British Parliament Accessed Porn 300,000 Times a YearA Freedom of Information request has showed that there were more than 300,000 attempts to access porn on the Parliamentary Network in 2012. Although there are almost 5,000 people working in Parliament, including MPs, peers, and a lot of staff, the number is still very high.
In response to a Freedom of Information request, the UK House of Commons admitted that users of the Parliamentary Network, including MPs and staff, repeatedly tried to access sites tagged as pornographic. In the meantime, the numbers fluctuated wildly – for example, almost 115,000 attempts were registered in November and 55,000 in April, while in May there were only 18,000 attempts.
Of course, the Commons explained that the figures don’t prove that the access was intentional – indeed, users could have accessed a website containing optional or automatic links to other websites or other pop-up arrangements, which could be recorded as direct requests.
However, it is clear that the sort of sites which are known for throwing up such dodgy ads are grey-area legal themselves – they are largely dating sites or ad-packed content streaming. The Commons’ spokesperson added that they also had no intention of restricting Parliament’s ability to carry out research.
Industry observers point out that the dodgy figures were revealed mere months after British PM David Cameron decided to launch a moral crusade against porn content by introducing a blanket opt-out option for all largest ISPs. Apparently, 300,000 attempts is obviously a fair amount of research to discover material classified as violent, extremist, terrorist, alcohol, smoking and web-blocking circumvention tools or porn which is so extreme it can’t be bought in a licensed sex shop.