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Church of England Urged to Pressure Google to Block Child Porn

  • (Photo: Reuters/Ivan Alvarado)
    An unidentified individual looks at a computer screen with an image.
July 28, 2013|12:41 pm

As part of British Prime Minister David Cameron's plans to crack down on online pornography, a government adviser has urged the Church of England to consider pulling its shares out of Google to pressure it to block child pornography.

Claire Perry, a legislator and David Cameron's adviser on childhood, has urged the Anglican Church, whose pension fund has $8.7 million stake in Google, to "put their money where their mouth is."

"It is quite clear that many companies, in particular British Internet Service Providers are finally now taking a really responsible approach to this. They are seeing that we want a level of social responsibility," The Telegraph quoted Perry as saying. "There are others out there who have not got that attitude. The Prime Minister was saying Google have a responsibility, they are effectively helping people for which there can be no case made."

The Church of England and other investors have a role to play, "they have questions to ask themselves," Perry added. "They are moral leaders. If they are going to opine on things then putting your money where your mouth is an incredibly powerful tool."

Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Justin Welby, says it's difficult to completely rule out investment in companies involved with pornography and gambling.

"We are going to have to review these levels and how we do it. The reality is, if you invest in a hotel chain, a lot of hotel chains sell pornography in their hotel rooms," Welby was quoted as saying. "Do you therefore not invest in any hotel chains at all? The complexity of the thing is enormous. I've been living with this for many, many years. I've no illusions about this. If you exclude any contact with anything that directly or indirectly gets in any way bad, you can't do anything at all."

The Church rules allow investment in companies that get no more than 3 percent of their revenues from pornography, 10 percent from weaponry and 25 percent from tobacco, gambling, alcoholic drinks, payday lenders and cloning embryos.

Google claims they have "a zero tolerance attitude to child sexual abuse imagery."

"We use our own systems and work with child safety experts to find it, remove and report it," a spokesperson of the Internet service provider was quoted as saying. "We recently donated 5 million dollars to groups working to combat this problem and are committed to continuing the dialogue with the Government on these issues."

Cameron announced this week plans to take firm action on online pornography, saying it is important to protect children from even legal explicit content. "Our children are growing up too fast," he said in a speech. "They are getting distorted ideas about sex and being pressured in a way we have never seen before. As a father I am extremely concerned by this."

All smartphones will come with adult content filters, which can be deactivated only after users proves they are 18 years of age or older. At least six public Wi-Fi suppliers in the U.K. have also agreed to apply "family-friendly" filters on public networks where children are likely to be present, and will have the filters in place by the end of next month. British businesses will also be able to let patrons know their Wi-Fi networks are filtered by displaying a new "Family Friendly Wi-Fi" symbol. In addition, the government has also taken steps to protect children in their homes.

"Children can't go into the shops or the cinema and buy things meant for adults or have adult experiences – we rightly regulate to protect them," Cameron said. "But when it comes to the Internet in the balance between freedom and responsibility, we have neglected our responsibility to our children."

Source URL : http://www.christianpost.com/news/church-of-england-urged-to-pressure-google-to-block-child-porn-101014/