160 Requests Per Day To Access Pornographic Websites In The Houses Of Parliament; Official Data Revealed

More than 24,000 attempts were made to access pornographic websites in the Houses of Parliament in just four months, according to official figures.

Data revealed 24,473 attempts which represents around 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 after a Press Association Freedom of Information (FOI) request that show a spike in attempts to visit the pornographic sites in September, with 9,467 requests from both the Houses of Lords and Commons that month.

The data also revealed a sharp decrease in attempts to access pornographic websites in recent years. In 2016, the filtering system of parliament blocked 113,208 attempts, down from 213,020 the previous year. Although Parliamentary authorities say the majority of attempts are not deliberate.

It comes 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.

Read More: Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke Suspended Over Sexual Allegations

Although Mr Green continued to deny “unfounded and deeply hurtful” claims that he downloaded or viewed the material.

Although the data for January and February 2017 could not be provided due to changes in technology of parliament and the way the data is held, the available data showed there were 30,876 attempts from March to October.

During that time, parliament was dissolved from late April to early June ahead of the general election, and MPs were away during the summer recess from the end of July to early September.

A Parliamentary spokesman said: “All pornographic websites are blocked by Parliament’s computer network.” He added:

“The vast majority of ‘attempts’ to access them are not deliberate. The data shows ‘requests’ to access websites, not visits to them.”

“There are 8,500 computers on the parliamentary network, which are used by MPs, peers, their staff and staff of both Houses.”

“This data also covers personal devices used when logged on to Parliament’s guest Wi-Fi.”

Another separate (FOI) request showed there were also at least 2,751,755 attempts to access blocked websites on the parliamentary network from January to October this year.

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