U.K. Parliament Member Wants ISPs to Control Porn

Nov 29, 2010 11:00 AM PST
LONDON — A conservative British Member of Parliament (MP) wants Internet service providers to create a special opt-in system for users that would prevent children from accessing online porn.

MP Claire Perry, a mother of three said that ISPs need to “share the responsibility” for what they’re distributing like TV stations and publishers. She’s calling for age-checks attached to all porn to reduce exposure to anyone under 18.

"We already successfully regulate British TV channels, cinema screens, High Street hoardings and newsagent shelves to stop children seeing inappropriate images and mobile phone companies are able to restrict access to adult material so why should the internet be any different?" Perry said.

She added, "Access to pornography has a profound and negative effect on our children."

The U.K’s Psychologies magazine reported that one in three children under the age of 10 has been exposed to Internet porn and four out of every five kids aged 14 to 16 have admitted that they regularly view porn on their home computers.

But a report on ZDNet points out that these figures are incredibly hard to come by. It went on to describe Generation Y and upcoming Generation Z as "the porn generation," with more young people accessing online porn than any other demographic before the 1990’s.

The British MP’s call for a “divided web’ is up for debate by the House of Commons, but Culture Minister Ed Vaizey recently vetoed the request made by Perry stating that the government will not intervene in such a way to prevent young people from accessing explicit material online.

Vaizey said, "We believe in an open, lightly regulated Internet. The Internet is by and large a force for good, it is central to our lives and to our economy and government has to be wary about regulating or passing legislation."

The minister said parents should control what their children see rather than the ISPs.

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