Is obscene material a barrier to take up of the Internet?

Nigel Hickson

Department of Trade and Industry

I do not yet have this material on-line. Most things on this page are based on my notes taken at the meeting, and should be viewed as my own opinion. However, the item at the end is my transcription of his final slide, and is, I believe, verbatim.

Nigel Hickson is part of the Information Security Policy unit of the DTI. The DTI believe the perception of the Internet as a haven for pornography is keeping businesses and individuals off the net. There is a concern about children accessing adult material, and of children being targeted by paedophiles via or with the assistance of the Internet. He seems to think that businesses will avoid using the Internet because "it's that place full of smut", or "employees will use it to bring porn into the office", and that this is holding them back.

According to a recent newspaper report, of the top 25 newsgroups by readership, 10 are about sex. [Personally, I see this as meaning that "adult" material is helping, not harming, take up of the Internet.]

The DTI is doing a study to establish facts on practical solutions that take account of the nature of the Internet. This study finishes at the end of March.

Managing the problem

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