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Internet: Regulation

Volume 459: debated on Wednesday 2 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions she has had with (a) the Chancellor of the Exchequer and (b) Ofcom on the introduction of the new regulatory system for internet sites referred to by the Chancellor in a speech on 7 March; and when these discussions took place. (135218)

There have been no discussions between my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and the Chancellor on the regulation of internet sites.

The independent regulator, Ofcom, does not regulate content on the internet, but does have a statutory duty to promote media literacy under the Communications Act 2003. In pursuit of that duty, Ofcom has been working to raise people’s awareness of how to use web browsers, electronic programme guides and other tools in order to navigate safely and effectively. It is currently developing proposals for the management of audio and visual content using content labelling and tools such as internet filtering and firewalls. DCMS and Ofcom officials have had periodic discussions about Ofcom’s plans in this area.