[Prev][Next][Index][Thread]

England's take on cyberporn



Evidently Britian is taking their own stand on pornography on the
Internet.  This seems a bit intriguing considering the tittilating
photos the Brits love to run on page 2 of their newspapers, plus the
fact that their court system holds someone guilty until proven innocent,
I believe.

The second enclosure is the text from a proposed self-rating and
policing system for UK Internet sites.  A government agancy would handle
complaints, according to item #17, similar to a government policing
agency in place in Holland.  There are also policies on traceability and
usenet groups.

*********************************************
>From the Web site: http://dtiinfo1.dti.gov.uk/safety-net/index.html
(The United Kingdom Department of Trade and Industry)
Dated Feb. 28, 1997

Notes for Editors 

        1. The Government has introduced a number of measures to deal
        with pornography and obscene material, including their use on
        computers. The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994
        increased the maximum sentence for possession of indecent
        photographs of children from a 5,000 fine to six months in
prison
        and/or a 5,000 fine. 

        2. It also gave police the power to arrest without warrant
people
        suspected of obscenity and certain child pornography offences
and
        greater powers to search and seize obscene material and child
        pornography. It also closed a potential legal loophole by
extending
        the law to cover simulated child pornography manufactured and
        stored on computer. Possession of such an image is punishable by
        up to six months in prison and/or a 5,000 fine. 

        3. The Act also extends the definition of "publication" under
the
        Obscene Publications Act 1959 to cover the transmission of
        material from one computer to another. 

        4. The Government has also set up an Inter Departmental Group on
        Obscenity with a specific remit to look at issues relating to
child
        pornography and the use of computers to distribute such
material.
        The group first met in March last year under the chairmanship of
the
        Home Office. It reports to the Prime Minister through the Home
        Office. 

******************************************F

from:
http://dtiinfo1.dti.gov.uk/safety-net/r3.htm
 


                                R3
                         Safety-Net



                               Rating
                              Reporting
                            Responsibility 

          For Child Pornography & Illegal Material on the Internet 



                         An Industry proposal

                     Adopted and Recommended by 


            Executive Committee of ISPA - Internet Services Providers
                              Association
                     LINX - London Internet Exchange
                       The Safety-Net Foundation 



                          23 September 1996 


              Introduction | Principles | Approach | The Proposers 


        Introduction

           1.This paper presents an industry proposal for addressing the
             question of illegal material on the Internet, with
particular
             reference to child pornography. It presents a package of
             measures developed by key players from the Internet Service
             Providers Association (ISPA), the London Internet Exchange
             (LINX) and the Safety-Net Foundation. The paper puts
             forward industry proposals developed in discussions
             facilitated by DTI between service providers, the
             Metropolitan Police and the Home Office. 

           2.The potential for exploiting the Internet to inform,
educate,
             entertain and conduct business on a worldwide scale is
             enormous. At a relatively modest cost, vast quantities of
             information can be sent around the world in new multi-media
             communications. The proportion of illegal material on the
             Internet is in relative terms, very small. The benefits of
the
             Internet far outweigh its negative aspects. Nevertheless,
these
             aspects cannot be ignored; they are pressing issues of
public,
             parliamentary, commercial and legal interest. Consumers and
             businesses must be reassured that the internet is a safe
and
             secure place to work, learn and play. 

           3.The immediate and particular focus of these proposals is on
             child pornography, though the approach may also be
             applicable in the future to other types of illegal material
             available on the Internet. The proposers are adamant in
their
             desire to remove child pornography from the Internet. 

           4.The package of measures proposed is coherent and is
             addressed to a range of key technical and policy issues.
This
             a starting point, not a final solution. A number of
detailed
             technical issues remain to be explored, but this is a
beginning.
             No single approach, in a single country can entirely
'solve' the
             problem, but there is much that can be done. These
             proposals take the first concrete step for the UK industry,
             providing a platform on which the industry can build
further. 

           5.The principles of these proposals have been adopted and are
             recommended by the Executive Committee of ISPA, by the
             LINX and by the Safety-Net Foundation. Working groups in
             ISPA and in LINX will work with Safety-Net to establish
             any technological or legal limitations arising from these
             proposals and to explore appropriate implementation
             vehicles. All responsible service providers, inside and
outside
             these organisations are encouraged to support and adopt
this
             package of measures. The time for action is now. 

