MPs launch online child safety inquiry

A parliamentary inquiry into child safety on the internet has been launched by a group of 60 MPs.

Parents, child protection and internet experts, and managers of UK internet service providers (ISPs) are being invited to exchange opinions on the best way to protect children from online pornography.

The inquiry will include two evidence sessions at the House of Commons on 8 September and 18 October.

It is hoped the process will assess the extent to which children access inappropriate content online and the harm it may cause, as well as review measures ISPs can take to protect them.

A report will be given to communications minister Ed Vaizey in November. He said: “The internet is a powerful tool for education and entertainment but there is material online that is not suitable for children. I look forward to receiving the inquiry’s report and seeing their conclusions.”

Among the MPs who commissioned the report is Devizes MP Claire Perry, who also supports the Block Porn campaign, aiming to filter content at the network level and require adults to register to their ISPs to unblock pornographic websites.

She said: “Parents are understandably worried about the ease with which their children can view pornographic content on the internet and this inquiry will provide the ideal platform for all interested parties to discuss how best we can protect our children online.”