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Parliamentary questions about content blocking

Posted by malcolm on Tuesday, June 20th, 2006 at 17:01

What follows is an extract from Hansard.

Helen Goodman (Bishop Auckland) (Lab): What further steps he plans to take to stop pornographic images of children being downloaded from the internet?

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Vernon Coaker): We continue to work closely with law enforcement agencies, the new Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, industry and international colleagues, to tackle the downloading of such images. I have recently set the UK internet industry a target to ensure that by the end of 2007, all internet service providers offering broadband internet connectivity to the UK public prevent their customers from accessing those websites.

Helen Goodman: As my hon. Friend knows, BT is blocking about 35,000 attempts every day to download child pornography from websites. Can he explain whether the announcement that he has just made about the target will be a compulsory regulation for the ISPs, which is necessary in order to cut the market and end child abuse around the world?

Mr. Coaker: We are determined to tackle that abuse, and our abhorrence is shared across the House. We expect 90 per cent. of internet service providers to have blocked access to sites abroad by the end of 2006. The target is that by the end of 2007 that will be 100 per cent. We believe that working with the industry offers us the best way forward, but we will keep that under review if it looks likely that the targets will not be met.

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