                         

             Principles

           6."R3 Safety-Net " is based upon a number of simple
             principles. 

             The Internet is not a Legal Vacuum

           7.In general, the law applies to activities on the Internet
as it
             does to activity not on the Internet. If something is
illegal
             "off-line" it will also be illegal "on-line", and vice
versa.
             Responsible service providers wish to see that the law can
be
             upheld on-line as well as off-line. A clear liability to
             prosecution exists in UK law in relation to child
pornography
             on the Internet, for example. 

             Free Speech not Censorship

           8.The issue addressed has nothing to do with censorship of
             legal material or free speech. The issue is how to deal
with
             material or activity which society, through democratic
             process, has deemed to be unacceptable in law. The core
             issue is crime. Legal, but possibly offensive, material
raises a
             quite separate issue. Here consumers should have the
             technological means to tailor the nature of their, or their
             family's, experience on the Internet according to their
             individual standards; thus supporting both individual
             responsibility and the Internet's traditions of diversity
and free
             speech. 

             Responsibility

           9.Service providers must take a responsible approach to the
             provision of services. They need to implement reasonable,
             practicable and proportionate measures to hinder the use of
             the Internet for illegal purposes, and to provide a
response
             mechanism in cases where illegal material or activity is
             identified. Service providers should not be asked to take
             responsibility for enforcement of the law. End users should
             retain responsibility for the content they place on the
Internet.
             The Police should retain responsibility for enforcement. 

             Self Protection

          10.By taking appropriate measures, across the industry,
service
             providers can offer protection to the end user and to
             themselves. All responsible service providers wish to
hinder
             the availability of child pornography, and to see it
removed
             from the Internet. This clearly protects the public.
Establishing
             a common understanding of what steps constitute a
             reasonable, practicable and proportionate approach can also
             provide a defence for service providers against prosecution
             on charges of knowingly permitting services to be used for
             the distribution of illegal material. 

             Establishment & Jurisdiction

          11.The law that determines what material or activity is
illegal is
             the law of the country in which the consumer is affected by
it.
             These proposals relate to service providers offering access
to
             the Internet in the UK. They are designed to avoid any
             extraterritorial effect. Service providers established in
the UK
             will take the UK law as the relevant standard for their UK
             operation - whatever the source of the material. However,
             measures adopted by service providers established in the UK
             can only address the problem at source if the material or
             activity was initiated by their UK subscribers. It is hoped
that
             similar approaches can be established in other countries to
             extend the protection afforded across the whole of the
             Internet. 

                         

             Approach

          12.The "R3 Safety-Net " approach incorporates three key
             elements: 

                  Rating 
                  Reporting 
                  Responsibility 

             Overview

          13.The approach establishes an independent foundation to
             support the adoption, by Internet service providers and
users,
             of Responsible policies based on Rating and Reporting of
             illegal material. It gives priority in the first instance
to child
             pornography, but may also be applicable to other forms of
             illegal material in the future. The approach also supports
the
             rating of legal material so that users can tailor the
nature of
             their experience on the Internet, according to their own
             standards. 

             The Safety Net Foundation

          14.The Safety-Net Foundation has been established, and offers
             itself to fulfil an independent role in receiving and
processing
             complaints about child pornography (and other illegal
             material) on the Internet; and to support the development
of
             rating systems. 

             The Rating Service

          15.The Foundation will provide a legality indicator, or
rating, for
             the 'normal content' of each Usenet news group. The rating
             will indicate whether the group normally contains illegal
             material and what sort of illegality is involved (child
             pornography, copyright infringement etc.). 

          16.As a separate activity, the Foundation also intends to
assist
             in, or sponsor, the classification of legal material, to
enable
             users to make use of PICS enabled tools to customise the
             nature of their experience on the Internet according to
their
             own standards. 

             The Hot-Line Service

          17.The Foundation will establish a hot-line to accept
complaints
             about material which is accessible to the public, from
anyone
             via automated telephone, mail, email or fax. These
complaints
             will be converted into a standardised form and immediately
             forwarded to participating service providers and other
             appropriate bodies. A similar approach has been taken in
             Holland, where it appears to work well, and which has been
             endorsed by the first World Congress against the commercial
             sexual exploitation of Children, Stockholm 27-31 August
             1996. 

