Moral guardians sought for Net

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WANTED: PERSON to look at hardcore pornography on the Internet. Absolutely must not be interested in pornography. Paedophiles and perverts are especially unwelcome.

Strange though it sounds, that is what the Internet Watch Foundation - an organisation based in Cambridge that monitors the legality of images on the Net - requires. In an advert placed this week in the Cambridge Evening News, it is seeking two people to work on its hotline, performing daily checks on websites and newsgroups that members of the public have complained about, to see whether they are obscene - and possibly report the owners to the police.

However, the foundation, recognising some people might find it too enjoyable a job, has added the following proviso to the advert: "You will be involved in assessing hardcore pornographic images involving both adults and children. (Do not apply if that sounds attractive to you.)"

Ruth Dixon, the hotline manager, said it will not be possible to check applicants' criminal records. "As we are not physically working with children, we don't have access to those police checks," she said. "But we will follow up all references very closely."

She added: "We decided to put the warning on the advert to stop people applying who would be shocked and to acknowledge that there might be a small minority of people who might want to apply for the job for the wrong reasons."