Google & Microsoft announce child porn clampdown

Two of the internet’s biggest search giants; Google and Microsoft, have announced measures to impede the dissemination of child abuse images online following a campaign by prime minister David Cameron.

The move will see as many as 100,000 search terms return no results containing illegal material and will also trigger on screen alerts that such content breaks the law.

Google and Microsoft’s Bing together control 95 per cent of all search traffic and were presented with an ultimatum by Cameron back in July, when he warned of fresh legislation if more wasn’t done to prevent people accessing illegal images.

Writing in the Daily Mail Google executive Eric Schmidt said: “These changes have cleaned up the results for over 100,000 queries that might be related to the sexual abuse of kids.As important, we will soon roll out these changes in more than 150 languages, so the impact will be truly global.

“We're now showing warnings - from both Google and charities - at the top of our search results for more than 13,000 queries. These alerts make clear that child sexual abuse is illegal and offer advice on where to get help."

Child protection experts warn most abuse images cannot be found via standard search engine anyway; but are hidden on peer-to-peer networks. To tackle these networks Microsoft and Google have agreed to collaborate with the UK's National Crime Agency, sharing technology which can trace and ‘fingerprint’ specific images.

An internet safety summit is scheduled to be held at Downing Street later today attended by both firms.

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John Glenday

John Glenday is responsible for compiling The Drum's daily morning bulletin and ensuring that overnight breaking news is covered while you're still brushing your teeth. Can also make a mean cup of tea.

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