Following commencement of the Byron Review, the Select Committee announced an inquiry into the risks associated with harmful material on the internet. The inquiry was intended to "feed into the process for implementation of Dr Byron’s recommendations’ while also identifying broader online safety issues." Accordingly, it sought written and oral evidence about a broader range of issues than the Byron Review and incorporated the submissions from that review into its evidence.
The inquiry focused on:
- the benefits and opportunities for consumers and the economy offered by new internet technologies
- potential risks for consumers (including both adults and children) such as cyberbullying, the availability of personal information online, violent content, including user-generated content, and content that incites racial hatred, extremism or terrorism
- tools available to mitigate risks
- the effectiveness of current regulation for addressing risks.63
The Select Committee published its findings in July 2008.
The Select Committee supported the recommendations of the Byron Review, in particular the establishment of the Council for Child Internet Safety. It further recommended the establishment of an industry self-regulatory body to negotiate minimum standards with service providers regarding screening of user-generated content, time frames for taking down illegal content and provisions for consumers to report illegal content or contact to the appropriate law enforcement agency. This self-regulatory body would also monitor the effectiveness of industry in meeting these standards, publish performance statistics and adjudicate on complaints about services from internet-based industries. In addition, the Select Committee noted that consideration should be given to expanding the remit of the Council to address online safety for adults, in addition to children.