Child Protection (Internet)

Oral Answers to Questions — Culture, Media and Sport – in the House of Commons at 10:30 am on 9th February 2012.

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Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Labour, Huddersfield 10:30 am, 9th February 2012

What steps he is taking to protect children online; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Ed Vaizey Ed Vaizey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

The previous Government set up the UK Council for Child Internet Safety, which works very well in bringing together industry stakeholders to promote the safety of children online. This week we had safer internet day, and UKCCIS launched its advice on child internet safety. I am also delighted by the industry agreement to introduce active choice controls on websites.

Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Labour, Huddersfield

Will the Minister look at the very good report that is out this week from the commission on stalking, of which I had the privilege of being a member? Cyber-stalking, like cyber-bullying, originates in schools, but there is not enough action to control the way in which children are exposed to danger, and if one visits schools, as I do, one finds that the number of children who are exposed to pornography, as well as to manipulation, is growing not diminishing.

Photo of Ed Vaizey Ed Vaizey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

The hon. Gentleman makes a very good point, and that is a very real problem. It is important that the Government work with industry and look at self-regulatory solutions first, because the answers will best come from industry, but there should be no doubt on the industry’s part that this is a very real problem, and we expect action from it to help parents to protect their children from every kind of inappropriate content, whether pornography or inappropriate behaviour, on the internet.