Edward Vaizey (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Culture, Communications and Creative Industries), Business, Innovation and Skills; Wantage, Conservative)
We had four of the main internet service providers, I think. I do not want to get too carried away and go to the other extreme. The ISPs in the UK do act to take down illegal content where it is pointed out to them, and they do hugely important work in taking down child abuse images. With the greatest of respect to my hon. Friend, who has inadvertently signed an early-day motion put forward by a Labour MP calling for an open internet-a slight distortion of my speech on net neutrality-we are, to a certain extent, talking about ordinary sex. We are talking about preventing children from having access to inappropriate content, and how we can work with ISPs to make it that little bit more difficult for them to do so.
My free-wheeling conclusion to this speech has probably not been helpful, so it might be helpful if I pull together a coherent final few remarks. We believe in an open lightly regulated internet. The internet is, by and large, a force for good. It is central to our lives and our economy, and a Government have to be wary about regulating or passing legislation. Nevertheless, the advent of the internet has brought a number of problems. One of them is the proliferation of images of child abuse, which I believe is being dealt with extremely effectively through the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre and UKCCIS, with the co-operation of ISPs. ISPs remain under an obligation to take down illegal pornographic content, which can extend beyond child abuse images, but there remain, from my position as a Minister, two issues. One of them is access to illegal content in terms of music, film and the creative industries, on which I am working with ISPs and rights holders. I take the second issue very seriously as a constituency MP alone: how we can work harder to ensure that it is more difficult for our children to come across inappropriate adult content. I firmly believe we can make progress, in co-operation with the ISPs, and that we can proceed on the basis of self-regulation. As I have said, I think it is important that we meet and sit around a table to exchange views, and I look forward to brokering such a meeting with my hon. Friend the Member for Devizes and a number of organisations she deems to be appropriate.
Question put and agreed to.