ISPA statement on Parliamentary Inquiry into Online Child Protection

An Independent Parliamentary Inquiry into Online Child Protection has launched a report today which has called on ISPs to do more to keep children safe online. ISPA gave evidence to this parliamentary inquiry and also submitted a consultation response. Please see ISPA’s statement below

Nicholas Lansman, ISPA Secretary General, “Forcing ISPs to filter adult content at the network level, which users would then have to opt out of, is neither the most effective nor most appropriate way to prevent access to inappropriate material online.  It is easy to circumvent, reduces the degree of active interest and parental mediation and has clear implications for freedom of speech. Instead parents should choose how they restrict access to content, be it on the device or network level with the tools provided.

We argued in our evidence that ISPs already provide a variety of services to their customers and continually review and improve their offering based on customer’s feedback. A variety of measures are available to parents and carers and a network level filter should not be viewed as a silver bullet.

We agree that education is important and our members offer guides and help to their customers. The Bailey Report published last year also acknowledged that “industry already does much to help educate parents about parental controls, age-restriction and content filters”. Government should concentrate on helping educate consumers to ensure they know about the tools already available to them to restrict unwanted content.

Additionally, the question arises of who decides what inappropriate material is and for whom and whether there is a guarantee that filtering will not be used for other content.”

-ends-

Notes to the editor:

The Internet Services Providers’ Association (ISPA UK) is the UK’s Trade Association for providers of Internet services.

ISPA brings together the UK internet industry to provide essential support through innovation, knowledge and experience in order to benefit the UK economy and society. Promoting collaboration and constructive dialogue between its members and the wider internet community, ISPA is an all-important driving force for the industry and relevant stakeholders. For a list of members or other information about ISPA, please consult the website: www.ispa.org.uk

The views expressed in this release are those of the Internet Services Providers’ Association (ISPA) and do not necessarily reflect the corporate policies of the individual companies that are members of the Association or other organisations that may be mentioned in the release. For further editorial information please contact the ISPA Press Office (020 3397 3308).

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