Scottish Politicians Calling for Porn Filtering

Jun 28, 2012 11:30 AM PST

EDINBURGH, Scotland — Citing a rise in sex crimes and easy access to porn by children, prime ministers in Scotland are calling for an Internet porn opt-in filtering system.

Similar to Great Britain’s ongoing controversy over filtering fueled by conservative backers, some Scottish lawmakers are demanding stricter Internet controls.

Politicians from the Conservative, Labor and Liberal Democratic parties are also claiming that parents should be doing more to monitor children’s’ online access.

One group — the Rape Crisis Scotland and the Women's Support Project — said an increase in young people becoming involved in sex offenses could be linked to the availability of extreme porn.

Member of parliament Jo Swinson, who recently took part in a parliamentary inquiry on online child protection, called for ISPs to adopt a porn blocking opt-out system.

"It's very difficult to pin down exactly what is causing these attitudes by young people, but given that there's very easily available pornography online — and not just the lads mag, page three images, but really explicit, hardcore pornography — it's not hard to imagine that it helps to create a warped view of relationships,” Swinson told The Herald Scotland.

"The parliamentary inquiry found that an opt-in system would be favorable when it comes to security settings and TalkTalk are already using this system, but there's a lot more that could be done. I would urge other ISPs to look at the TalkTalk model," Swinson added.

Scottish Conservative John Lamont added, "We need to investigate measures such as having filters switched on as the default option, or blocking all adult content unless you decide otherwise."

But the issue of parental responsibility is also being addressed and was called for by Glasgow member of parliament John Robertson.

The Herald reported that a recent survey by Internet security firm Westcoastcloud showed almost one in 10 Scottish parents have not installed any protection software on their computers and 68 percent admitted they weren’t sure they could monitor their kids' online use.

Westcoastcloud director Bill Strain said, "A big chunk of children have relatively unfettered access to the Internet and parents need to take reasonable steps to protect their children."

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