Delyn MP David Hanson has welcomed a new range of measures announced to keep children safer online. The guidance is designed to make it harder for child sex offenders to meet children online through social networking sites.
Under new plans to monitor sex offenders online, which will be developed and explored in partnership with industry and CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) on behalf of law enforcement agencies, the email addresses of registered child sex offenders will be passed by police to social networking websites, enabling these websites to stop offenders using their sites. Sex offenders would face up to five years in prison if they fail to give police their email addresses or provide a false email address.
The first UK Social Networking Guidance provides advice for industry, parents and children about how to stay safe online. This has been developed by a Taskforce of representatives from industry, charity and law enforcement agencies including Vodafone, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) and the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC).
The Social Networking Guidance contains a number of recommendations for service providers and safety advice for users for the first time including:
* The display of reporting and/or advice links to a range of agencies such as CEOP, NSPCC, Samaritans, and others to allow users to report issues of abuse or seek help;
* Arrangements for industry and law enforcement to share reports of potentially illegal activity and suspicious behaviour;
* To make it more difficult for people registered over the age of 18 to search for users under the age of 18; and
* To encourage children not to provide excessive information about themselves
David Hanson said:
“It is important that young people can get the full benefits of the Internet which is not only a fantastic source of information but increasingly a place for people to interact with their friends through social networking sites.
“However, children should be able to explore these opportunities without the fear of being the target of sex offenders, which is why I welcome today’s guidance.
“Government already has some of the strictest controls on sex offenders in the world and continues to work with industry, law enforcement agencies and charities to create a safe networking environment.”