Feeds

Public don't want internet filters, MS tells MPs

Filters understood, but ignored

Boost IT visibility and business value

The Select Committee looking at harmful content on the internet and in video games was told yesterday that forcing companies to include "internet filters" on equipment was unrealistic.

The Culture, Media, and Sport Committee heard evidence from lobby groups like the Children's Charities Coalition and Childnet International.

Matt Lambert, head of corporate affairs at Microsoft UK, told MPs that adding such filters to internet content would send Britain back to the dark ages. Lambert said it was unrealistic to expect software companies to act in place of parents - they should set limits on their kids' surfing. He said parents needed to be educated about what their kids are doing online and be aware of filters and other controls.

Lambert also said that existing filters in Microsoft products are not widely used even though people are aware of them.

The Committee is preparing a separate report to the Byron Review, on the impact of technology on children - headed up by telly therapist Tanya Byron which is due to report next month. Byron is expected to call for a clampdown on violent video games.

MPs were told that while illegal images or content were relatively easy to define "harmful content" was essentially a grey area which would prove difficult to nail down in legislation.

Several witnesses said the area would be better left to parents provided they were given the information needed to make sensible decisions.

A spokesman for the Committee told the Reg: "We had a good session yesterday with some robust exchanges with children's charities on what is actual harm. It was interesting that there seems to be quite wide knowledge of filtering systems even though they are not used - there is a consensus that we need better education but the tools are often already available." The Committee is hearing evidence until May and hopes to produce its report in June or July before the summer recess.

The committee also discussed ratings systems used for games. Lambert backed the PEGI system for rating video games according to ages.

®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom
Regulator swallows this line and parrots it back out at us. What are they playing at?
What's the nature of your emergency, Vodafone?
Oh, you've dialled the wrong number for ad fibs, rules ASA
EE network whacked by 'PDP authentication failure' blunder
Carrier is 'aware' of cockup, working on a fix NOW
ROAD TRIP! An FCC road trip – Leahy demands net neutrality debate across US
You crashed watchdog's site, now time to crash its ears
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?