MPs launch Parliamentary Inquiry into Online Child Protection

On 23 August 2011, Claire Perry, MP for the Devizes Constituency and a cross-party group of more than sixty Members of the Houses of Parliament announced the formation of a Parliamentary Inquiry into Online Child Protection.   The inquiry will take evidence over the next few months from parents, child protection experts, Internet experts and Chief Executives or senior managers of many of Britain’s largest Internet Service Providers.  The group will report to Ministers in November.

 Commenting, Claire Perry MP for the Devizes Constituency said:
Parents are understandably worried about the ease with which their children can view pornographic content on the Internet and this Inquiry will provide the ideal platform for all interested parties to discuss how best we can protect our children online.”

Communications Minister Ed Vaizey said:
The Internet is a powerful tool for education and entertainment but there is material online that is not suitable for children.  Parents need to have the right tools to be able to protect their children from inappropriate content. I look forward to receiving the Inquiry’s report and seeing their conclusions.

Over the course of two evidence sessions, this inquiry will seek to:

  1.  To understand better the extent to which children access on-line pornography and the potential for harm that this may cause
  2.  To determine what British Internet Service Providers have done to date to protect children online and the extent and possible impact of their future plans in this area
  3.  To determine what additional tools parents require to protect children from inappropriate content
  4.  To establish the arguments for and against network level filtering of content that would require an 18 rating in other forms of media
  5.  To recommend to Government the possible form of regulation required if ISPs fail to meet Recommendation no.5 from the Bailey Review.
It is good to see that the government is taking the issue of the impact of pornography on children increasingly seriously and that at last there seems to be a gaining political momentum to address this pressing issue.
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