Web porn block plans criticised

The Prime Minister's plans for family-friendly filters that block pornography for all new internet customers unless they opt out have been questioned by campaigners and some victims' relatives.

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PM's push for online porn block gets divided reaction

The head of the Child Exploitation & Online Protection Centre has backed David Cameron's drive for computers to carry an automatic block to stop internet searches for pornography.

What I think he is trying to do - and I support this - is cut off the easy supply of the indecent imagery of children at the point of first customer contact.

That won't stamp it out entirely but anything we can to do to make it more difficult will deter people from becoming offenders and also deter people from following on from that kind of offending into other kinds of harmful offending against children.

– Ceop ceo Peter Davies, speaking on BBC Radio 4's The World At One

But Padraig Reidy, of the Index on Censorship, said the family-friendly filters will be too restrictive.

If we have, as the Prime Minister is suggesting, an opt-out filter we have a kind of default censorship in place.

Families should be able to choose if they want to opt in to censorship. If a filter is set up as a default then it can really restrict what people can see legitimately.

Sites about sexual health, about sexuality and so on, will get caught up in the same filters as pornography. It will really restrict people's experience on the web, including children's.

– Padraig Reidy, speaking on BBC Radio 4's World At One

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Tia Sharp grandmother: PM's web controls won't work

Tia Sharp's grandmother has told Daybreak the Government's push for a crackdown on internet searches will not help stop child abuse.

Christine Bicknell was speaking after the Prime Minister met members of the Sharp family to discuss measures to block illegal content.

Ms Bicknell told the programme seeing images of child abuse online "fed" a habit in paedophiles but was not the cause of them acting out abuse.

She also said was "totally unaware" that her former partner Stuart Hazell, Tia's killer, was accessing depraved images on the internet.

David Cameron to announce details of new online laws

David Cameron is set to announce a host of new measures to curtail abuse and unsuitable material on the internet.

The measures include:

  • Possessing online pornography depicting rape will be illegal in England and Wales (it is already illegal in Scotland)
  • Search engines are to be given until October to introduce further measures to block illegal content and block key words
  • The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop) will be given enhanced powers to examine file-sharing networks
  • A secure database of banned child porn images gathered by police across the country will be compiled to trace illegal content and those viewing it
  • 'Family-friendly filters' will be automatically selected for all new internet customers, they will have to request for them to be turmed off
  • Existing users will be contacted by their internet providers and to decide whether to activate the filters

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Cameron: 'Online pornography is corroding childhood'

The Prime Minister will acknowledge the issue of extreme and child pornography is "hard for our society to confront" and "difficult for politicians to talk about" in a speech later today.

I want to talk about the internet. The impact it is having on the innocence of our children. How online pornography is corroding childhood. And how, in the darkest corners of the internet, there are things going on that are a direct danger to our children, and that must be stamped out.

"I'm not making this speech because I want to moralise or scaremonger, but because I feel profoundly as a politician, and as a father, that the time for action has come. This is, quite simply, about how we protect our children and their innocence.

I want Britain to be the best place to raise a family. A place where your children are safe. Where there's a sense of right and wrong and boundaries between them. Where children are allowed to be children. All the actions we're taking come back to that.

– David Cameron

David Cameron to tighten online abuse image laws

Possessing violent pornography containing simulated rape scenes will be made a crime in England and Wales, the Prime Minister is set to announce.

David Cameron will also set out plans for new laws so that videos streamed online in the UK are subject to the same restrictions as those sold in shops.

David Cameron to tighten online abuse image laws. Credit: Adam Peck/PA

In a move called for by women's groups, ministers will close a loophole which allows the possession of "rape" porn, bringing the position in England and Wales in line with that in Scotland.

However some of his plans to ban certain search terms have already led to criticism for a lack of understanding of how abuse images are shared online.

Read more: Child abuse images 'hidden away' from search engines

Google defends actions to combat child abuse images

Google has defended itself after Prime Minister David Cameron said internet search engines needed to do more to combat the distribution of child abuse images online.

We have a zero tolerance attitude to child sexual abuse imagery. Whenever we discover it, we respond quickly to remove and report it.

We recently donated five million dollars (£3.28 million) to help combat this problem and are committed to continuing the dialogue with the Government on these issues.

– Google spokesman
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