PM hosts internet safety summit

Posted on 18 November 2013

The Prime Minister has today hosted a summit at Downing Street where he has welcomed the progress made by Internet Service Providers and leading search to better protect children from harmful material online and block child abuse and other illegal content, but has warned that there is still more to do.

Speaking ahead of the event, the Prime Minister has said the internet search engines in particular have made “significant progress” since July to prevent child abuse content from being available across the world but will make clear that he will still bring forward legislation if they fail to deliver.

Google and Microsoft have introduced a number of changes to their search function not only the UK but across the world and National Crime Agency testing of the new measures shows that child abuse images, videos or pathways are no longer being returned against a blacklist of search terms at present.

The changes introduced by the search engines include:

  • The introduction of new algorithms that will block child abuse images, videos and pathways that lead to illegal content, covering 100,000 unique searches on Google worldwide.
  • Stopping auto-complete features from offering people child abuse search terms
  • Google and Microsoft working with the National Crime Agency and the Internet Watch Foundation to bring forward a plan to tackle peer to peer networks featuring child abuse images
  • new technology from Google that will put a unique identification mark on illegal child abuse videos, which will mean all copies are removed from the web once a single copy is identified

More details about the summit are available on the Number 10 Downing Street website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pm-hosts-internet-safety-summit

Responding to today’s news, Childnet International’s CEO Will Gardner said,

“We welcome the progress made and announced today. It is important that this topic remains high on the public agenda and that we all continue to work to combat these images.

Unfortunately, there are still child abuse images available online, and if you do come across them it is important that you report it to the Internet Watch Foundation so that this content is removed. We are delighted that the IWF, our partner in the UK Safer Internet Centre, is expanding its staffing and remit in their mission to elimate online child sexual abuse content.”

See the IWF’s response at: https://www.iwf.org.uk/about-iwf/news/post/379-iwf-welcomes-progress-in-the-fight-against-online-child-sexual-abuse-content

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