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Internet safety

May 2012

Internet safety

Laws to make it more difficult for children to access hardcore pornography were introduced in Parliament before the Easter recess.
    The legislation will introduce new controls to halt the rising numbers of children accessing hardcore pornography on the internet.
    The Bill was introduced in the House of Lords by Baroness Howe of Idlicote and was endorsed by Devizes MP, Claire Perry, who recently convened a cross-party enquiry into the subject of online child safety.
    Lady Howe said, ‘My Bill will help parents protect their children from accessing pornography, by requiring internet service providers and mobile phone operators to block pornography at the network level, unless the customer buying access to the internet or mobile network is 18 or over and asks the providers to remove the block through an opt-in mechanism’.
    Campaigners argue that this change would mean children surfing the internet could not visit ‘disturbing, harrowing and graphic’ web sites.
    Claire Perry said, ‘We don’t accept this situation with any other form of media. Our TV viewing is guided by clear Ofcom advice; our cinema screens are subject to British Film Board classifications.
    ‘High Street hoardings and general print advertising are regulated by the Advertising Standards Agency. And growing internet-enabling of household devices, and technological convergence, means the difference in regulation is going to come crashing into our living rooms’.
    The news came after the Churches Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS) launched a campaign to promote internet safety in churches.
    In February, CCPAS and other stakeholders held a Safer Internet Day, which encouraged families to explore online technologies together, to get different generations to share their expertise and learn from each other how best to stay safe on the web.

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