News / Science & Technology

Google, Microsoft Block Searches for Child Porn

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (C) sits with Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, Maria Miller (3rd L) as he hosts an Internet safety summit at Number 10 Downing Street in London, Nov.18, 2013.
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (C) sits with Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, Maria Miller (3rd L) as he hosts an Internet safety summit at Number 10 Downing Street in London, Nov.18, 2013.
Reuters
Web search giants Google and Microsoft said on Monday they will block online searches for child abuse images.
 
The world's two largest search engine operators, in a rare display of unity, said as many as 100,000 search terms will now fail to produce results and trigger warnings that child abuse imagery is illegal.
 
The child porn crackdown announced during a Internet safety summit in London came after Prime Minister David Cameron in July urged Internet firms to do more to stop access to illegal images in the wake of two high-profile child sex murders in Britain.
 
Cameron said Britain's newly-established National Crime Agency is joining forces with the United States' FBI in a task force to track down these pedophiles and arrest them.
 
He described the progress to block illegal content as “significant” but said more needed to be done to track down pedophiles using the so-called “dark web” of encrypted networks that lets people anonymously share images of child abuse.
 
“We were told that cleaning up searches couldn't be done and shouldn't be done. We're now being told by the industry that it can be done and will be done,” Cameron said in a statement after the summit at his Downing Street offices, adding that Britain would hold an international summit next year to follow-up on the agreement reached on Monday.
 
Both Google and Microsoft have introduced new algorithms to prevent searches for child abuse imagery.
 
Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt said these changes would be introduced in Britain initially and then rolled out to another 158 countries in the next six months.
 
Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said deploying technology improvements to identify and eliminate Internet content that portrays child sexual abuse was a team effort.
 
Both companies also agreed to use their technological expertise to help in identification of abuse images and give technical support to Britain's Internet Watch Foundation and the U.S.'s National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
 
Some anti-child porn campaigners, however, argued the proposals did not go far enough and called for greater funding to wipe out sharing of child porn through peer-to-peer networks.
 
“Every illegal image is a crime scene but law enforcement agencies do not have the resources to identify, locate and protect every victim, nor to identify, and charge every abuser,” said Martyn Thomas, chairman of the Institution of Engineering and Technology IT policy panel.

You May Like

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party More

Video One Year After Massacre, Iraq’s Yazidis a Broken People

Minority community still recovering from devastating assault by IS militants which spurred massive outrage More

‘Malvertisements’ Undermine Internet Trust

Hackers increasingly prey on users' trust of major websites to delivery malicious software More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Arnette Nazanee Topian from: United States - Oklahoma
November 18, 2013 1:57 PM
Hooray! We all need to take a lesson from the U.K., Google and Microsoft and make these searches unprofitable.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs