MPs call for crackdown on pre-paid credit cards
Child abusers getting away with it
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. ®
Why would we need evidence when this is about protecting children? Al you need to do is mention children (or drugs) and evidence takes a back seat to knee jerk reactions.
Tell you what though, now that this has been publicised I bet a lot of pedos will go and buy them rather than use their own credit cards. Talk about an own goal.
"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."
I wonder if the Honourable Gentleman has any evidence to support this supposition. I also wonder if the Hon Gent has any ties to any businesses who stand to make a profit by the removal of such pre-paid cards from the market, such as the providers of non-pre-paid cards?
Just wondering. Out loud. As it were...
For some reason, I seem to have developed the nervous habit of never taking anything a politician says at face value any more.
God we are ruled by morons.
Do they even have any evidence that this is the case?
And I'm pretty sure they're rather traceable as I'd expect that the card has an identifier that will flag up where the card was topped up and at what time, most of these locations will have some form of cctv or a person with a memory of somesort (neither are perfect, but likely easier to track then stolen cards/details)
Should Banks be liable for the abuse when a card is stolen and used? Or just the poor sod whose details were stolen?
Joined up thinking? We've heard of it.