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Sky forced to update porn filter

Sky has been forced to update its porn filter after it was found to be blocking legitimate file-sharing sites

Sky has been forced to update its porn filter after it was found to be blocking legitimate file-sharing sites such as news site TorrentFreak.

The Sky Broadband Shield filter was introduced in November last year in response to prime minister David Cameron’s initiative to clamp down on children viewing adult content online.

The initiative calls for access to adult content to be blocked by default, and accordingly, all new Sky customers have to ask to opt out of the filter if they want to access such content, the Telegraph reports.

Initially Sky’s filter blocked all file-sharing sites, but now the company says it will be more selective and has asked all website owners who feel they have been unfairly targeted to come forward.

Sky subscribers have complained that in addition to TorrentFreak, the filter has blocked access to other legitimate sites such as BitTorrent, Vodo and Imgur.

Almost all UK internet service providers have implemented filters, with BT activating its filter in December.

TalkTalk has also introduced a filter, while Virgin continues to run trials ahead of implementation scheduled to take place in the next few months.

In November, Google and Microsoft announced measures to make it more difficult to find child abuse images online in response to government pressure.

Child protection experts subsequently warned that most illegal abuse images cannot be found through normal web searches because they are hidden on encrypted peer-to-peer networks.

But Cameron told the BBC's Jeremy Vine that the dark web can be policed, and that the skills of the intelligence communities in the UK and US will be harnessed to do so.

The prime minister said intelligence agencies have developed capabilities to get into the dark internet and decrypt files that are encrypted.

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