MP wants law to force ISPs to get tough on porn spam

Hang on a mo

The UK's Internet industry has reacted to comments made in a newspaper by respected Net-savvy MP, Derek Wyatt.

In today's Guardian Mr Wyatt, chair of the parliamentary Internet Committee, called for the Government to force ISPs to get tough on spam.

In particular, he called on ISPs to be responsible for pornographic spam received by their subscribers.

Mr Wyatt's comments appear to stem from him and his family receiving more and more pornographic spam.

Mr Wyatt told The Guardian:"The amount of porn I get on a daily basis and the amount my children get is outrageous. It's so explicit and has put my children off using the Internet".

The MP for Sittingbourne and Sheppy also said he wanted to seek an amendment to the Communications Bill making ISPs responsible for their content - in much the same way that TV stations are responsible for what they broadcast.

But a spokesman for the Internet Service Providers' Association (ISPA) said he was disappointed in Mr Wyatt's remarks and pointed out that ISPs already do a lot to combat spam.

He went on: "ISPs are mere conduits for information - a point recognised in law. [If these proposals were introduced] it would be like holding the postal service responsible for junk mail."

Earlier this month messaging firm Nexor warned that pornographic emails are on the rise and growing in number by 20 per cent a year.

In May the European Parliament voted to ban spam. The new European directive should be in place some time next year and would mean that people will have to "opt in" or ask to receive commercial email.

However, many people are sceptical about the effectiveness of this legislation since much of the spam originates from outside the EU. ®

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