Push begins for mandatory internet content ratings

The Culture Secretary in Britain (yes they have one) is making recommendations to the new Obama administration to create a new international ratings agency for the internet. This would be similar to the motion picture industry and focus on age-level of appropriateness. The Secretary stated “More ability for parents to understand if their child is on a site, what standards it is operating to. What are the protections that are in place?”

Is this necessary? Could it work? Would it be against free speech or a good idea to protect children?