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 strict measures 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.  

Source: BBC News

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