Access to Adult Content on Wi-fi
The mobile security firm Adoptive Mobile has carried out research on accessibility to unfiltered adult content on free wi-fi hot spots.
The researchers visited 179 establishments in Manchester, London and Birmingham and tried to log-on to legal websites but ones which contained explicit content. The results were very concerning in that 80% granted access to drug related content, 30% failed to use filtering to prevent access to pornographic sites, 53% had no restriction on online stores selling swords and knives and 20% had no restriction on access to online sex dating sites.
Whilst most people block these types of content on wi-fi used at home it comes as a surprise that this is rarely the case when in cafes, restaurants, hotels etc. and this is very bad news for parents with children who have smart phones, gaming consoles and tablets. Graeme Goffey of Adoptive Mobile stated that this was “for every parent across the UK this report will come as an unwelcome surprise”.
Sky News recently interviewed a group of 15 and 16 year olds outside of a café in Manchester and they admitted that they had all owned smart phones since they were 13 and went online with wi.fi. Also they mentioned that they knew people who accessed sites which their parents forbade them from accessing.
In an interview with Sky News one of the world’s leading authorities on the use of the internet by children and young people, John Carr, said that “Virgin, 02 and Sky have already block access to adult content and other major wi-fi providers in the UK, BT, Arquiva and Nomad have announced their intention to do the same by the end of the year.
He went on to say that “there is also some talk about developing a “kitemark” hotels, trains and buses that provide wi-fi access to confirm that they provide a filtered service”.
Children’s charities are running a campaign to ban adult content on all public wi-fi and this has received backing of Prime Minister David Cameron and a spokesperson for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport said “The Government is committed to protecting children online which is why we have been working closely with the major internet service providers, who have already put filters in place anywhere children are likely to be to block pornographic content.
“The main provisions cover 90% of all connections in the UK and this report shows that our approach is working and we are ahead of many other countries in protecting children online.
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