          18.The Foundation will verify whether complaints are justified
             using standardised checklist criteria. In effect, the
hot-line will
             provide a rating of legality for individual news group
articles,
             or web pages, in response to complaints. 

             The Notification Service

          19.In the case of illegal material originated within the UK
the
             Foundation would attempt to trace the source, inform the
             authors of the position under UK law, and request that they
             remove the offending material. Where co-operation is not
             forthcoming the Foundation will request action from the
             relevant Service Provider and pass details to the Police
             National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS). Confirmation
             of action will be reported to the complainant. 

          20.Where the material originates outside the UK the Foundation
             will pass available details to the foreign service
provider,
             where they can be identified, and to NCIS, who will liaise
             with the Police force in the appropriate jurisdiction. 

             Other Services

          21.The Foundation will also sponsor research and development
             into ways of improving the detection, traceability and
removal
             of illegal material on the Internet. 

             Funding

          22.The Safety-Net Foundation will seek funding through service
             provider trade associations - in particular, ISPA and LINX
-
             and through other bodies supporting the removal of child
             pornography (and other illegal material) from the Internet.
All
             responsible service providers in the UK are encouraged to
             support and fund the Foundation. Start-up funding of up to
             500,000 has been made available by the Dawe Charitable
             Trust. 

             Responsible Service Provider Policies

          23.The Safety-Net Foundation takes responsibility for
             establishing a rating and reporting service for illegal
material.
             This has to be complemented by responsibility on the part
of
             users for the material they place on the Internet and by
             responsible service provider policies in order to have the
             desired effect. In particular, policies on the rating of
material
             by users, on removal of child pornography and on tracing
the
             originators of illegal material are required. These issues
are of
             greatest urgency in relation to World-Wide-Web (WWW or
             W3) pages and Usenet news groups. Other policies may
             need to be developed and extended over time. 

             Policies for Word Wide Web Pages

          24.The "R3 Safety-Net" approach endorses the Platform for
             Internet Content Selection (PICS) and the RSACi rating
             scheme for W3 pages. "R3 Safety-Net" recommends that
             Service providers: 

                  Promote PICS enabled software for accessing the
                  W3. 
                  Require all their users to rate their own web pages
                  using RSACi. 
                  Remove web pages hosted on their servers which are
                  persistently and deliberately misrated. 
                  Remove web pages hosted on their servers which are
                  identified and verified to them as containing child
                  pornography (or other illegal material); if the users
fail
                  to co-operate by removing them themselves. 

          25.PICS is an open industry standard, which has been, or is
             being implemented by both major web browser developers
             and by developers of other leading access control software.
             RSACi provides a PICS-based rating scheme, which
             provides a framework to classify content according to
             Language, Nudity, Sex and Violence. 

          26.These measures interface with the service provided by the
             Safety-Net Foundation aimed at illegal material. In
addition,
             they further provide the means by which Internet users can
             protect themselves and their families from exposure to
             material which, while legal, they find offensive. 

             Policies for Usenet News groups

          27.The approach extends the PICS standard to Usenet news
             groups and recommends that service providers should: 

                  Support the development of a new Internet Standard
                  (RFC) for transmitting ratings for news groups
                  according to their 'normal content'. (This is
currently
                  being developed by Demon Internet and RSAC.) 
                  Support the availability of rating sources for all
Usenet
                  groups 
                  Modify News Servers to deliver group ratings to
                  end-user software, when the standard becomes
                  available. 
                  Promote PICS-enabled news software, when available
                  Remove from their servers, within a reasonable time
                  period, news articles identified and verified to them
as
                  containing illegal material. 

          28.These measures will interface with both the Safety-Net
             Foundation's legality ratings for the normal content of
news
             groups, and with the ratings provided by users for material
             they have placed on the Internet. In keeping with the
principle
             that users should be remain responsible for the material
they
             post, "R3 Safety-Net" considers that in the long-term,
users
             should be encouraged to rate their news group articles as
             they post them. The approach of using ratings for the
'normal'
             content of groups, whether supplied by the Safety Net
             Foundation or by other sources, is proposed as a first
step. It
             will assist both users and service providers in
understanding
             the nature of material withinthese groups, and help to
inform
             responsible actions towards them. 

