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Petition asks U.S. government to make access to pornography ‘opt-in’ for internet users

November 19th, 2013 Jill Posted in Internet, Pornography Comments Off

By Kirsten Andersen, LifeSite News

A new petition is asking the federal government to require internet service providers to block access to pornography by default, following the introduction of a similar policy in the United Kingdom.

“We are asking that people who are interested in porn should have to seek it and choose it,” the petition reads. “They should have to ‘Opt In’ for it by making arrangements to receive it with their Internet Service Provider. Everyone else should be free from it and assumed ‘Opt Out.’”
The petition’s author, “M.G.” of Greenbrae, Calif., echoed the concerns of frustrated parents nationwide who struggle to shield their children’s eyes from porn in a world where Internet access is available to many kids 24/7.
“The average person, even children, can type in the word ‘cat’ or ‘home’ or ‘soup’ and instantly be inundated with offensive and disturbing pornographic images,” the petition states. “Parents and individuals have to go to great lengths to install Internet filters that often don’t weed out all porn. We are asking for greater protection and responsibility from Internet Service providers and our country.”
As of this writing, the petition has been active for three weeks and has garnered roughly 35,000 signatures. It must reach 100,000 signatures in the next five days to become eligible for a response from the White House.
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David Cameron declares war on internet pornography

July 22nd, 2013 Jill Posted in Internet, Pornography Comments Off

By Tim Ross, Telegraph

The Prime Minister is to outline plans for every UK internet user to be asked whether they want access to pornography.

Every internet user in the country will be asked whether they want to have access to pornography, David Cameron will say, as he warns that hardcore images are “corroding childhood”.

A joint British and American “task force” will be created to tackle obscene websites, while Google and other search engine providers will be required to draw up a “blacklist” of the most depraved and illegal search terms, the Prime Minister will announce.

The initiatives will also include new measures to stop children accidentally stumbling across explicit but legal pornographic images in public places, according to well-placed sources. The six biggest companies providing access to wireless internet in cafés and railway stations have all signed a deal to block legal pornography where children could view it. The roll-out of “family friendly Wi-Fi” is expected to begin from the end of August.

The moves follow concern that hardcore and violent images are damaging children’s lives while access to illegal child pornography has been linked to high profile crimes.

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Live child sex abuse images warning from Ceop

July 2nd, 2013 Jill Posted in Children/Family, Internet Comments Off

From BBC News

Images showing child sex abuse – including those streamed from live webcams – are increasingly available on the internet, experts warn.

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre received reports relating to 70,000 indecent images in 2012 – twice as many as in 2011.

Ceop received 8,000 reports of obscene material being downloaded or shared in the UK.

An estimated 50,000 UK web users are involved in distributing abuse images.

Live streaming had been identified as an emerging threat, it said. Offenders had been found to be targeting vulnerable families overseas, particularly in parts of the developing world.

Children were then forced to engage in sexual activity on live webcams in exchange for payment to the family or criminals. Ceop said that online video services such as Skype were among those being exploited to transmit live images of abuse.

Ceop said many abusers were hiding their actions deep in the "hidden internet" by using encrypted networks and other secure methods to distribute images. These methods made it harder for law enforcement agencies to trace abusers.

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Online pornography: see no evil

June 18th, 2013 Jill Posted in Children/Family, Internet, Pornography Comments Off

by Matt Wardman, Telegraph

Can the Government and internet providers really hope to tackle online porn? And are parents doing enough?

'As a parent, I worry about what our children can get to see when they grab hold of our iPad or log on to the internet,” says David Cameron. The Prime Minister could not be clearer: he wants to make the net safer. Today, therefore, a summit at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport will bring together web companies, internet providers and many others, all aiming to produce tangible results that will ease the minds of anxious parents.

There could be no greater Sisyphean challenge – with young people notoriously savvier online than their parents, sites registered in far-flung jurisdictions and an ever-growing industry aimed at adult tastes and worse, not even China has managed to tame the web. In the West, there’s a near impossible tightrope to walk between freedom of expression and making what used to be called the information superhighway as safe as the high street.

So is it down to parents to set boundaries for their children in a fundamentally unsafe digital world? Couldn’t Google simply filter out anything unsafe for family consumption? And can any government even hope to solve such a global challenge?

