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PM announces block on porn sites

The Prime Minister has announced an automatic block on pornography for most UK households. Possessing online material depicting rape will also become illegal in England and Wales, as it is already in Scotland.

For information and advice on safe use of the internet, click here.

In a speech earlier today, David Cameron said that online access to pornography is "corroding childhood", and that internet service providers (ISPs) are "not doing enough to take responsibility" despite having a "moral duty" to do so.

It is proposed to introduce family-friendly filters whcih will be the default setting for all new customers by the end of this year, with customers having to choose to switch them off. In addition, millions of existing users will be contacted by their ISPs and told they must decide whether to use or not use the filters to restrict access to adult material. The filters will apply to all connected devices on home Wi-Fi networks and across the public Wi-Fi network "wherever children are likely to be present". Customers who do not click on either accepting or declining use of the filters will have them activated by default. The scheme has been accepted by the country's largest ISPs, covering around 95% of homes.

The Prime Minister also called for search engines such as Google and Bing to blacklist certain "horrific" internet search terms so that no results will be brought up if they are searched for.

He also announced the following measures:

- Legislation forcing videos streamed online in the UK to be subject to the same restrictions as those sold in shops
- A time limit of October for ISPs to introduce further measures to block illegal content
- Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) officers having more powers to examine secretive file-sharing networks
- A secure database of banned child porn images gathered by police which will be used to trace illegal content and those viewing it

He also wants searches for illegal content to be responded to with pop-up warning pages complete with helpline numbers.

In his speech, Mr Cameron said: "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." He continued: "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."

Comments

Peter Davies, Chief Executive of CEOP: “Anything which helps stop the distribution of this material or deters those who feed the market by accessing it online can only be a good thing and, working with the world’s leading technology companies like Microsoft, Google and Facebook, we’re ready to hear their ideas on other ways to stop illegal child abuse material being viewed online and to support their work. But let’s not be blinded to the fact that our work is not just about stopping people from accessing the images that already exist on the internet. We need to continue our work on stopping them from being produced and distributed in the first place by catching child sex offenders and safeguarding children to stop them suffering more horrendous abuse."

Claire Lilley, Senior Policy Analyist at NSPCC: "In every single child abuse image there is a victim, a child who has been abused."

Holly Dustin, Director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition: "The coalition government has pledged to prevent abuse of women and girls, so tackling a culture that glorifies abuse is critical for achieving this. The next step is working with experts to ensure careful drafting of the law and proper resourcing to ensure the law is enforced fully."

Google: "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 $5m (£3.3m) to help combat this problem and are committed to continuing the dialogue with the government on these issues."

The full text of David Cameron's speech can be found by clicking here.