The CTIA Wireless Industry Association has issued guidelines for service providers to limit access to adult content on mobile devices.
The CTIA Wireless Association, with the support of the nations largest mobile carriers, has posted new guidelines to encourage network operators to label, filter and limit access to content considered inappropriate for children.
Dubbed as the CTIAs Wireless Content Guidelines, the initiative aims to establish a set of voluntary rules to be followed by mobile carriers for screening, labeling and filtering adult materials.
A major element of the effort involves the groups new Content Classification Standard, which asks companies to separate materials, including video clips, ring tones and other audio, into different packages for adults and minors.
Specifically, the Wireless Content Guidelines ask that carriers require subscriber account identification, or permission from a parent or guardian, to grant customers access to materials considered inappropriate for people under 18.
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The CTIA (Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association) said that the criteria to determine which content would be considered inappropriate for general audiences would be based on guidelines used by ratings groups covering the television, film, music and video game industries.
The wireless watchdog outfit said that a second phase of the content filtering effort will involve work by wireless carriers to create and distribute what it labels "Internet content access control" technologies that would allow mobile subscribers to block access to specific Web sites, or the Internet entirely, on their devices.
Under the plan, wireless service providers will adopt and administrate the content access systems on their own.
As an additional demand on companies participating in the effort, the CTIA is asking that carriers agree to shun restricted content until they have installed the technology necessary to restrict access.
CTIA officials said that all of the industry groups membersincluding mobile carriers, Cingular Wireless, T-Mobile, Sprint Nextel, and Verizon Wirelesshave already begun using the new guidelines to filter wireless content.
Most of the CTIAs carrier members are already working on Internet filtering technologies, but none has rolled the tool out to consumers yet, group spokesmen said.
In a summary of the guidelines posted to the CTIAs Web site, the industry consortium identified video and images, music and audio, games, adult-oriented text-based entertainment and gambling information as the types of content it would like to see regulated by the guidelines.
Content such as subscriber-generated text messages, message board posts, chat room conversations and blogs would not be filtered under the plan.
The CTIA repeatedly emphasized that the involved companies will not attempt to monitor Web site content, but will offer the URL blocking tools to users themselves as an alternative.
The group said that the participating wireless carriers will also launch a consumer education campaign to inform the public of the need to monitor childrens consumption of wireless content.
Carriers will collaborate on specific standards.