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Cameron’s porn filter planner arrested over child abuse image claims

A government special adviser closely involved in drawing up plans for default porn filters has been arrested on child abuse imagery allegations. 

Patrick Rock, 62, was arrested last month after officials at No. 10 Downing Street were made aware of a potential offence relating to child abuse images. 

After Downing Street reported the matter, Rock was arrested at his home in the early hours of February 13. CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) operatives then conducted a search of the offices and IT systems used by Rock, who has yet to be charged. 
 
Cameron’s porn filter planner arrested over child abuse image claims

The government has applied pressure to the UK’s leading ISPs and IT giants Google and Microsoft, over concerns that children could easily access illegal child abuse imagery and legal adult pornography. 

Since then, BT, Sky, Virgin Media and TalkTalk have all revamped their existing parental security measures, which will be switched on by default for new customers. By the end of 2014, every customer will be asked if they want to install parental controls. 

The government is keen to make sure every customer of these ISPs, which supply internet access to the majority of UK homes, will be given an unavoidable choice whether or not to turn the controls on. 

A recent Ofcom survey shows that while a significant percentage of parents choose not to install filtering software, a large number also don’t know how to use them or how to turn them on. 

Government sources speaking to the Daily Mail, which broke the story, said: “The Prime Minister believes that child abuse imagery is abhorrent and that anyone involved with it should be properly dealt with under the law.” 

CEOP is a division of the National Crime Agency and is tasked with tracking the movements of suspected paedophiles online. The division saw its £6 million budget cut by 10 per cent by this government. 

CEOP is supported in its work by the IWF (Internet Watch Foundation) which has since received a £1 million donation from BT, Sky, Virgin Media and TalkTalk. 

Image: Dan Chitnis/Flickr

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