Safe Internet League to launch consultation on Internet pre-filtering


The proposal to enable pre-filtering of all Internet content in Russia, put forward by the Safe Internet League, is to enjoy full-scale public consultations. As League CEO Denis Davydov told the TASS news agency, hosting the consultations will be, among others, the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation and the Children's Rights Commissioner for the President of the Russian Federation.

The idea to pre-filter online content at ISP level involves enabling a default ‘clean Internet’ option for all customers that would shield them from information that could harm the physical and psychological well-being of a child. Individuals wishing to opt out would have to contact their ISP and provide an ID.

‘What we would like to hear are the views of the regional authorities, the parent community, the children’s ombudsmen – the institutions that could provide valuable input into the project,’ said Mr Davydov. In addition to that, the discussion is to include representatives from ISPs themselves that could help together assess the investment in equipment required for filtering online content.

‘We’ve produced a technical model and are discussing it with service providers. It would require them to install some extra hardware, but our calculations show it won’t affect their business performance,’ assured Mr Davydov, saying that the public consultations, due to begin in February, would result in a consolidated position. The plan is then to unveil it this April at the upcoming Safer Internet Forum.

Last July, a proposal to enable default filtering was put forward by the Russian Duma’s Family, Women, and Children’s Affairs Committee Head Yelena Mizulina. The idea was criticised by the industry as requiring significant investment in specialised software.