Hampshire MPs say internet companies should block pornography

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PORNOGRAPHY should be blocked on all computers by default to stop children accessing it, according to MPs from around the area.

The call comes days after a petition signed by more than 110,000 people demanding internet companies automatically block access to adult content was handed to the government.

If such a measure was to go ahead, internet providers would not allow adult content through their services for customers unless they specifically asked to opt out of the block.

Portsmouth South’s Lib Dem MP Mike Hancock and Gosport’s Tory MP Caroline Dinenage have both backed the idea.

Ms Dinenage said the problem of children accessing pornography online was a huge concern.

‘All my computers at home are set up with blocks but a lot of parents probably don’t know where to start to set it up and it’s hugely concerning,’ she said.

‘I think it would be nice to get to a situation where it was something that you had to opt into rather than out because kids these days have access to things that when we were children we would have to go and seek out.

‘These days it’s everywhere; it’s on TV and the internet and 
I feel in order to protect our kids and preserve their childhoods this should be done.’

Mr Hancock added: ‘In principle it sounds like a great idea and I think kids should be allowed to grow up in their own time.

‘Internet service providers have been allowed to get away with all sorts of things and they have been completely irresponsible.

‘It should be part of the process of buying a computer.’

Peers, MPs and church figures are among those who have signed the Safetynet petition.

It was organised by Christian media organisation Premier Christian Media (PCM).

Peter Kerridge, from PCM, said: ‘This would in no way restrict adults from accessing such websites but would help protect generations of young people from online pornographers.

‘We are now looking to this government to take action to halt this blatant and relentless assault on young and impressionable minds.

‘We demand they lock this ever-open door to pornography and depravity once and for all.’

Earlier this year the government launched a consultation asking parents and businesses how best to shield children from internet pornography.