Genuine news websites have found themselves having to battle with Sky after the company’s default adult-content filters were found to be blocking them too.
One company in particular, TorrentFreak have expressed their irritation at the filters that are applied to all Sky broadband services and the way they evaluate which sites are blocked. There are many news pages that are suitable for all ages but due to the nature of them being registered as “file sharing” websites, the filters on Sky broadband blocks the sites.
Recently, Sky have updated their filters in order to prevent this from happening. While Sky have admitted that their filters were perhaps a little over-zealous, the idea is to prevent vulnerable and easily influenced members of society from being exposed to adult-only content. This means categorising sites into bite-size chunks for the filters to screen which is what has led to this confusion and unfortunate blocking of these legitimate sites.
Sky are not the only company to have launched this type of filtering system, BT also have an automatic filter. Both of these companies have created these filters and set them to be automatically on, so the user has to opt out of the scheme if they do wish to view adult content.
Ernesto van der Dar has expressed his pleasure at Sky updating their filters in order to ensure that sites such as his TorrentFreak are not blocked. He said that Sky had originally promised that the site would remain available so when it became clear that it wasn’t, he was understandably irritated.
Further problems that have been faced by some of the UK’s ISPs is that the default filters were also blocking websites to helpful, necessary and important websites that dealt with issues such as sex education and rape victim support.
In addition to this fact, it seems to have been made abundantly clear that those who wish to override these filters can do so by simply searching the query if there is a way around this and the first two results churned out are from major operators. The first being a popular search engine which provides a search term, the second is a video link which appears to show a youth explaining how to bypass these filters.
While it is clear that these filters require more work to make them more sophisticated, Sky for one have made it clear that these tools have been created in order to assist parents as opposed to remove their responsibility for supervision and education on correct internet usage.
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