Friday, 30 July 2010

Why I'm backing fines for credit card firms over child porn

I am backing a bill which will penalise credit card companies who enable the downloading of child pornography, in particular, through the use of pre-paid credit cards.

Pre-paid cards are available from local retailers without the need for the purchaser to provide details of their name and address allowing images of child abuse to be downloaded anonymously. The Credit Regulation (Child Pornography) Bill 2010 has received support from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP).

CEOP is dedicated to eradicating the sexual abuse of children. That means they are part of UK policing and very much about tracking and bringing offenders to account either directly or in partnership with local and international forces.

The bill will require government support if it is to have any chance of getting onto the statute book. According to the International Business Times ‘child pornography is one of the fastest growing businesses online’.

The simple fact is that, under current legislation, no proof of identity is required for card values below £100 so all the buyer has to do is make up a name and address and they have instant access to these vile websites.

In addition to fines imposed on the credit card companies the bill would require proof of identity in order to purchase pre-paid credit cards.

I have also signed Early Day Motion 529 in support of legislation.


That this House calls upon the Government to bring forward legislative proposals to impose penalties upon credit card and debit card providers for the facilitation of the downloading of child pornography from the internet.