First, perhaps, it’s worth establishing where parents already stand: while pornography is easily found online, most children are not interested in accessing hardcore images of extreme or illegal acts. Exposure is more often accidental than it is intended, according to a recent report by the Children’s Commissioner. Vast free adult sites equivalent to YouTube do exist, with more categories than a schoolboy could dream of, but their shocking content is legal. Today’s summit – lasting just 90 minutes – is likely to focus on illegal images.

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Internet porn is leading children on an ‘unstoppable march into a moral wasteland’

March 8th, 2013 Jill Posted in Children/Family, Internet, Pornography Comments Off

By Daniel Martin, Mailonline

  • Lib Dem peer warns that young women and girls are the 'main casualties' of an 'epidemic' of violent material found online
  • NSPCC found more than 5,000 under-18s have been questioned by the police over sex offences over the past three years

Former children’s TV presenter Floella Benjamin has warned of an ‘epidemic’ of violent online porn, which is leading youngsters on a ‘seemingly unstoppable march into a moral wasteland’.

Baroness Benjamin – who sits as a Lib Dem peer in the Lords – said girls were becoming increasingly sexualised while more and more boys were treating them as little more than ‘sexual objects’.

In an impassioned speech to mark today’s International Women’s Day, she said boys were pressurising girls into degrading behaviour.

‘I believe we have opened a Pandora’s box and I have no answer as to how we can reverse the trend of the sexual objectification of women and how to protect our children against its influence,’ she said.

The former Play School and Play Away presenter said violent pornography was ‘only a mouse click away’ and was a ‘pan-global epidemic’.

Too many children were growing up believing happiness could be gained purely by using sex as a commodity, she warned.

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Free speech, the Internet and the legacy of 1689

January 28th, 2013 Jill Posted in Freedom Of Speech, Internet, Religious Liberty Comments Off

by Julian Mann, Heresy Corner

Both British Christians and secular journalists have good reason to celebrate 1689. It was the year Parliament passed the Act of Toleration which removed the restrictions on non-conformist Protestants holding church meetings. It was also the year Parliament passed the Bill of Rights, effectively allowing a free press in England, which then extended to Great Britain following the 1707 Acts of Union.

But now 1689 is being put into reverse by the coalition government. If same-sex marriage is passed into law, the Equality Act of 2010 could well make it illegal for a Christian teacher to declare his or her belief that same-sex marriage is wrong or even that it is not on a moral par with heterosexual marriage. Christians in the public sector will be the new nonconformists officially persecuted by the State.

The suppression of a free press in the UK is likely to be a more slow-burning process than the squeeze on Christian freedom of expression. But the Leveson enquiry demonstrated that there is a powerful and wealthy lobby of celebrities who want the British government to stop journalists criticising their moral behaviour, particularly their sexual conduct. That narcissistic celebrity mentality is surely the same as that driving the politically influential gay lobby, who want to stop Christians expressing the Bible's moral teaching in the public square.

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Dave and his mates are the prisoners of #hashtag politics

January 12th, 2013 Jill Posted in Internet, Politics Comments Off

by Damian Thompson, Telegraph

Why is David Cameron forcing Liberal Democrat policies on his own party? Norman Tebbit asked that question on his Telegraph blog this week; the obvious answer is that it’s because the Conservatives are in coalition with Lib Dems – but the truth is rather more complicated than that.
Dave’s closest allies truly believe in gay marriage, green energy and the spraying of “foreign aid” at African dictators. It’s part of their posh benevolence. “We must lead the way,” I can imagine them saying as they dig into the Gorgonzola at the end of a kitchen supper.
But these are also electorally useless policies. And that’s the odd thing. However much the Cameroons love their gay and Lefty friends, they love power more. So why take the risk of throwing away a majority to secure the approval of people who aren’t actually going to vote for you?
Tory strategy only makes sense once you realise that it’s the product of anxious Googling, messaging and tweeting. We used to wonder what politics would look like after the collapse of socialism. Now we know. The internet has empowered the people who know how to manipulate it best – above all, shouty special interest groups.
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Archbishop of Canterbury: social media can be poisonous

December 18th, 2012 Jill Posted in Archbishop Of Canterbury, Internet Comments Off

From London Evening Standard

Social media can be "poisonous" and destructive but can also be used to do great good, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said.
Dr Rowan Williams said Pope Benedict XVI and many of his fellow Church of England bishops are now on Twitter but he struggles with "any kind" of technology.