             Policies on Traceability

          29.A key aspect of the "R3 Safety-Net" approach is that it
             attempts to ensure that users take responsibility for
material
             they post on the Internet. To this end, it is important to
be
             able to trace the originators of child pornography and
other
             illegal material. In this context, the anonymity that it is
possible
             to achieve through some services can be abused to mask the
             identity of the perpetrator. 

          30.Anonymity itself can serve a useful purpose in a number of
             contexts. However, the abuse of anonymity in posting
illegal
             material is a problem which has to be addressed. Allowing
             users to have truly anonymous (i.e.: untraceable) accounts
is a
             danger, while providing services which create pseudonyms
             which remain traceable if necessary, is not. It is
therefore
             recommended that service providers should: 

                  Work with the Safety-Net Foundation to close known
                  loopholes and to identify and investigate a range of
                  appropriate measures to provide facilities for better
                  traceability, including, for example: 
                       Provision of audit trails such as
                       X-NNTP-Posting-Host; and
                       X-Mail2News-Path. 
                       Reasonable steps which ensure users of "free
                       trials" can be identified (probably the most
                       significant source of anonymity which is abused)
                       including, but not limited to: Use of Caller Line
                       ID, Verification of Credit Card details at start
of
                       trial. 
                       Development of new and better forms of
                       technical counter-measures 
                  Ensure that anonymous servers (e.g.: re-mailers) that
                  they operate in the UK record details of identity and
                  make this available to the Police, when needed, under
                  Section 28.3 of the Data Protection Act. 

             Development of Policies on other Issues

          31.The nature of the problem of child pornography and illegal
             material on the Internet will evolve over time. The "R3
             Safety-Net " approach recognises this and recommends that
             service providers should continue to work, through their
trade
             associations, with the Safety-Net Foundation, with the
Police,
             Governments and with other interested groups. This may
             establish a need from time to time, to adapt existing
policies
             or to introduce additional policies to cover new services. 

                         

             The Proposers

          32.This is an industry proposal which all responsible service
             providers are encouraged to support and adopt. Brief detail
             on those behind these proposals is given below. 

             Executive Committee of ISPA

          33.ISPA is a recently established trade association
representing
             the interests of the Internet industry. It aims to offer
members
             the chance to participate in a growing dialogue with
             Government, the European Union and other international
             organisations. The intention is to encourage an open and
             competitive environment, and to resist anti-competitive
             policies and practices. ISPA currently has 60 members made
             up of access providers, Internet cafes and other
enterprises
             associated with the Internet. 

             The London Internet Exchange (LINX)

          34.The London Internet Exchange (www.linx.net) is a
             not-for-profit association representing the 28 largest
Internet
             Service Providers in the UK. Since Oct 1994 it has been
             managing the hub at which they connect their networks
             together to exchange UK Internet traffic. Its members all
             operate their own International links to the global
Internet,
             and a majority of them provide access services to UK
             customers. 

             The Safety-Net Foundation

          35.The Foundation is the initiative of Peter Dawe, previously
the
             Chairman of Pipex. It will be a not-for-profit company
limited
             by guarantee. 

          36.In order to take the "R3 Safety-Net" approach forward, the
             Foundation will approach other independent parties to form
a
             management board. This could include approaching possible
             Directors from a range of backgrounds, including child
             protection groups, the Police and the Internet service
             provider trade associations. Should the Safety-Net
             Foundation become self-supporting as envisaged in the "R3
             Safety-Net " approach, then it is Mr Dawe's intention to
step
             down as Director. 

   

        Last revised : Friday, February 28, 1997
Title: INTERNET SAFETY-NET TO TACKLE CHILD PORN
INTERNET SAFETY-NET TO TACKLE CHILD PORN

To Open Government Web site Home page
To move elsewhere on the site, choose from the list, then Go



23 September 1996

INTERNET SAFETY-NET TO TACKLE CHILD PORN


New proposals for tackling illegal material on the Internet - with an immediate focus on child pornography - are announced today by the Internet industry and supported by DTI, the Home Office and the Metropolitan Police.

