yes” box is expected to come pre-ticked).


Customers will also be given a list of ten content categories (e.g. pornography, suicide and self-harm) that they can block or leave accessible. On top of that users also have the option of filtering websites by age and this will be similar to how movies are classified (i.e. ‘PG’ – under 13s, ‘13’ – 13 and over and ‘18’ – adults only). Individual websites can be added if needed.

Lyssa McGowan, Director of SkyBroadband, said:

Protecting customers from inappropriate content in the digital world is something Sky has always taken extremely seriously. Sky has already played a leading role in protecting Sky homes from inappropriate content, as we know that’s what our customers expect of Sky.

Now we’re going one step further by offering our customers great new technology which means they can feel confident that all their devices in the home are protected. Sky Broadband Shield is a brilliantly simple tool that allows customers to easily choose how much of the internet to let into their homes.

At the same time, it helps protect all our customers against the threat of phishing sites and other malicious websites that may contain viruses.”

However customers who choose to enable the service should keep in mind that Internet filtering is by no means perfect and often results in perfectly safe websites being censored due to errors or incorrect categorisation. For example, it’s well known that enabling the ‘self-harm’ filter on some providers can also block related help sites.

Similarly most children will have no trouble finding their way around such filters and thus effective parenting should never be relaxed in favour of checking a box.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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