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Catholic agency welcomes Government plans for online pornography restrictions

By on Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Prime Minister David Cameron at the NSPCC headquarters on Monday (Photo: PA)

Prime Minister David Cameron at the NSPCC headquarters on Monday (Photo: PA)

Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN), the social action agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, has welcomed Government plans to restrict access to online pornography.

In a speech at the headquarters of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children on Monday, Prime Minister David Cameron set out a number of proposals, including one that would see every internet user forced to opt in if they want to access online pornography.

Possessing violent pornography showing simulated rape scenes would also be criminalised in England and Wales under the Prime Minister’s plans.

In a statement CSAN said that if the proposals were put into action they would be “important steps” towards making the internet safer for children.

“We welcome the proposals to filter potentially harmful content unless an adult ‘opts-in’ following age verification and the steps further taken to make public Wi-Fis safer for children; namely the participation of the six companies which provide 90% of public Wi-Fis to introduce family friendly filters and adopt a ‘family friendly Wi-Fi’ symbol,” the statement said.

“We feel these are important steps in assisting parents to keep their children safe online, which should be complimented with education on online safety.”

The statement went on to call on the Government to widen its proposals to incorporate curbs on websites containing “extreme violence or promoting self-harm, suicide and eating disorders.”

“At this point it is important to recognise that inappropriate online content is not solely limited to pornography,” the statement said.

“Websites containing extreme violence or promoting self-harm, suicide and eating disorders also present great risk to children. Government figures show that 13,231 childhood admissions to hospital last year with the primary diagnoses of deliberate self-harm and 1,141 childhood admission to hospital with the primary diagnosis of an eating disorder.

“We hope these safeguards will work to ensure that children are protected from the dangers posed to their development, mental health, relationships and self-esteem from harmful and explicit online material.”

  • sclerotic

    It’s all hot air. Who defines pornography? Adult pornography is legal so a restraint of trade case looks inevitable and filters are easily bypassed. Films are classified in quite different ways in Europe. Cameron did of course distract everyone from a decision not to go ahead with a programme which would have saved children from smoking (and going on to smoke what?)

  • Iainw9

    Excellent news – pornography is a great evil of the modern age, is corrupting and I do not want my children influenced by it – to hell with concerns about censorship – this is about hitting back at the devil’s spawn

  • Sara_TMS_again
  • Cestius

    I am not comfortable with this. I feel that adults have a right to look at whatever (legal) they want to without having to effectively ask permission. And those filters will do little other than promote a false sense of security among the computer ignorant, children and young teens will soon find a way around them. And who knows what else the government is planning on censoring or interfering with if they get their way on this – Catholic and pro-life websites could be in the firing line from the PC elements of any of the main parties if we’re not careful. All we Catholics can do is lead by example, promote Web safety and healthy surfing habits among ourselves and our children. But I think it is very dangerous to collude with the government with any moves on censorship or compulsory filters (even if they can be turned off.)

  • James M

    This question is going to sound moronic, and no doubt is – but, why can’t the Government make all forms of pornography illegal ? How can it be a party to making it available on-line ?

  • Pater

    Pornography and Erotica are two different things. Distinctions and definitions are called for.

  • PaulF

    I’m not comfortable with it either. Sure, we welcome restrictions on pornography. But do we welcome the idea from the man who has just broken his solemn election promise and turned fanatically pro homosexual? The stated aim is to protect children. I’m not satisfied that the next step is not to protect hypersensitive homosexuals from fair comment.

  • Heynalbeads

    Simply not acceptable to be told you cannot view without opting in.
    What else will you need to opt into if / once the booble law is passed?
    And the reality is, if the lawless element are driven further to the fringes, what will they do?
    I suspect they will occpy the outer fringes.
    Any one with kids who has tried hiding Christmas prezzies will tell you that their tech savvy teewnie will find the most awful things double quick. Restrictions or no restrictions.

  • Wowrly

    They won’t be able to manage this, I hope you all understand, so you’re fine and okay to watch and look at people acting out something completely natural. The Internet is to vast and deep to be regulated. Besides, if you see this as “protecting your children” maybe you should try being a more responsible and hands on parent? I.e if this concerns you so much – why are you allowing your children Internet access? And why aren’t you monitoring them if it’s that big of a deal? It’s your responsibility as a parent to protect your children, it isn’t the governments responsibility to make other people suffer or be inconvienanced because you’re to lazy to regulate what your child does, they don’t need Internet, there are plenty of offline child friendly games for PC. Your responsibility, not the governments, if you can’t protect them and accept responsibility you shouldn’t have children.