Porn petition handed into Downing Street
Campaigning West MP Claire Perry yesterday helped hand in a 110,000-signature petition demanding tough new measures to protect children from internet pornography.
As the Daily Press has reported, the Devizes Tory MP has led the way in the battle for increased child internet safety.
The internet porn industry is worth £3 billion a year and she believes it is too easy for children to access explicit adult material.
She was accompanied by other MPs, including Mid Dorset and North Poole Liberal Democrat Annette Brooke, at 10 Downing Street, to present the petition demanding an opt-in choice.
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The aim is to have Internet Service Providers compulsorily block pornographic sites as standard, on computers, tablets and mobile phones.
Adults could still access explicit material but would have specifically to opt-in.
That is one of three options in a Government consultation on the best way to shield children from internet pornography that closed yesterday with more than 2,000 responses.
The other ideas were giving customers an unavoidable choice about whether they want filters and blocks installed, and combining the two systems enabling people to block some content automatically and decide whether to unblock them as they wish.
The consultation looked at protecting children from other potentially harmful sites like those which promote suicide, anorexia, gambling, self-harm and violence, while views on preventing online sexual grooming and cyber-bullying were sought.
Peers and senior church figures have also signed the Safetynet petition, written as a letter to Jeremy Hunt, the former Culture Secretary who was moved in this week’s reshuffle. It claims one in three ten-year-olds has “stumbled upon pornography online” and that youths aged 12 to 17 are the largest consumers of internet porn.
Mrs Perry said the petition showed the opt-idea had a high level of support: “This has been an area where there has been relatively large corporate interests in not filtering, and rather intimidated consumers who are made to feel they should back off.”
Petition organiser Peter Kerridge said: “This simple measure would in no way restrict adults from accessing such websites by specific application but would help to protect generations of young people from online pornographers.
“We are now looking to this Government to take decisive action