UNITED KINGDOM—Called the Sky Broadband Shield system, a new ISP-based porn filter is now available to citizens of the United Kingdom who access the internet by way of Sky. It is not mandatory for all of its customers yet, but the company says the government mandated filter will be the default setting by next year.

The move is not without its irony for Sky. After the website ACS:Law was attacked in 2010, one result was the hackers' posting of a spreadsheet of 5,000 Sky Broadband customers which the law firm had claimed had pirated adult movies. Sky was criticized for not better protecting its customers' data.

“Rather than overtly ask if people want access to adult content,” reports TechRadar, “Sky has taken the fairly sensible route of simply putting a ratings system on, so that people can choose whether their household is okay with content suitable in one of three categories, PG, 13 and 18.

“There is also a custom option to allow people to choose to restrict certain categories and the option to switch off the filter entirely,” it adds. “The company recommends opting for 'on' but set at 18, rather than switching it off entirely, because this adds a layer of protection from phishing, malware and spyware content.”

The company, a subsidiary of the Rupert Murdoch-owned British Sky Broadcasting, says it is incrementally asking people to make a choice about their porn preference. "Sky Broadband customers will be asked to make an active choice about the filters when getting online with Sky for the first time, or when they upgrade their routers," explained the ISP. "Next year, we will ensure that all customers will have made a choice about whether or not to apply whole-home filters."

Some choice.