MP calls for penalties for card schemes over prepaid abuse

MP calls for penalties for card schemes over prepaid abuse

A UK member of parliament (MP) is calling for an end to anonymity for pre-paid credit cards when they are used to buy online child pornography.

Geraint Davies, Labour MP for Swansea West, is set to put his case in the House today in a Ten minute rule Motion - a device designed to enable back benchers to raise issues.

According to the BBC, he has received the backing of 40 fellow MPs so far for the motion, which says: "That leave be given to bring in a Bill to impose penalties on credit and debit card providers for the facilitation of the downloading of child pornography from the internet; and for connected purposes."

Davis told the BBC's Today programme that pre-paid cards that can be picked up from local shops and are completely anonymous are being used directly, or through a password, to download abusive images.

"This is the means of thousands of perverts viewing abusive pictures and we need to stop that. One way to do that is to identify them, and if the credit card companies facilitate this abuse they should also be penalised," he told the programme.

Visa Europe has issued a statement saying: "Since 2002, we have employed the services of an organisation that uses its advanced internet search technology to scan the web around the clock to find sites displaying the Visa logo and professing to sell child abuse imagery. Wherever we find a site offering such material for sale via Visa payment cards, we alert our banks and the law enforcement agencies. Our rules stipulate clearly that our member banks must terminate the acquiring contracts with these merchants. We also work with law enforcement to assist in the arrest of the criminals."

MP urges fines for credit card firms over child porn - BBC

Comments: (3)

David Birch
David Birch - Tomorrow's Transactions - London 21 July, 2010, 10:48Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I think they should fine the Bank of England for producing £50 notes, because I'm pretty sure that's how most crime in the UK is facilitated.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 21 July, 2010, 10:53Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Surely the access to buy this type of material online is the problem not the way in which they pay for it?  The transactions for this type of purchase are not identified as "Child Pornography" when they are authorised so how can an issuer know that they should not accept the transaction?

Illegal transactions are often identified as something which appears completely harmless at face which are changed regularly.

Matt Scott
Matt Scott - Fiserv Inc - London 21 July, 2010, 18:03Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Perhaps they should ban the US Dollar because people tend to buy guns with it in America and shoot other people.  

I agree that the situation is grave - but it should be down to the Acquirer to police who they enable to transact via their e-commerce solutions.