21 July 2008

UK fails to bar internet access to child porn

(Observer)
Some UK households could access websites known to host images of child sex abuse despite a government pledge made two years ago to stop access to paedophile sites. Last night a coalition of leading children's charities, including Barnardo's, the NSPCC and National Children's Homes, described the situation as 'completely unacceptable'. They have written to the Home Office minister in charge of crime reduction, Vernon Coaker, urging him to take immediate steps to ensure all telecom companies offering internet access block customers from being able to see images that in some cases show children as young as a year old being sexually abused. Around 5 per cent of consumer broadband connections can access the images because their internet service providers (ISPs) chose not to subscribe to a scheme introduced by the Internet Watch Foundation to bar known paedophile websites. See open letter to Vernon Coaker.