TechEye reports that teachers in England, Wales, Scotland, and North and South Ireland were using a website called Sparklebox, a source for teachers that provides educational tools. The problem is that the website was created by a pedophile. Apparently school officials and authorities knew about the site's founder since December, and didn't bother to block the site until just last week. The website has been online since February 2006.
According to the report, Samuel Kinge was originally jailed in Warwick back in January 2005 for possession of child pornography. Over a year later, he launched the Sparklebox website using a different name. Kinge was then arrested again in September 2009 for possessing child porn, but this time was sentenced to 12 months in prison and served an additional 15 year sexual offenses prevention order in January.
Catriona Ruane, a Sinn Fein minister in the Northern Ireland assembly, told TechEye that Sparklebox was available to the entire Classroom 2000 teacher network. However the network consulted with its regional broadband units in England and made sure that "sufficient arrangements were in place to ensure the safety of users." Ruane did not specify the reasons for initially implementing only filters.
The Sparklebox site didn't become fully blocked until a parent contacted a Belfast primary school and presumably complained about its use. Once Belfast decided to block the site, the entire network followed suit. There was no indication that the website in question contained child pornography, or provided hidden links to external pornographic sources.