MPs call for Google to curb access to porn

Liat Clark reporting for Wired.co.uk:

In the wake of the horrific murder of five-year-old April Jones, MPs and charities are calling for search engines and ISPs to restrict access to pornography. However, critics warn a blanket ban on legal content is not the answer.

The matter has been raised in the context of some of the worst crimes against children in recent British history. During the trials of Mark Bridger, sentenced this week to life imprisonment for his crime, and Stuart Hazell — who killed 12-year-old Tia Sharp in August 2012 — it was revealed that both had been searching online for disturbing images of child pornography and violent rape in the days leading up to the crimes.

This is an intriguing situation. I was discussing the concept of internet censorship earlier and as a result now don’t know where I stand on the issue. On the one hand the internet should remain as neutral as possible, but on the other, indecent images of children have no place anywhere in society.

One thing I do know is that it is not the job of Google alone to deal with this. There are other means of getting information on the web, so for a burden to be put on Google like this is rather unfair, even if they are the biggest player in the market. Nonetheless, this article is an excellent summary of the state of play here in the UK.

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