Two leading industry trade associations, ISPA (Internet Services Providers' Association) and LINX (London Internet Exchange), have joined forces with the newly established Safety-Net Foundation to take action on illegal material on the Internet.


Welcoming the Industry's proposals, developed in discussions with the Home Office and the Police, facilitated by DTI, Science and Technology Minister Ian Taylor said:

"This is a ground-breaking proposal and an opportunity for the UK to take a World lead. It is a major industry-led initiative to clean up the 'net, to reassure the public and business that the Internet can be a safe and secure place to work, learn and play."

"This is not a question of censoring legal material or free speech. The Internet has never been a legal vacuum. Responsible service providers want to see the law upheld 'on-line' as well as 'off'. The core of this initiative is about dealing with material which breaks our existing laws, particularly where child pornography is involved. It is also about consumers as parents and teachers being able to control the 'net access of the young and vulnerable in their charge, according to their own individual standards."

"I want illegal material to be dealt with under the law by the police - and for users to retain clear responsibility for the material they place on the Internet. Individual responsibility is the key."

"Service Providers must accept that they too have to adopt a responsible approach and must hinder the use of the Internet for illegal purpose and remove material identified to them as illegal. They can protect themselves from the risk of prosecution for knowingly assisting in the distribution of illegal material, as well as providing protection for the public by establishing a common approach."

"These proposals take a substantive first step in this direction. Government and the Police welcome and support this initiative on that basis. Without it, public concern about illegal material is likely to undermine the growth of the Internet with significant draw-backs for the new and innovative applications which will deliver us the benefits of the Information Society."

Home Office Minister Tom Sackville, who has responsibility for obscenity and pornography issues, said:

"We at the Home Office made it clear to the Internet providers some time ago that action was needed to deal with obscene material on the Internet."

"Some of the material which is available, including pictures of sex acts involving children, is totally unacceptable under the law."

"I am delighted that the industry is seeking to address this very serious problem. We will be watching carefully the effect of these measures and considering what further action may be necessary in the future."

Superintendent Mike Hoskins of the Metropolitan Police Clubs and Vice unit added:

"We welcome the Internet industry's proposals as a positive and constructive step forward towards effective self regulation of illegal material, particularly child pornography."


Notes for Editors

1. The Government has introduced a number of measures to deal with pornography and obscene material, including their use on computers. The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 increased the maximum sentence for possession of indecent photographs of children from a £5,000 fine to six months in prison and/or a £5,000 fine.

2. It also gave police the power to arrest without warrant people suspected of obscenity and certain child pornography offences and greater powers to search and seize obscene material and child pornography. It also closed a potential legal loophole by extending the law to cover simulated child pornography manufactured and stored on computer. Possession of such an image is punishable by up to six months in prison and/or a £5,000 fine.

3. The Act also extends the definition of "publication" under the Obscene Publications Act 1959 to cover the transmission of material from one computer to another.

4. The Government has also set up an Inter Departmental Group on Obscenity with a specific remit to look at issues relating to child pornography and the use of computers to distribute such material. The group first met in March last year under the chairmanship of the Home Office. It reports to the Prime Minister through the Home Office.

5. Copies of the proposals are available from:

ISPA, Nick Lansman 0171 222 8161.

LINX, Simon Jones 0181 759 0005.

Press Enquiries: 0171-215 5961/2
(Out of Hours: 0171-215 5110/5600)
Public Enquiries: 0171-215 5000


R3 Safety-Net : Rating, Reporting and Responsibility

 


To move elsewhere in this section, choose from the list, then Go
To move elsewhere on the site, choose from the list, then Go


To Open Government Website Home page Top of page

Last revised : Friday, February 28, 1997

Title: Illegal Material on the Internet
Illegal Material on the Internet

To Open Government Web site Home page
To move elsewhere on the site, choose from the list, then Go



R3
Safety-Net



Rating
Reporting
Responsibility

For Child Pornography & Illegal Material on the Internet



An Industry proposal

Adopted and Recommended by


Executive Committee of ISPA - Internet Services Providers Association
LINX - London Internet Exchange
The Safety-Net Foundation



23 September 1996


Introduction | Principles | Approach | The Proposers

Introduction

  1. This paper presents an industry proposal for addressing the question of illegal material on the Internet, with particular reference to child pornography. It presents a package of measures developed by key players from the Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA), the London Internet Exchange (LINX) and the Safety-Net Foundation. The paper puts forward industry proposals developed in discussions facilitated by DTI between service providers, the Metropolitan Police and the Home Office.

