Culture, Media and Sports questions – the Byron Review

Posted on June 14th, 2011 in Parliamentary News

Keith Vaz (Leicester, East) (Lab): What steps his Department has taken to implement the recommendation of Professor Byron’s review on safer children in a digital world. [298018]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (Mr. Siôn Simon):Professor Byron’s wide-ranging recommendations require cross-Whitehall co-operation. My Department is working as part of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety, as well as providing the new legislative framework we announced in “Digital Britain” to enable implementation of her recommendations.

Keith Vaz: The Minister will be aware that at midnight a new and violent video game, “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare”, is to be released. It contains scenes of such brutality that even the manufacturers have put warnings in the game telling people how they can skip particular
scenes. Given the recommendations of the Byron review, specifically paragraphs 32 and 33, what steps do the Government propose to take to ensure that such violent games do not fall into the hands of children and young people? This is not about censorship—it is about protecting our children.

Mr. Simon: The clearest recommendation of the Byron review is that content suitable for adults should be labelled and sold as such, and that it should be an offence to sell such content to children. That is the case under current law and it will be the case when the law changes under the digital economy Bill. The game to which my right hon. Friend refers is certificate 18 and should not be sold to children. The Government’s job is to ensure that what adults should be able to get is clearly labelled, and that children are not in danger of being subjected to adult content.