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.

®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Trying to sell your house? It'd better have KILLER mobile coverage
More NB than transport links to next-gen buyers - study
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
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.
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.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.