  2. The potential for exploiting the Internet to inform, educate, entertain and conduct business on a worldwide scale is enormous. At a relatively modest cost, vast quantities of information can be sent around the world in new multi-media communications. The proportion of illegal material on the Internet is in relative terms, very small. The benefits of the Internet far outweigh its negative aspects. Nevertheless, these aspects cannot be ignored; they are pressing issues of public, parliamentary, commercial and legal interest. Consumers and businesses must be reassured that the internet is a safe and secure place to work, learn and play.

  3. The immediate and particular focus of these proposals is on child pornography, though the approach may also be applicable in the future to other types of illegal material available on the Internet. The proposers are adamant in their desire to remove child pornography from the Internet.

  4. The package of measures proposed is coherent and is addressed to a range of key technical and policy issues. This a starting point, not a final solution. A number of detailed technical issues remain to be explored, but this is a beginning. No single approach, in a single country can entirely 'solve' the problem, but there is much that can be done. These proposals take the first concrete step for the UK industry, providing a platform on which the industry can build further.

  5. The principles of these proposals have been adopted and are recommended by the Executive Committee of ISPA, by the LINX and by the Safety-Net Foundation. Working groups in ISPA and in LINX will work with Safety-Net to establish any technological or legal limitations arising from these proposals and to explore appropriate implementation vehicles. All responsible service providers, inside and outside these organisations are encouraged to support and adopt this package of measures. The time for action is now.

    Principles

  6. "R3 Safety-Net " is based upon a number of simple principles.

    The Internet is not a Legal Vacuum

  7. In general, the law applies to activities on the Internet as it does to activity not on the Internet. If something is illegal "off-line" it will also be illegal "on-line", and vice versa. Responsible service providers wish to see that the law can be upheld on-line as well as off-line. A clear liability to prosecution exists in UK law in relation to child pornography on the Internet, for example.

    Free Speech not Censorship

  8. The issue addressed has nothing to do with censorship of legal material or free speech. The issue is how to deal with material or activity which society, through democratic process, has deemed to be unacceptable in law. The core issue is crime. Legal, but possibly offensive, material raises a quite separate issue. Here consumers should have the technological means to tailor the nature of their, or their family's, experience on the Internet according to their individual standards; thus supporting both individual responsibility and the Internet's traditions of diversity and free speech.

    Responsibility

  9. Service providers must take a responsible approach to the provision of services. They need to implement reasonable, practicable and proportionate measures to hinder the use of the Internet for illegal purposes, and to provide a response mechanism in cases where illegal material or activity is identified. Service providers should not be asked to take responsibility for enforcement of the law. End users should retain responsibility for the content they place on the Internet. The Police should retain responsibility for enforcement.

    Self Protection

  10. By taking appropriate measures, across the industry, service providers can offer protection to the end user and to themselves. All responsible service providers wish to hinder the availability of child pornography, and to see it removed from the Internet. This clearly protects the public. Establishing a common understanding of what steps constitute a reasonable, practicable and proportionate approach can also provide a defence for service providers against prosecution on charges of knowingly permitting services to be used for the distribution of illegal material.

    Establishment & Jurisdiction

  11. The law that determines what material or activity is illegal is the law of the country in which the consumer is affected by it. These proposals relate to service providers offering access to the Internet in the UK. They are designed to avoid any extraterritorial effect. Service providers established in the UK will take the UK law as the relevant standard for their UK operation - whatever the source of the material. However, measures adopted by service providers established in the UK can only address the problem at source if the material or activity was initiated by their UK subscribers. It is hoped that similar approaches can be established in other countries to extend the protection afforded across the whole of the Internet.

