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Coffee House

David Cameron’s crackdown on child porn is not over yet

18 November 2013

8:37 AM

18 November 2013

8:37 AM

Parliament returns from a three day break today, but the headlines this morning are dominated by the international crackdown on online images of child abuse on the ‘dark internet’. Technology companies have made significant progress since July, when David Cameron urged them to do more to eradicate these ‘depraved and disgusting’ images. For example, 200 employees of Google have been targeting 100,000 search terms in order to locate pictures of child pornography. YouTube engineers have found a way to identify videos created by and for paedophiles, and Google and Microsoft have been collaborating to identify pictures of child pornography. This announcement has come before a meeting in Downing Street about joint Anglo-American law enforcement on child pornography, which will ally the expertise of the FBI and other UK agencies with the private sector.

This is good press for David Cameron, who had made this a personal issue. He gets a decent write-up in all of the papers. Cameron has told the Mail, ‘Google and Microsoft have come a long way. A recent deterrence campaign from Google led to a 20% drop off in people trying to find illegal content, so we know this sort of action will make a difference.’ The PM admits, though, that the battle is far from won and he will maintain pressure on the internet giants. The prospect of legislation has not faded.

Cameron’s comments to the Mail are a sign of how prominent the paper has been in this process. Meanwhile, Eric Schmidt, Google’s CEO, has penned an article in the Mail, the basic of which is to say: ‘We’ve listened’. It’s hard to disagree with the Mail’s admittedly self-serving view that its campaign has been a ‘stunning’ success.

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