David Cameron to ‘press ahead’ with automatic filter on adult online content despite EU law

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

David Cameron’s plans to block access to adult content online by default have been put under strain in Europe – but the PM insists he will press ahead.

The Conservative PM has pledged in the past to introduce a mandatory ‘opt-out’ system for content filters – meaning that internet service providers will automatically block access to content deemed ‘explicit’ unless customers actively ask for the controls to be switched off.

Campaigners have long warned that the move could have a disastrous impact for LGBT websites online, which are often deemed ‘adult content’ by providers on unclear grounds.

In the past TalkTalk has been forced to apologise for blocking access to the Lib Dem LGBT website, while BT had previously included filters on “gay and lesbian lifestyle” sites.

However, the Daily Mail reported that new EU net neutrality regulations might throw the plans into disarray, as it affirms internet should be provided without “interference or discrimination”.

Speaking in Parliament, the PM said the plans will go ahead, and that he had secured an opt-out from the EU.

He said: “Like my hon Friend [MP Amanda Solloway], I think that it is vital that we enable parents to have that protection for their children from this material on the internet.

“I spluttered over my cornflakes when I read the Daily Mail this morning, because we have worked so hard to put in place those filters.

“I can reassure her on this matter, because we secured an opt-out yesterday so that we can keep our family-friendly filters to protect children.

“I can tell the House that we will legislate to put our agreement with internet companies on this issue into the law of the land so that our children will be protected.”