UK MPs, staff accessed online porn 300,000 times in a year

Members of the British Parliament, as well as their staff, accessed pornographic websites nearly 300,000 times on Parliamentary Network servers last year, according to data released by IT chiefs at the Palace of Westminster.

Members of the British Parliament, as well as their staff, accessed pornographic websites on Parliamentary Network servers nearly 300,000 times over the past year, official records revealed on Tuesday.

The figures, which covered the period between May 2012 and July 2013, peaked at 114,844 in November. The data was released by IT chiefs at the Palace of Westminster following a freedom of information request from the Huffington Post UK.

In defense, officials said the high figures do not reflect deliberate efforts to access sexual content, but were merely inflated by pop-ups, auto-refresh and other internet features.

Officials also said that the disparity between the monthly figures, with February only hitting 15 counts of access to pornographic sites, is currently being investigated, according to The Guardian.

A House of Commons spokeswoman told The Huffington Post that these visits to otherwise blocked adult sites “may nevertheless be recorded in this dataset depending on website design.”

“We do not consider the data to provide an accurate representation of the number of purposeful requests made by network users due to the variety of ways in which websites can be designed to act, react and interact and due to the potential operation of third party software,” the spokeswoman said.

However, she declined to comment on whether the content considered “pornographic” on parliamentary servers would not be found while surfing normal mainstream websites.

She also declined to answer why the figures varied drastically from month to month.

“We are not going to restrict parliamentarians’ ability to carry out research,” she added.

Meanwhile, Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, told the Huffington Post that “these figures highlight the fact that many people working in Parliament are spending far too much time on websites that have nothing to do with their job.”

Sincalair said “taxpayers expect their MP and those working in their offices to get on with their important jobs rather than spending time surfing questionable websites.”

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:41 - GMT 06:41
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