    Approach

  12. The "R3 Safety-Net " approach incorporates three key elements:

    • Rating
    • Reporting
    • Responsibility

    Overview

  13. The approach establishes an independent foundation to support the adoption, by Internet service providers and users, of Responsible policies based on Rating and Reporting of illegal material. It gives priority in the first instance to child pornography, but may also be applicable to other forms of illegal material in the future. The approach also supports the rating of legal material so that users can tailor the nature of their experience on the Internet, according to their own standards.

    The Safety Net Foundation

  14. The Safety-Net Foundation has been established, and offers itself to fulfil an independent role in receiving and processing complaints about child pornography (and other illegal material) on the Internet; and to support the development of rating systems.

    The Rating Service

  15. The Foundation will provide a legality indicator, or rating, for the 'normal content' of each Usenet news group. The rating will indicate whether the group normally contains illegal material and what sort of illegality is involved (child pornography, copyright infringement etc.…).

  16. As a separate activity, the Foundation also intends to assist in, or sponsor, the classification of legal material, to enable users to make use of PICS enabled tools to customise the nature of their experience on the Internet according to their own standards.

    The Hot-Line Service

  17. The Foundation will establish a hot-line to accept complaints about material which is accessible to the public, from anyone via automated telephone, mail, email or fax. These complaints will be converted into a standardised form and immediately forwarded to participating service providers and other appropriate bodies. A similar approach has been taken in Holland, where it appears to work well, and which has been endorsed by the first World Congress against the commercial sexual exploitation of Children, Stockholm 27-31 August 1996.

  18. The Foundation will verify whether complaints are justified using standardised checklist criteria. In effect, the hot-line will provide a rating of legality for individual news group articles, or web pages, in response to complaints.

    The Notification Service

  19. In the case of illegal material originated within the UK the Foundation would attempt to trace the source, inform the authors of the position under UK law, and request that they remove the offending material. Where co-operation is not forthcoming the Foundation will request action from the relevant Service Provider and pass details to the Police National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS). Confirmation of action will be reported to the complainant.

  20. Where the material originates outside the UK the Foundation will pass available details to the foreign service provider, where they can be identified, and to NCIS, who will liaise with the Police force in the appropriate jurisdiction.

    Other Services

  21. The Foundation will also sponsor research and development into ways of improving the detection, traceability and removal of illegal material on the Internet.

    Funding

  22. The Safety-Net Foundation will seek funding through service provider trade associations - in particular, ISPA and LINX - and through other bodies supporting the removal of child pornography (and other illegal material) from the Internet. All responsible service providers in the UK are encouraged to support and fund the Foundation. Start-up funding of up to £500,000 has been made available by the Dawe Charitable Trust.

    Responsible Service Provider Policies

  23. The Safety-Net Foundation takes responsibility for establishing a rating and reporting service for illegal material. This has to be complemented by responsibility on the part of users for the material they place on the Internet and by responsible service provider policies in order to have the desired effect. In particular, policies on the rating of material by users, on removal of child pornography and on tracing the originators of illegal material are required. These issues are of greatest urgency in relation to World-Wide-Web (WWW or W3) pages and Usenet news groups. Other policies may need to be developed and extended over time.

    Policies for Word Wide Web Pages

  24. The "R3 Safety-Net" approach endorses the Platform for Internet Content Selection (PICS) and the RSACi rating scheme for W3 pages. "R3 Safety-Net" recommends that Service providers:

    • Promote PICS enabled software for accessing the W3.
    • Require all their users to rate their own web pages using RSACi.
    • Remove web pages hosted on their servers which are persistently and deliberately misrated.
    • Remove web pages hosted on their servers which are identified and verified to them as containing child pornography (or other illegal material); if the users fail to co-operate by removing them themselves.

  25. PICS is an open industry standard, which has been, or is being implemented by both major web browser developers and by developers of other leading access control software. RSACi provides a PICS-based rating scheme, which provides a framework to classify content according to Language, Nudity, Sex and Violence.

  26. These measures interface with the service provided by the Safety-Net Foundation aimed at illegal material. In addition, they further provide the means by which Internet users can protect themselves and their families from exposure to material which, while legal, they find offensive.