The outgoing archbishop, speaking on the BBC Radio 2 Pause for Thought slot on the Chris Evans Breakfast Show, said it was often assumed that clergy were "too unworldly" for social media. But not all clergy should be assumed to be as "dim" as he is in this area.

Dr Williams spoke of how Sam Johnson, a New Zealand student, received a huge response after putting out a call through Twitter for help clearing up and doing rescue work following the Christchurch earthquakes.

"Thousands of students from all the way across New Zealand turned up and spent weeks and months in Christchurch doing essential work and getting a community on its feet again," Dr Williams said.

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They say they are the most family friendly government ever. So why such cowardice on internet porn?

December 17th, 2012 Jill Posted in Children/Family, Internet, Pornography Comments Off

By Melanie Phillips, Mailonline

One of the most pressing anxieties of responsible parents is how to stop their children from accessing pornography on the internet.

Nearly three-quarters of nine to 16-year-olds in Britain go online daily. Growing numbers of three and four-year-old children are accessing the net.

So preventing them from stumbling across or even choosing to download internet porn is a very real problem.
There is cross-party support for tougher online controls, reflecting acute parental anxiety.

In a consultation exercise, half of parents said they wanted some content blocked automatically.

So the Government’s proposals, which were slipped out quietly a few days ago on the Department for Education website as if it didn’t want anyone to notice, have left many frankly baffled.

For it said that while access to internet porn would be banned in public places, no such ban would apply to private use.

It has rejected plans — supported by the NSPCC — to block access to ‘adult’ content automatically so internet users would have to opt in to see it.

So children won’t be able to access the stuff in cafes, shops or railway stations, but will be able to do so in the privacy of their own bedrooms. What is the logic of that?
The Government’s arguments are mystifying. It claims, for example, that an opt-in system would create a ‘false sense of security’ because not all harmful content would be screened out, and that it would not combat online bullying of children, abuse or grooming by paedophiles.

What a bizarre argument that because controls would not stop every single undesirable activity it is not worth having any controls at all!

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Read also:  Children pore over sexual images as their parents watch Downton in the next room… yet ministers do nothing by Harriet Harman, Mailonline

(David Lindsay comments on Harriet Harman's past record concerning children here, and earlier here)

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Scale of sexual offences committed by primary school children revealed

November 19th, 2012 Jill Posted in Children/Family, Internet, Pornography Comments Off

By Paul Bentley, Mailonline

Children as young as ten are being arrested on suspicion of rape amid fears that online pornography is twisting their view of sex and relationships.

The scale of sexual offences committed by primary school children was revealed in disturbing figures from police forces across the country.

Twenty-four forces arrested children under 13 for suspected rape in the past year while seven detained at least one ten year old.

The figures, obtained by the Daily Mail under a Freedom of Information request, highlight growing concerns at the influence of online pornography on impressionable young minds.

Yesterday NSPCC spokesman Jon Brown said there was ‘undoubtedly’ a link between children carrying out sexual assaults and easy access to online pornography, which gives them a ‘distorted picture of what sexual relationships should be about’.

John Carr, from the Children’s Charities’ Coalition on Internet Safety, said: ‘There is already a widespread feeling that the internet is playing an unhealthy part in the early sexualisation of children and these revelations about the arrests of ten-year-olds for rape will add fuel to the flames.’

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Lasting damage to young minds left by online porn

September 8th, 2012 Jill Posted in Children/Family, Internet, Pornography Comments Off

By Tamara Cohen, Mailonline

Brain expert warns children must be protected from extreme images

  • Baroness Greenfield has backed opt-in system for online pornography
  • Oxford University professor says children must be protected from premature sexualisation

A leading neuroscientist has backed an opt-in system for online pornography, saying extreme images may cause long-term harm to children’s brains.

Baroness Susan Greenfield urged ministers to respect parents’ concerns over uncontrolled internet access.

The Oxford University professor said the developing brain was ‘vulnerable’ and that children needed to be protected from premature sexualisation.

