They’re told the internet is too big to mess with; it’s too big to change.But to me, the questions around the internet and the impact it has are too big to ignore.
And when I say we I mean we collectively: governments, parents, internet providers and platforms, educators and charities.
We’ve got to work together across both the challenges that I’ve set out.
People sometimes feel they’re being told almost the following: that an unruled internet is just a fact of modern life; any fallout from that is just collateral damage and that you can as easily legislate what happens on the internet as you can legislate the tides.
And against this mind-set, people’s, most often parents’, very real concerns get dismissed.
And I am absolutely clear that the state has a vital role to play here.
The police and , that is the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, are already doing a good job in clamping down on the uploading and hosting of this material in the UK.
So let me start with the criminal challenge, and that is the proliferation of child abuse images online.
Obviously we need to tackle this at every step of the way, whether it’s where the material is hosted, transmitted, viewed or downloaded.
It has an impact on the children who view things that harm them, on the vile images of abuse that pollute minds and cause crime, on the very values that underpin our society.