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Net porn is just a few clicks away

Russell Bave writes that it is difficult to find pornography on the Internet (email, 9 September) that is not protected either by an authorisation code or a requirement for payment.

I can provide him with the addresses of sites that require neither authorisation code nor payment, yet offer images that go far beyond those available on the top shelf of a newsagent. I found these addresses within an hour of starting to look. At the weekend, with a local Internet service provider, this would cost 60p. Some of the sites are in the Netherlands, which is blessed with very fast Internet access.

Curiously, there is a far better search term to begin with than "sex". It is "PICS", which is the acronym for the Platform for Internet Content Selection, a mechanism which it is hoped will help to grade Internet access and keep pornography off the screens of children.

As another example of how easy it is to find unprotected pornographic images (without even searching for them), I have just now accessed for the first time a respectable guide to UK sites (http://www.ukindex.co.uk/) which has pornographic links only two or three clicks away from its main page. I'm as liberal as the next cyberdog, but we do the Internet community no favours by understating the problem of pornography on the Internet.

Andrew Billington

andie@connect.org.uk

Online rail timetables available

In the 9 September issue of Network, Andrew North, in his review of Web sites, bemoans the lack of an online rail timetable. For several months, I have been using the server at http://rail. rz.uni-karlsruhe.de/rail/info- trn.html, which has timetables for the UK and much of Europe. It is not interactive but replies are sent by email within a few hours, and it is generally helpful and invariably accurate for the UK. I can't recall seeing reference to it in your pages, but commend it to you.

David Smith

D.K.Smith@exeter.ac.uk

Correspondence should be sent to network@independent.co.uk and marked 'for email column' .

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