Already, she said, young people she had spoken to believed ‘relationships are for losers’ and that having multiple sexual partners would impress their friends. The Daily Mail is campaigning for an automatic block on online porn unless over-18s specifically ask their internet service providers to let them see such material, following strict age verification.

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Online Safety – Let’s Put Children First

September 4th, 2012 Jill Posted in Children/Family, Internet, Pornography Comments Off

From The Archbishop of York's website

The Archbishop of York has written today in the Daily Mail about the importance of protecting young people using the internet. His article follows…

This week, on 6th September, the Government consultation into Parental Internet Controls will officially close.

This is our last chance to put across to Ministers our concerns about the growing amount of inappropriate material on the internet being accessed by children and young people.

Firstly, I want to thank Tim Loughton and Lynne Featherstone for holding this consultation and giving people the chance to air their views on this serious issue.

The internet can be a wonderful educational tool. It is good that a growing number of children have access to the internet – but it is important that this is done in a safe and controlled environment.

99% of people aged 7-16 have used the internet – when this is done in a public environment such as a school or library, it is usual that a certain amount of safeguards are put in place.

Read here

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Last few days of online safety consultation – sign petition now!

September 1st, 2012 Jill Posted in Children/Family, Internet, Pornography Comments Off

Every  day children and young people are exposed to pornographic and offensive images online. We think children should have the right to surf the internet safely.

Internet service providers could solve the problem by blocking pornography at network level whilst giving adults a choice to 'opt-in' to this content.

Sign petition here

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Children exposed to sex on screen ‘go on to be promiscuous’

August 28th, 2012 Jill Posted in Children/Family, Internet, Pornography Comments Off

By Daniel Martin, Mailonline

Children who watch films with a high sexual content tend to lose their virginity earlier and have more partners, a study has found.

Not only are they more promiscuous, they are also more likely to engage in risky sex by not using condoms.

The six-year study of more than 1,200 teens refers to sexual content in films but campaigners against online porn say it could equally apply to videos on the internet.

They point out that children can now see a lot more sexual imagery online than they ever did at the cinema – meaning that the effect will be magnified. Pornographic images and videos are freely available on the net, many on sites with no age verification procedures at all, putting children at risk.

The NSPCC warns that young male teens are now pressurising their girlfriends to copy what they see on porn films downloaded from the internet.

Read here

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Online porn linked to sex crimes rise in Scotland

June 29th, 2012 Jill Posted in Children/Family, Internet, Pornography Comments Off

From The Christian Institute

Internet pornography, and young children sending each other sexual images online, have both been partly blamed for an increase in sexual offences in Scotland.

Responding to recent figures, one group warned that children are easily getting hold of “extreme pornography”, while parents were also urged to get a grasp of what their children are seeing online.

Sandy Brindley, from Rape Crisis Scotland, told The Herald newspaper: “There seems to be more young people committing sexual offences and this could be linked to the accessibility of extreme pornography.”

Gillian Wade, head of the National Sexual Crimes Unit, partly blamed the “unlimited access to the internet and social networking sites” for the rise.

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Child abuse taking place in every ‘town, village and hamlet’ in England

June 13th, 2012 Jill Posted in Children/Family, Internet, Pornography Comments Off

by Martin Beckford, Telegraph

Children are being sexually exploited in every “town, village and hamlet” in England with social networking sites and easy access to pornography fuelling the problem, a watchdog has warned MPs.

Sue Berelowitz, Deputy Children's Commissioner, said abuse was taking place in “leafy rural areas” as well as inner cities, and involved organised gangs as well as lone paedophiles using computers.

Although the focus has been on men of Pakistani origin abusing vulnerable white girls, she said that people of all races and backgrounds are seeing others in their community as providing “easy access” for exploitation.
Some youths are using the latest mobile phone technology to invite their friends to join in the raping of girls, or filming the assaults in a form of blackmail, while adults are masquerading as teenagers to befriend young people on Facebook.
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So, Minister, since when were the civil liberties of porn users more important than those of children?

April 23rd, 2012 Jill Posted in Internet, Pornography Comments Off

by Melanie Phillips, Mailonline

As any responsible parent knows, the internet has introduced a vile new hazard into the upbringing of children.

It is inordinately difficult to keep an eye on just what they are accessing on the net through the PC in a corner of their bedroom or the iPhone in their pocket.

