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French MP demands UK-like blocks on porn sites

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French MP demands UK-like blocks on porn sites
Could a pornography filter be on the way for France? Photo: AFP
09:43 CEST+02:00
Could France soon see filters imposed on porn sites similar to those that were introduced in the UK? A French MP has started the ball rolling on the grounds that children need to be protected from X-rated sites.
MP Jean-Jacques Candelier of the Democratic and Republican Left says that even though he considers himself to be conservative, he's had enough of the "scourge" of freely available online pornography. 
 
He penned a letter on Tuesday to Laurence Rossignol, the Secretary of State for the Family, Elderly People and Adult Care, asking for the government to introduce "an access code" in France, meaning that adults who want to see pornographic content online must manually opt-in to gain entry.
 
Failing that, Candelier suggested a default blocking of all pornography online, a move he said was inspired by David Cameron's controversial internet filters that came into effect in the UK last year.
 
The MP told France TV Info that porn sites were a risk for minors because they were simply too easy to access. 
 
"You have to realize that children as young as six or seven can come across pornographic content," he said.
 
"I don't condemn the existence of these sites, but they have to be reserved for adults.
 
"We need to put in place a system of access codes that will be asked for every time someone tries to connect to these sites," Candelier added.
 
The UK porn filters prompted a public outcry from people claiming the block was more of a public censorship than a protection mechanism for children.
 
The move came under fire as opponents noticed that not only pornography were initially filtered, but also services that fought domestic violence, helped with suicide protection, and even offered sex education. 
 
Candelier accepts the system is not perfect but says "the way society is evolving we will reach a point where sites are automatically blocked".
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