Britain's culture minister says websites should be rated the way films are to protect children from offensive material.

Andy Burnham says his government has plans to discuss the idea of international rules for English-language websites with the administration of U.S. President-elect Barack Obama.

"We have got a real opportunity to make common cause [and] this is an area that is really now coming into full focus," Burnham told Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper in an article published Saturday.

The minister, who called the internet a "dangerous place," said age-appropriate ratings may be the way to go.

He would also like to see internet-service providers (ISPs) offer parents "child-safe" web services where the only websites accessible are those stamped suitable for children.

Burnham also suggested the internet follow television's example, which often doesn't broadcast violent material prior to 9 p.m. There should also be a set time in which sites such as YouTube or Facebook would have to remove offensive or harmful content, he said.

Burnham denied he's attacking free speech.

"The internet has been empowering and democratizing in many ways but we haven't yet got the stakes in the ground to help people navigate their way safely around," Burnham said.

"There is a wider public interest at stake when it involves harm to other people. We have got to get better at defining where the public interest lies and being clear about it."