"Underage users" block planned by new UK Internet Service Provider

The concept is to categorise websites in a similar way to films

The new UK Internet Service Provider Tibboh is creating a stir with its initiative aimed at introducing a system to categorise around three billion web addresses, including poker rooms, online casinos and social networking sites with a view to imposing age limits similar to those used by the British Board of Film Classification.

If implemented, the web pages involved would be given an age certificate from “U” to “18”, ensuring that minors trying to access online casinos and poker rooms will be unable to view the web pages until they are of age, reports The Independent newspaper.

The system envisages the creation of a "12" certificate specifically for social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace, and will feature a unique login for each user which will record their age in the system and prevent them from accessing any sites deemed unsuitable.

Speaking to The Independent newspaper on the scheme, director of the Family Online Safety Institute, David Miles, commented: “Parents are looking for a commonality between DVD and film classification and the net, and Tibboh should be commended for this." He expressed concern that some websites that are useful to both parents and children (such as online educational services) could also be filtered/censored, detracting from the value of the scheme.

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