    Policies for Usenet News groups

  27. The approach extends the PICS standard to Usenet news groups and recommends that service providers should:

    • Support the development of a new Internet Standard (RFC) for transmitting ratings for news groups according to their 'normal content'. (This is currently being developed by Demon Internet and RSAC.)
    • Support the availability of rating sources for all Usenet groups
    • Modify News Servers to deliver group ratings to end-user software, when the standard becomes available.
    • Promote PICS-enabled news software, when available
    • Remove from their servers, within a reasonable time period, news articles identified and verified to them as containing illegal material.

  28. These measures will interface with both the Safety-Net Foundation's legality ratings for the normal content of news groups, and with the ratings provided by users for material they have placed on the Internet. In keeping with the principle that users should be remain responsible for the material they post, "R3 Safety-Net" considers that in the long-term, users should be encouraged to rate their news group articles as they post them. The approach of using ratings for the 'normal' content of groups, whether supplied by the Safety Net Foundation or by other sources, is proposed as a first step. It will assist both users and service providers in understanding the nature of material withinthese groups, and help to inform responsible actions towards them.

    Policies on Traceability

  29. A key aspect of the "R3 Safety-Net" approach is that it attempts to ensure that users take responsibility for material they post on the Internet. To this end, it is important to be able to trace the originators of child pornography and other illegal material. In this context, the anonymity that it is possible to achieve through some services can be abused to mask the identity of the perpetrator.

  30. Anonymity itself can serve a useful purpose in a number of contexts. However, the abuse of anonymity in posting illegal material is a problem which has to be addressed. Allowing users to have truly anonymous (i.e.: untraceable) accounts is a danger, while providing services which create pseudonyms which remain traceable if necessary, is not. It is therefore recommended that service providers should:

    • Work with the Safety-Net Foundation to close known loopholes and to identify and investigate a range of appropriate measures to provide facilities for better traceability, including, for example:
      • Provision of audit trails such as X-NNTP-Posting-Host; and X-Mail2News-Path.
      • Reasonable steps which ensure users of "free trials" can be identified (probably the most significant source of anonymity which is abused) including, but not limited to: Use of Caller Line ID, Verification of Credit Card details at start of trial.
      • Development of new and better forms of technical counter-measures
    • Ensure that anonymous servers (e.g.: re-mailers) that they operate in the UK record details of identity and make this available to the Police, when needed, under Section 28.3 of the Data Protection Act.

    Development of Policies on other Issues

  31. The nature of the problem of child pornography and illegal material on the Internet will evolve over time. The "R3 Safety-Net " approach recognises this and recommends that service providers should continue to work, through their trade associations, with the Safety-Net Foundation, with the Police, Governments and with other interested groups. This may establish a need from time to time, to adapt existing policies or to introduce additional policies to cover new services.

    The Proposers

  32. This is an industry proposal which all responsible service providers are encouraged to support and adopt. Brief detail on those behind these proposals is given below.

    Executive Committee of ISPA

  33. ISPA is a recently established trade association representing the interests of the Internet industry. It aims to offer members the chance to participate in a growing dialogue with Government, the European Union and other international organisations. The intention is to encourage an open and competitive environment, and to resist anti-competitive policies and practices. ISPA currently has 60 members made up of access providers, Internet cafes and other enterprises associated with the Internet.

    The London Internet Exchange (LINX)

  34. The London Internet Exchange (www.linx.net) is a not-for-profit association representing the 28 largest Internet Service Providers in the UK. Since Oct 1994 it has been managing the hub at which they connect their networks together to exchange UK Internet traffic. Its members all operate their own International links to the global Internet, and a majority of them provide access services to UK customers.

    The Safety-Net Foundation

  35. The Foundation is the initiative of Peter Dawe, previously the Chairman of Pipex. It will be a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee.

  36. In order to take the "R3 Safety-Net" approach forward, the Foundation will approach other independent parties to form a management board. This could include approaching possible Directors from a range of backgrounds, including child protection groups, the Police and the Internet service provider trade associations. Should the Safety-Net Foundation become self-supporting as envisaged in the "R3 Safety-Net " approach, then it is Mr Dawe's intention to step down as Director.

 


To move elsewhere in this section, choose from the list, then Go
To move elsewhere on the site, choose from the list, then Go


To Open Government Website Home page Top of page

Last revised : Friday, February 28, 1997


Follow-Ups: