posted on Sep, 4 2013 @ 08:43 PM
4 September 2013 Last updated at 03:09
Parliamentary porn consumption laid bare in official figures
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More than 300,000 attempts were made to access pornographic websites at the Houses of Parliament in the past year, official records suggest.
It is unclear whether MPs, peers or other staff are responsible, House of Commons officials said.
The figures were not all "purposeful requests" and may have been exaggerated by third-party software and websites that reload themselves, they
About 5,000 people work on the parliamentary estate.
Attempts per month
May 2012: 2,141
June 2012: 2,261
July 2012: 6,024
August 2012: 26,952
September 2012: 15,804
October 2012: 3,391
November 2012: 114,844
December 2012: 6,918
January 2013: 18,494
February 2013: 15
March 2013: 22,470
April 2013: 55,552
May 2013: 18,346
June 2013: 397
July 2013: 15,707
The data was released following a Freedom of Information request by Huffington Post UK, which published the story with the headline Oh Yes,
However, the figures vary wildly: in November, there were 114,844 attempts to access websites classed as pornographic, but just 15 in February.
A Commons spokeswoman said: "We do not consider the data to provide an accurate representation of the number of purposeful requests made by network
This was because there was a "variety of ways in which websites can be designed to act, react and interact and due to the potential operation of
third party software," she said.
Some of the hits may have been registered by websites that generate a number of views during a single visit, or those that automatically link to other
sites via pop-ups, she explained.
Prime Minister David Cameron announced in July that most households in the UK would have pornography blocked by their internet provider unless they
chose to receive it.
Online pornography was "corroding childhood" and "distorting" children's understanding of sex and relationships, he argued.