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Saving children's innocence from Internet porn

In a bold move, British Prime Minister David Cameron strikes a welcome balance between Internet freedom and society's hope to protect children from Internet pornography and the child-murderers who act on it.

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Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (left) speaks with World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee in London June 25. Berners-Lee is calling for an "Internet Users Bill of Rights" on the World Wide Web's 25th birthday.

Reuters

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For parents worried about their children finding porn on the web, British Prime Minister David Cameron is pushing a rather clever solution: Any new Internet connection, as well as smartphones, should come with a software filter ready to block pornographic images.

To turn off the filter would take a conscious act by those who can prove they are over 18.

In other words, protecting the innocence of children would become the norm on the Internet. Those adults who opt out of the norm could do so – protecting their freedom – but would be crossing a moral line set down by society.

The prime minister has already arm-twisted Britain’s four biggest Internet providers to attach home network filters to new connections by the end of this year. For existing customers, they will be given “an unavoidable decision” about whether or not to install “family friendly content filters.”

This move is necessary for at least two good reasons: In a recent survey of more than 2,000 British parents, one-third said it is not their responsibility to teach their children about being safe online; and another survey found 80 percent of 16-year-olds regularly view obscene material.

Mr. Cameron’s move is one part of a package of steps aimed at curbing Internet pornography and the crimes associated with it. In a speech Monday laying out his actions, he pointed to the strong public response to two recent child murder cases in which the killers were found to have regularly viewed child sexual abuse images and violent pornography on the Internet.

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