Sky's porn filter is about to become the default

The great porn-wall

For the first time, Sky is making its Broadband Shield 'default on' to every single one of its customers, unless they have specifically opted out of the service.

The technology, which blocks content deemed unsuitable for children, such as pornography, has been available for some time through the provider but take-up rates have been low at around 5-10% according to Sky.

Last year Sky trialed an on-by-default approach with some customers, which it found lead to adoption rates of around two thirds.

Shield for new and old

The changes mean that new Sky customers will automatically have the Broadband Shield service turned on unless they specifically request for it to be turned off.

But significantly Sky will also be contacting existing customers to ask if they want to have their web content filtered. In the event of a non-response, Sky will automatically turn filtering on.

Sky's efforts come as the government is increasingly examining the use of web filtering to protect children from exposure to adult content online but the initiative has been criticized as being the first step towards broader web censorship.