Feeds

MPs report back from internet's dark side

Country going to hell on YouTube

Intelligent flash storage arrays

MPs have called on the government to install a YouTube Czar to oversee user-generated content sites and better labels for video games.

The Committee of Culture, Media and Sport, in its report Harmful Content on the Internet and in Video Games, said it was unconvinced by claims from sites like YouTube that they could not check on uploaded content: "We recommend that proactive review of content should be standard practice for sites hosting user-generated content." The report said: "Even if review of every bit of content is not practical, that is not an argument to undertake none at all."

MPs called for the terms and conditions of such websites to be more prominently displayed and for direct links for reporting abuses to police and support organisations. The report said: "We are also concerned that user-generated video content on sites such as YouTube does not carry any age classification, nor is there a watershed before which it cannot be viewed."

The politicians accepted that self-regulation has had a beneficial effect but were concerned at "a lack of consistency and transparency of practice, and the public needs the assurance that certain basic standards will be met". The committee proposed tighter self-regulation, "under which the industry would speedily establish a self-regulatory body to draw up agreed minimum standards based upon the recommendations of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety, monitor their effectiveness, publish performance statistics, and adjudicate on complaints".

The committee even suggests that this body might also regulate online piracy, peer-to-peer services and Phorm-type advertising.

It called for industry standards to be set for take-down times. MPs commended Microsoft for providing a direct link to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre from within Windows Live Messenger and for putting parental controls into the X-box.

On video games the committee seems to add another level of confusion. There are two systems for labelling video games - one backed by the games industry across Europe called PEGI and one created by the British Board of Film Classification which the committee supports. This is at odds with the findings of Dr Tanya Byron, who recomended a blending of the two systems.

The report summary notes, apparently without irony, that "several Government departments have an interest in this field, and it does seem that there is scope for improved co-ordination of activity between them".

The talking shop also called for the UK council for Child Internet Safety to discuss with the Ministry of Justice whether the law on assisted suicide laws were strong enough and to take action to block sites which encourage suicide.

The report is available here. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.