5 Jan 2012

Child sex abuse website block doing its job - DIA

9:45 pm on 5 January 2012

The Department of Internal Affairs says its internet filter has blocked about 16 million attempts by New Zealanders to access child sex abuse websites since February 2010.

The department expects attempts to get into such sites will rise over summer as more people are on holiday.

But it believes people will eventually stop trying to access them as they become frustrated with being constantly blocked.

Meanwhile, information on the department's website about seeking help to overcome the desire to view images of child sex abuse has been taken up by about 30 people.

The department's censorship unit also works closely with similar agencies overseas and a spokesperson, Maarten Quivooy, says that allows it to act quickly to reports of incidents of child sex abuse on websites.

He cites a recent case in which, within two hours of requesting information from the United States, the censorship unit was able to pass that data on to Britain, leading to a five-year-old girl being released from abuse.

Mr Quivooy does not know if there are any cases of children in New Zealand being sexually abused for websites.