UK Lawmakers Accessing Pornographic Websites on Parliamentary Servers
September 5, 2013 10:54 AM
The figures showed the number of attempts to access porn between the months of May 2012 and July 2013
The UK has been working on
that would limit or even block access to pornography, but new figures show that parliamentary staff have searched for porn hundreds of thousands of times under the Parliamentary Network servers.
The Huffington Post UK
had sent a a Freedom of Information (FOI) request regarding attempts to access pornographic websites on the Parliament's network, and the House of Commons admitted that MPs, Lords and parliamentary staff had made such attempts several times.
The figures showed the number of attempts to access porn between the months of May 2012 and July 2013.
The Huffington Post UK
revealed the numbers as follows:
May 2012: 2141
June 2012: 2261
July 2012: 6024
August 2012: 26,952
September 2012: 15,804
October 2012: 3391
November 2012: 114,844
December 2012: 6918
January 2013: 18494
February 2013: 15
March 2013: 22,470
April 2013: 55,552
May 2013: 18,346
June 2013: 397
July 2013: 15,707
The House of Commons said the above figures don't necessarily mean each attempt was intended. Sometimes there are Internet pop-ups that take you to other sites without knowing what it is.
However, the House of Commons had no answers as to why these numbers fluctuated so much. A spokeswoman also didn't deny that pornographic pop-ups don't appear on "mainstream" websites.
"We are not going to restrict Parliamentarians' ability to carry out research," said the spokeswoman.
These latest figures are not only disturbing to citizens because as taxpayers, they expect MPs and staff to do their jobs rather than look at porn -- but the UK has also been cracking down on citizens' access to pornography, and these numbers make the government seem hypocritical.
Last year, the UK introduced
the Online Safety Bill
, which aimed to force internet service providers (ISPs) and mobile network providers to offer internet packages that exclude access to pornographic material by default.
Some UK ISPs agreed to enforce the opt-in option for pornographic material as early as last year. TalkTalk Telecom Group PLC was one of the first to agree, and now, Cameron is looking to make this a widely used method.
Just this summer,
Prime Minister David Cameron
said he wanted all British citizens to tell their Internet service providers (ISPs) whether they'd like to opt in for filters on their computers and mobile devices. Once a household chooses to use the filters, they are applied to every computer and mobile gadget used in the home -- and they can't be turned off by the child. An adult must call their ISP and disable the filters themselves.
He also discussed a new set of measures to accomplish a more porn-free Britain, including banning the distribution and ownership of "extreme pornography," such as violence and fake rape scenes; offering stronger filters through ISPs, and attempting to target pedophiles and rapists by creating a blacklist of search terms (which will pinpoint those who use the search terms) and allowing police forces to work with one secure database of illegal images.
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