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UK Prime Minister Blocks Access to Pornography

gty_david_cameron_pm_file_kb_130722_16x9_992By JOANNA STERN

In a fight to combat children’s access to pornography and the existence of child pornography on the Internet, British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced a series of new steps, including having Internet providers in the country automatically block access to pornography sites.

He is also urging tech giants to do a better job of blocking child pornography, calling it “a moral duty” to do so.

“When it comes to the Internet, in the balance between freedom and responsibility, we have neglected our responsibility to our children,” Cameron said in a speech given in London early this morning. “My argument is that the Internet is not a sideline to ‘real life’ or an escape from ‘real life’; it is real life.”

The efforts to combat the two separate problems — the proliferation of child pornography online as well as the access children have to viewing pornographic videos and images — will begin this month, he said.

The UK’s National Crime Agency has already begun to work on plans to more effectively track down pedophiles who upload graphic photos and videos, but “this isn’t just a job for the government,” Cameron said.

“The Internet service providers and the search engine companies have a vital role to play and we have already reached a number of important agreements with them,” he said.

While reported child pornography images are blocked by search engines and Internet providers, Cameron urged search engines to do more by intercepting those who are searching for the content. He said the warning pages should explicitly tell users that child pornography isn’t only illegal, but that those who view it “face consequences, such as losing their job, their family, even access to their children if they continue.”

He also said specific searches should be blocked.

“Put simply, there needs to be a list of terms — a black list — which offer up no direct search results,” he said. “I have a very clear message for Google, Bing, Yahoo and the rest — you have a duty to act on this — and it is a mortal duty.”

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