UK: Parliament Computers Used 160 Times Per Day to Access Blocked Pornography Sites

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Between June and October, 2017, there were 24,000 attempts to access pornography on the House of Parliament’s computer network, which is used by MPs, Peers, and staff.  This averages to 160 attempts each day. A separate FOI request shows there were almost 3-million attempts to access blocked websites from January to October 2017.  Blocked websites could include pornography, dating services, games, and entertainment.  Officials say that most of these access attempts are not intentional but, rather, the result of malware that responds to keyword searches for other types of information. -GEG

More than 24,000 attempts were made to access pornographic websites in the Houses of Parliament since the general election, according to official data.

The figure of 24,473 attempts represents about 160 requests per day on average from computers and other devices connected to the parliamentary network – which is used by MPs, peers and staff – between June and October last year.

It comes amid a sex scandal in Westminster, during which Theresa May sacked her de facto deputy, Damian Green, after he made “misleading” statements about allegations that police found pornography on computers in his parliamentary office in 2008.

In his resignation letter, Green continued to deny “unfounded and deeply hurtful” claims that he downloaded or viewed the material.

The data, released after a freedom of information (FoI) request by the Press Association, shows a spike in September in the number of attempts to visit the sites, with 9,467 requests from both the Houses of Lords and Commons that month.

Parliamentary authorities say the majority of attempts are not deliberate.

The figures also show a sharp decrease in the number of attempts to access pornographic websites in recent years. In 2016, the parliamentary filtering system blocked 113,208 attempts, down from 213,020 the previous year.

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