David Lepper

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David Lepper former Labour MP for Brighton, Pavilion.


2007-05-01 - The Argus Hove & Sussex - Does the web need tougher controls?
Author: David Lepper
Summary: Footage of violent attacks taking place in Brighton have been posted on video sharing websites such as YouTube. The assaults are part of an increasingly disturbing trend among certain groups of teenagers to glorify violence. Here, David Lepper, MP for Brighton Pavilion, argues that those who allow the videos to be posted on the internet - as well as the thugs they feature - should face court action. ... That is why I am asking the Home Office and the communications watchdog Ofcom to consider whether stricter regulation is needed, not just for YouTube but also for other sites like it. I don't know the answers to those questions. It could be that selfregulation by the industry is enough and that YouTube was just sloppy in letting these images through.
2007-04-18 - David Lepper press release - Brighton MP calls for violent video probe
Author: David Lepper
Summary: Brighton Pavilion Labour and Co-operative MP David Lepper is asking the Home Office and communications watchdog Ofcom to consider what can be done to curb the showing on the internet of privately made videos glorifying real life violence. The call comes following the posting on YouTube during February of videos showing a gang fight and violent attack in Churchill Square, Brighton, harassment and violence at Moulsecoomb railway station and an incident on a bus. David Lepper says: "Everyone who has seen the footage and stills have been shocked, not only by the mindless violence but also because it has been made publicly available in a way which seems to celebrate extreme aggression." "The Churchill Square scene appears to come from CCTV footage and I know that Sussex Police are investigating how it got on the internet." "The other two scenes seem to have been taken by a mobile phone camera." "YouTube claims to have a code of practice which prohibits material like this being posted but clearly that is not working." "That is why |I am asking the Home Office and Ofcom to consider whether stricter regulation is needed." David Lepper adds: "The internet is a great benefit, providing worldwide access to information and entertainment. But as concerns about child and violent pornography have shown, it can also be used for sinister purposes." "There is international consensus about the need to deal with child pornography and, following the Jane Longhurst campaign in which I played a leading role in Parliament, the government is now about to bring in laws to deal with the downloading of extreme violent pornography." "This recent case shows that we need to look at the regulation of sites like YouTube." "The courts have dealt with those involved in the violence. If they do not have the power to deal with those who posted or sanctioned the posting of material on YouTube, then perhaps the law needs changing."
2006-09-20 - David Lepper press release - David Lepper MP and the next General Election
Author: David Lepper
Summary: At a meeting of Brighton Pavilion Labour Party’s General Committee on Monday 18 September David Lepper, Labour and Co-operative MP for Brighton Pavilion since May 1997, told members that he would not be seeking re-selection as the Labour candidate for the constituency at the next General Election...
2005-08-30 - David Lepper press release - MP Welcomes Violent Internet Crackdown Plans
Author: David Lepper
Summary: Brighton Pavilion Labour and Co-operative MP David Lepper has welcomed the Home Office announcement of plans to crackdown on violent and necrophiliac pornography on the internet of the kind which was highlighted in the trial of Graham Coutts, convicted of the murder of Brighton teacher Jane Longhurst. David Lepper said: ‘This is a tribute to the tenacity of Jane’s mother, Liz, who has campaigned since the trial for action of this kind by the government. The new law could ensure a memorial for Jane which helps to protect others.’ Home Office minister Paul Goggins has announced a consultation lasting until December on a new offence of possession of explicit pornography. The proposal is that it should be an offence to possess images of real or simulated depictions of intercourse with animals, interference with a corpse and serious sexual violence with a penalty of up to three years imprisonment. Jane Longhurst lived in David Lepper’s constituency and was a special education teacher at Uplands School, Brighton, where David had taught briefly before being elected to Parliament. She also taught young musicians in Brighton Youth Orchestra. The trial of Graham Coutts revealed details of the violent pornographic websites accessed by Coutts. Following the trial Liz Longhurst, backed by members of her family, her MP Martin Salter and David Lepper, began a campaign to crack down on these sites. David, Martin, Liz and family members met the then Home Secretary, David Blunkett, in the spring of 2003. The promise made by him and Paul Goggins to try to get international consensus