Mobile Porn Changes Course

Gretchen Gallen
UNITED KINGDOM – A group of some of the world's leading mobile providers are starting to develop more protective strategies when it comes to providing mobile access to porn and gambling sites.

The recent turnaround is being directly attributed to a code of conduct agreement that six competing mobile network providers signed in January of this year to implement technology that prevents children from accessing inappropriate content.

When the code was announced in January, it was decided among the mobile providers that parents would first have to request the technology, but according to industry analysts, some mobile providers have recently decided to make porn and gambling sites only available to those subscribers who deliberately "opt in," rather than rely on parents to take action.

Users who access these site will also have to prove their ages.

The decision for companies like Virgin Mobile, Orange, T-Mobile, O2 and Vodaphone comes at the risk of losing out to enormous revenue potential that both the porn and gambling industries bring to the table, particularly at a time in history when mobile phones with color screens, higher graphical resolution, and Internet connectivity are becoming hot ticket items among consumers.

"We want our customers to have access to as wide and as rich a range of content experiences on their mobile phone as possible, but we believe that it is important to protect our young customers from adult content," stated the head of Virgin Mobile's adult services department.

According to reports, Virgin Mobile is scheduled to announce its opt-in adult content policy this week. Vodafone is working on a new mobile filtering technology that will prevent underage users from accessing certain content, and UK-based O2 moderates mobile chat services to prevent contact between children and pedophiles. O2 is also working on a filtering program to address the issue of porn and gambling sites for its subscribers.