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Internet Controls

Volume 549: debated on Monday 3 September 2012

18. What level of response the UK Council for Child Internet Safety received to its consultation on parental internet controls. (118481)

As co-chairs of the executive board of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety, the Minister for Equalities, who is also responsible for criminal information, and I launched a consultation on parental internet controls on 28 June. The consultation closes on 6 September and the final number of responses will not be known until then, but to date there have been no fewer than 600 responses from parents, members of the public, charities and businesses.

Members across the House will pay tribute to the Minister and his UKCCIS team for setting up this important inquiry.

We know that 83% of parents are deeply worried about how easy it is for young people to stumble across or find adult material online. Does the Minister think that enough of those parents’ voices are going to be heard in what is quite a technical consultation? Is he looking forward to getting a 110,000-name petition from parents, proving that parents are very interested in this point?

I pay tribute to the work that my hon. Friend has done on this important issue. She is absolutely right. I absolutely want the internet to be a safer place for our children, and I am open to any suggestions to bring that about. However, a joint effort is needed, which is why UKCCIS is a union of lots of different interested parties. But parents are absolutely at the heart of the issue: they need to know what to look out for in respect of their children’s internet access at home and to talk to their children to make sure that they are safe. We all have a role in this, and I praise the contribution that my hon. Friend is making.