Feeds

MPs call for crackdown on pre-paid credit cards

Child abusers getting away with it

The Power of One Infographic

The government has been urged by MPs to tighten controls on pre-paid credit cards, with claims they help child abusers avoid detection online.

Labour MP Geraint Davies said the cards were routinely used by paedophiles to hide their identities as he proposed a bill on Wednesday to force credit card companies to act.

He wants Visa and Mastercard to be liable when pre-paid card are used to access to abuse material, which would probably lead to their withdrawal or strict identity controls.

"Until 2002, users simply submitted their credit and debit card details online to download images of abuse from the web," Davies said.

"These days the new route for users is to hide their identity by using pre-paid credit cards to download images. These pre-paid cards are available to adults and children for £100 a time at service stations and high street retailers without the need to provide proof of identity."

Davies' private member's Bill - introduced under what is know as a Ten Minute Rule Motion - drew support across the Commons, with backing from Tories including Edward Leigh, the chairman of the Public Accounts Commitee.

Under current legislation, Davies said, no proof of identity is required to purchase a pre-paid card worth up to £100.

"That is why Parliament should back the provisions in my Bill to make credit and debit card companies liable for penalties when their cards are used to download images of abuse," he said.

Davies acknowledged that Visa and Mastercard had taken action following a police crackdown on online child pornography in 2002 to monitor and report illegal use of conventional credit cards, but said abusers have migrated to pre-paid.

"The credit card companies are not taking pre-emptive action," he charged.

"There is lots of money involved and no appetite for voluntary industry action."

"I hope that the Government will listen and adopt the provisions into mainstream legislation."

Ten Minute Rule Motions are typically used to draw government attention rather than in expectation of becoming law. ®

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Sit back down, Julian Assange™, you're not going anywhere just yet
Swedish court refuses to withdraw arrest warrant
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
LightSquared backer sues FCC over spectrum shindy
Why, we might as well have been buying AIR
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.