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Why Opt-In Porn Is a Terrible Idea

British Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street in central London
British Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street in central LondonPhotograph by Andrew Cowie/AFP via Getty Images

Thanks to the curious British institution of pre-releasing sections of major speeches, we know now that, later on Monday, the prime minister will announce what will effectively be an on-by-default online pornography filter in the U.K. While Web users today can opt into activating such a family-friendly filter through their Internet service provider (ISP), in the future they will have to opt out.

This has been coming for a long while. Previously, when the government tried to get ISPs to block pornography by default, the ISPs pushed back and the aforementioned off-by-default filter scheme came into being. However, a leaked letter from the government to the ISPs earlier this month showed that this was going to change, like it or not, and here we are.