PM ‘misleads’ over web porn crackdown

Fri, 19 Jul 2013

The Prime Minister has been accused of misleading parents over moves to keep children safe from easy access to internet pornography.

David Cameron has asked web firms to rebrand their safety settings as “default-on” without actually changing how they work.

The request, described as “misleading and potentially harmful”, has been leaked to the BBC by an outraged source within the industry.

‘Victory’

“What this is about is allowing the Government to declare victory,” one angry insider said.

The Prime Minister’s request came in an official Government letter to Internet Service Providers.

The letter says the Prime Minister wants internet providers to change the name of their safety filters from “active choice +” to “default-on”.

Mislead

The letter says this re-branding can be done “without changing what you will be offering”.

Labour hit out at Mr Cameron, calling it “disgraceful” and a “deliberate attempt to mislead parents”.

The leaked letter also called for Internet Service Providers to commit money to an “unknown campaign” soon to be announced by the Prime Minister on the issue.

Communicate

The document came from the Department for Education but laid out a number of “specific requests” from the Prime Minister of the internet industry.

It said: “The prime minister believes that there is much more that we can all do to improve how we communicate the current position on parental internet controls and that there is a need for a simplified message to reassure parents and the public more generally.

“Without changing what you will be offering (ie active-choice +), the prime minister would like to be able to refer to your solutions are ‘default-on’ as people will have to make a choice not to have the filters (by unticking the box)”.

Leak

A Government spokesman said it did not comment on leaks, but did say it “continues to work with internet service providers to help keep children safe online”.

Ahead of the 2010 General Election David Cameron said children should be allowed to enjoy their childhood and be protected from increasing sexualisation.

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