In February 2016 the UK Department for Culture Media & Sport published a report into the need for a more robust approach to the protection of children from harmful online content, specifically pornography.
The report reminds us that there are controls regarding offline pornography, but as children have so much access to online services it is inevitable that without legal as well as technical measures, children are at risk of accessing “distressing or unrealistic images of sex”.
Research suggests that: “1.4 million unique visitors under 18 accessed adult sites from their desktop” and “13% of children aged 6-14 visited an adult site.”
Whilst a number of Internet Service Providers already provide filtering by default, there are many ways in which children access pornography, including social media and via mobiles and tablets.
The report suggests that there should be better age verification techniques and that liability on ISP’s and on content providers and platforms should be imposed by civil or criminal sanctions.
The report has set up a consultation process which is open until Tuesday 12 April 2016.
The report and information on the consultation process is available by clicking here.