Culture, Media and Sport CommitteeWritten evidence submitted by Christopher G. H. Thomas

I wish to make a submission to the Committee as an individual, a parent and grandparent, a practising Christian and as a user of the internet.

I understand the great advance that the internet has brought to young people in accessing the immense wealth of information available to assist them in their studies and other areas of normal life.

However, it has unquestionably brought with it very great moral dangers and much material which damages children and adolescents. Included with this is access to images and information which is inappropriate for those in developing years. They are just not able to handle such things at that age.

I recognise that parents have a major responsibility to protect their children from contact with damaging or corrupting matter on the internet, but would respectfully submit to the Committee that the Government also has the responsibility to use its power to provide suitable protection.

Measures I would submit to the Committee as things the Government should do are:

1. Make it a legal requirement that all internet-accessible equipment and devices sold in the UK have a default setting as standard that all adult material is blocked.

2. Software to verify the age of users should be improved, and the Government should promote its use strongly.

3. The Government should use its authority and influence with manufacturers to ensure that they put into practice such measures. They should not be diverted by suggestions that they are impinging on individual freedom.


September 2013

Prepared 18th March 2014