July 19, 2013

Letter to ISPs concerning child protection Internet filtering

ORG have written to the four biggest ISPs to ask them 20 key questions about how their Internet filtering systems work.

The below letter was sent to TalkTalk, Virgin, BSkyB and BT. We've written a blog post about this, which has some more background.


Friday 19th July


As part of conversations with the Government about child protection online, you and other Internet Service Providers have committed to offering filtering services to all customers.

Details about how these systems work are not easily available. We have seen little evidence that the Government has asked detailed practical and technical questions about the implementation of filtering.

We consider these details to be vitally important. Increased transparency about your networks' Internet filtering will help establish the extent to which it will likely achieve its goals, affect people's rights to privacy and freedom of expression or inhibit online business.

Given our concern with the approach taken by the Government and their apparent failure to engage with these important issues, we are writing to you with 20 key questions regarding your filtering service. These include questions about how the technology involved works, how the filtering will be set up, and how you will deal with mistakes and complaints. The questions are listed below.

It would be extremely helpful if you could answer these questions by Monday August 12th. We understand that you may not have full answers to each question. We would also appreciate the opportunity to discuss related, detailed technical questions with you. We would therefore also like to request a meeting to talk through these issues.

We will be sending a copy of these questions and your reply to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Maria Miller MP, the Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries Ed Vaizey MP and to Claire Perry MP. We will also be meeting with Ed Vaizey in early September.

Many thanks for your help.

Yours sincerely,


Peter Bradwell
Policy Director

Open Rights Group