Press Release - CHIS expresses regret and concern at Government failure to deal with access to online child abuse images, February 2009

Posted 22 February 2009 by CHIS

A press release which expresses regret and concern at the failure of Government to fulfil its policy commitment in relation to online child abuse images.

In April 2006 the Government said it wished to see all ISPs in the UK acting voluntarily to deploy the Internet Watch Foundation’s list of known child abuse web sites so as to block access to them. The Government also indicated at the time, and repeatedly since, that it wished to see this objective fulfilled by 31st December, 2007. Ministers said that if 100% was not achieved by the end of December 2007 they would review alternative means of achieving the same end.

In January 2009, over a year after the deadline expired, the Government confirmed that the number of ISPs complying with the policy provided connectivity to around 95% of all UK households with broadband connections and that it had been stuck at that level for
some time. 95% may sound like an impressive number but in this case a 5% difference means nearly three-quarters of a million households can still gain access to these horrific illegal sites. That is simply far too many and it represents a serious failure of the UK’s self-regulatory system and of the Government to exert itself.

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