of the kind which does now exist in relation to child pornography was reaffirmed in a further meeting at the end of last year by the then new Home Secretary, Charles Clarke. In the meantime David Lepper initiated a debate in Parliament and more than 100 MPs backed the campaign. Several thousand members of the public signed a petition launched by Liz Longhurst. Amnesty International also gave its support to the campaign as part of its Year for Action on violence against women, although they later stated that they do not take a position in favour of the Government's plans to criminalise adult pornography, which has resulted from this campaign [1]. David Lepper added: ‘I am pleased the Home Office has kept its pledge to take action. Ideally we should be closing down the websites which provide this material. I know that ministers have been working for this in talks with their counterparts in the US and elsewhere as many of these sites originate outside the UK, but sadly it has not yet proved possible to get international agreement. ‘Proposing a new law to deal with possession is important because it aims at reducing the demand for this kind of pornography and in doing so could help to protect potential victims. ‘I hope the thousands of local people who have signed the petition will make their views known to the Home Office before the December deadline for consultation.’ David Lepper also paid tribute to the Argus which has backed the campaign throughout and printed copies of the petition. David said: ‘The Argus has played a major role in helping to ensure that the tragically short life of a very talented young woman will be marked by a lasting memorial.’
2005-08-18 - David Lepper press release - Brighton MP Welcomes ‘Traded To Extinction In Cyberspace’ Report
Author: David Lepper
Summary: David Lepper, Labour and Co-operative MP for Brighton Pavilion, has welcomed a new report from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) which reveals how vast quantities of wildlife products and live animals are being traded illegally on the Internet – a soaring and lucrative trade that is driving the world’s most endangered species to the brink of extinction and causing untold suffering. David Lepper said: ‘The IFAW investigation demonstrates the significant threat such cyber crime pose to endangered species, conservation and animal welfare. Internet wildlife trade is a new challenge that both Government and Internet auction sites must work together to combat.’ Every single day, thousands of wild animals and animal parts – from live chimpanzees and huge ivory tusks to tiny dried seahorses – are being traded in cyberspace. IFAW’s three-month investigation showed how, in just one week alone, over 9,000 live animals or products were for sale online in chatrooms and on legitimate trading sites such as eBay. At least 70% of these were from species protected by international law. The investigation was restricted to just five categories of animals, so the findings represent the tip of the iceberg. The report, Caught in the web: wildlife trade on the Internet, will add to conservationists’ fears that the growing and largely unchecked Internet trade could spell disaster for endangered species. Many of these animals are being targeted by poachers to meet the demands of wealthy consumers around the world, as well as being traded as “pets”. The high profits and low penalties of illegal wildlife trade, coupled with the low risk of detection on the Internet, provides little or no deterrent to organised criminal groups. IFAW found some of the world’s most endangered species advertised online, and almost all of them were being traded illegally. Exotic pets including a live gorilla for sale in London, a Siberian tiger and four baby chimps on US websites were found, as well as other critically endangered species. Animal body parts included hawksbill turtle shells, shahtoosh shawls from the Tibetan antelope, and taxidermy specimens of lions and peregrine falcons – a protected British species. Ivory items and traditional Asian medicines containing the parts of endangered tigers and rhinos were also common. Phyllis Campbell-McRae, Director of IFAW UK said: “Trade on the Internet is easy, cheap and anonymous. However, it is clear that unscrupulous traders and sophisticated criminal gangs are taking advantage of the opportunities provided by the World Wide Web. The result is a cyber black market where the future of the world’s rarest animals is being traded away. This situation must be tackled immediately by governments and website owners before it is too late. “Each one of us also has a responsibility to stop buying and selling wild animals and wildlife products. Trade in wildlife is driven by consumer demand, so when the buying stops, the killing will too. Our message to online shoppers is simple: buying wildlife online is as damaging as killing it yourself”’ Investigators found a lack of adequate and straightforward information about wildlife trade and the law. IFAW has launched its own website to provide the public with clear guidelines: please visit www.caughtintheweb.co.uk for more.