And lurking but a few clicks of the mouse away are images and videos of hard-core internet pornography.

In a cross-party report published last week, MPs warned that a whole generation of children was growing up with their minds affected by images of depravity from which most adults would avert their gaze. 

We’re not talking here about mere smut, but the most degraded and perverted sexual acts that warped minds can devise.

The number of children freely accessing this material is horrifying. No fewer than four out of five 16-year-olds regularly view pornography online, while one in three ten-year-olds has similarly viewed images of this nature.

What a wholesale corruption of childhood has suddenly overtaken us — and with what untold consequences.

Yet the response of the companies making this filth available online has been astonishingly irresponsible and even contemptuous.

Read here

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Children grow up addicted to online porn sites: Third of 10-year-olds have seen explicit images

April 19th, 2012 Jill Posted in Children/Family, Internet, Pornography Comments Off

By Gerri Peev, Mailonline

A 'guinea pig’ generation of children is growing up addicted to hardcore internet pornography, MPs were warned last night.

Four out of five 16-year-old boys and girls regularly access porn online while one in three ten-year-olds has seen explicit material, a disturbing cross-party report reveals.

It also cites figures showing that more than a quarter of young patients being treated at a leading private clinic are receiving help for addiction to online pornography.

One appalled MP revealed that her son had told her that swapping hardcore images on memory sticks between pupils at his school is ‘absolutely rife’.

There are fears that the rise of internet pornography is leaving teenagers unable to maintain normal relationships and even increasing their susceptibility to grooming by sexual abusers.

Read here

Read also:  How to protect your kids from internet pornography by Peter Saunders,CMF


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David Cameron: Safer Internet Day ‘is a personal priority’

February 7th, 2012 Jill Posted in Children/Family, Internet, Pornography Comments Off

By Emma Barnett, Telegraph

David Cameron has lent his support to Safer Internet Day, saying making sure parents are empowered enough to ensure their children’s safety online is a “personal priority” of his.

The Prime Minister said: “It never ceases to amaze me how quickly children grasp new technology, cracking it instinctively to hunt down their favourite website. As a parent it can be daunting to keep up, and worrying to know that alongside the fun, games and educational sites there are dangers they need to be protected from.
“Safer Internet Day aims to address these concerns by empowering parents, helping them to understand the problems then arming them with the right tools to keep their children safe online. Getting this right is a personal priority for me. It's important to have a joined up approach across the industry to ensure the information parents need get through effectively.”
His comments coincide with TalkTalk’s new policy to help parents keep their children safe online. The internet service provider will now ask all parents signing up for broadband if they want to protect their children from potentially harmful web content.

TalkTalk, which has 4.2 million phone and broadband customers, said that its latest survey indicated that many children used the web without supervision. It found that 60 per cent of parents worried their child might see inappropriate web content, but that nearly 40 per cent of seven year olds and 60 per cent of nine year olds have used the internet alone.

Read here

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Online Racism and neo-Nazism

November 18th, 2011 Jill Posted in Internet, Intolerance, Islam Comments Off

Dr  Patrick SookhdeoFrom Barnabas Fund

Barnabas Fund’s International Director Dr Patrick Sookhdeo spoke on the Islam Channel against racism and neo-Nazism in a discussion about a new study that highlights growing online support for far right groups in Europe.
He was one of the guests on the Politics and Media Show, which explored the findings of “The New Face of Digital Populism” by leading think-tank Demos, on Monday 14 November, 2011.
Based on a study of 10,000 online supporters, the report outlines how social media are being harnessed by far right groups to further their agendas.
The Islam Channel’s Politics and Media Show explained how Muslims are concerned about the rise of the far right and support for such groups on the internet; they fear the provocation of a racist, even violent response against them.
Dr Sookhdeo spoke of his personal experience as a victim of racism first in the 1960s when his family moved to the UK and more recently in the 1990s when he was beaten up by members of the National Front.
He strongly condemned the rise of racist and neo-Nazi movements, and argued that attacks on Muslims are totally unacceptable.
Dr Sookhdeo said that Britain and Europe, owing to the rise of secular humanism, were without a moral and spiritual rudder, and this is leading to the rise of extremism.
Read here
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