Good in parts.
Dr. Byrons report talks a great deal of common sense in the face of some daft ideas about the material in question and a clear desire by the government to bring in legislation to 'control the internet'.
Worryingly she agrees with extending the blacklisting already in place for child abuse site, to other sites which show 'inappropriate material'. so now we must have another public space defined by what is 'safe' for children, simply because parents will not take responsibility?
Any parent who leaves their child unattended to surf the internet is committing neglect, it is that simple. The education of parents should simply be about stating what is obvious; the internet is not an electronic nanny and is not 'safe'.
Dr. Byron admits that it is almost impossible to regulate the internet and even goes as far as to say banning some sites may just drive vulnerable users to more obscure and harder to monitor sites. Attempts to restrict internet use for all do not harm those who are hardcore 'offenders', they simply move to another site or private mail group or switch to encryption. It is everyone else who has their freedoms chipped away yet again.
Games already have clear age certification. Who buys games the games certified for 18 years and older, that so many under 18s play? Can't parents read? do they never check what their children are doing?
Though there is some sense talked in this report the authors referral to contested and, far from proven, evidence as reason to move in certain areas is dismaying and an indicator of the same old knee-jerk responses. Much better is the call for more research in these areas, though I have no doubt the government will stack the deck and make sure any research gives them the answer they want, as this seems to be their way of working nowadays.
On the whole not a bad report, but too much room for Government to spin it into anything they want, which is bound to be more infringements of our rights.
"Tell the people that what you are doing is for the sake of the children and they will accept anything."