Irish ISPs not blocking adult sites

Internet Service Providers Association of Ireland

Internet Service Providers Association of IrelandThe Internet Service Providers Association of Ireland (ISPAI) have revealed that they do not agree with their UK counterparts who are imposing a ban on all internet pornography sites, stating that it is “nothing less than censorship”.

In a bid to protect children from sexually explicit material online, four of the UK’s most popular Internet Service Providers Virgin, Sky, TalkTalk and BT have introduced a scheme where subscribers have to ‘opt in’ if they want to view adult websites.

The ISPAI, who represent some of Ireland’s biggest broadband providers Eircom, Vodafone and UPC, are disagreeing with the scheme stating that it’s up to parents to monitor what the children can or cannot access online.

“If internet service providers are dictating what can be accessed, then that could be seen as nothing less than censorship. Essentially we would be deciding what would be the inappropriate material. That should be left to the parents or guardians,” said Paul Duran from the ISPAI.

I understand the ISPAI’s concerns about censorship and also that the role of monitoring online use does indeed start with the parents. However, I feel we should try to help parents with this difficult task and should look into the possibility of adopting the UK model. The UK model itself still needs some improvements. This parental site filter needs to be rolled out to ALL existing customers and not just new ISP contracts. It’s also worth remembering that this will only protect children using broadband in the home. There will be no protection on mobile internet use. However it’s a good start…

What do you think? Would you like the ISPAI to introduce a similar scheme in Ireland?


Debbie Woodward

Debbie is a FETAC qualified trainer and delivers Social Media training for the Sligo County Enterprise Board in Ireland. Debbie also delivers talks on Internet Safety to parents and students in schools and also teachers in education centres. You can find Debbie on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+.



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