Lib Dems reject "illiberal" porn blocking plans

16 Sep 2013
web blocking

Party conference attendees vote against motion backing governments web-filtering policy

Members of the Liberal Democrats have voted against government plans to force ISPs to block pornography and other content as a child protection measure.

At the party's conference over the weekend, Baroness Benjamin brought forward a motion backing prime minister David Cameron's plans, which would see all UK broadband users asked if they want their connection filtered.

"This motion is about protecting children from online pornography and inappropriate material - it's not about censorship or stopping adults from accessing legal material," she argued, according to a report in The Independent.

Delegates disagreed, with one saying the policy was "counter to all liberal instincts", according to a report in The Guardian.

Delegate Paul Walter argued against it on technical grounds, saying that children can easily get around the proposed filters.

"The technical landscape is changing all the time," he said, according to a report in The Daily Mail. "Trying to tame it is like trying to nail down jelly... The motion and the amendment offer illusory solutions which give the delusion of success. They lull us into a false of security and detract from the central issue which is the relationship of trust between children and parents."

The motion was denied, which means the parties senior members will need to rewrite it if the Liberal Democrats are to support the plans formally and include the policy in their own election manifesto. While the move shows Liberal Democrat party members don't back the Tory policy, it's not likely to prevent it from being implemented.

For our full report on parental controls, pick up next month's issue of PC Pro, available Thursday

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