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Sky Broadband’s Shield Internet Filter Adds Watershed Feature

Monday, November 10th, 2014 (1:43 pm) - Score 1,703

Customers of UK ISP Sky Broadband (BSkyB), specifically those who elect to enable the providers free network-level filtering “Shield” service that works to block websites which contain “adult content” from view by young eyes (censorship), may like to know that a new watershed feature has just been added.

The watershed feature essentially gives customers the option of filtering websites by age. For example, an age certificate like 13 can be applied during the day and then be set to automatically switch to age certificate 18 at 9pm to allow for the display of more mature content. Some other ISPs employ a similar feature.

But it’s very important to remember that filtering out access to mature content is no substitute for effective parenting, not least because modern children are very tech savvy and it only takes a basic Google search to find an easy way of circumventing related censorship measures. Politicians who say it’s too difficult for children to do this have absolutely no understanding of the reality.

This is possible because blocking websites at ISP-level is a placebo and the only true way to remove content from the Internet is for it to be deleted at source, which is not something that broadband providers can do unless they also own the servers on which said content is based. The content would also need to be classified as illegal for this to happen and most so-called “adult content“, which under current solutions could just as easily include Facebook or the BBC’s iPlayer service, is not even remotely illegal.

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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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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