HC Deb 05 May 2004 vol 420 cc1555-6W
Michael Fabricant

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures he plans to take to combat(a) recruitment and (b) fundraising through extremist and racist websites; and if he will make a statement. [168005]

Fiona Mactaggart

We have discussed these and attendant issues with the police, the Information Commission and the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), all of whom are aware of the kind of websites he describes.

It is already an offence to incite others to commit any criminal offence. Under the Public Order Act 1986, it is also an offence to use threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour or distribute material which is threatening or abusive so that another person believes that immediate unlawful violence will be used against them or they will be caused harassment, alarm or distress.

It is important that existing laws be used where breaches of the criminal law occur. Anyone with concerns should make them known to the relevant authorities and to the IWF.

We are currently working on an e-crime strategy which will include consideration of issues like these.