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UK PM urges firms to block child abuse images

David Cameron calls on Google, Yahoo and Bing to block results for searches using blacklisted keywords.

Last Modified: 21 Jul 2013 19:50
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In June, Google donated about $4.6m to combat the problem of child abuse images online [AFP]

British Prime Minister David Cameron has challenged the Internet search engine providers Google, Yahoo and Bing to block images of child sex abuse, calling for more action against online pornography depicting children.

I have a very clear message for Google, Bing, Yahoo and the rest. You have a duty to act on this - and it is a moral duty

David Cameron, UK prime minister 

In a television interview on Sunday, Cameron said search engines must block results for searches using blacklisted keywords to stop Internet users accessing illegal images.

Evidence in two recent high-profile child murders in Britain has shown that the killers accessed online child pornography.

Although search companies have pledged to help remove images from the Internet, Cameron says he wants them to go further.

"I have a very clear message for Google, Bing, Yahoo and the rest. You have a duty to act on this - and it is a moral duty," Cameron was due to say in a speech on Monday, according to an advance text, demanding that the companies report back to him in October on their progress.

Cameron also said the government was ready to introduce new laws if search engine providers did not offer enough cooperation.

'Zero tolerance'

Last week, US authorities said they had arrested 255 people suspected of sexually exploiting children online in a cross-border operation involving eight other countries.

In June, Google donated about $4.6m to combat the problem.

"We have a zero tolerance attitude to child sexual abuse imagery.

"Whenever we discover it, we respond quickly to remove and report it," a Google spokesperson said.

Bing, owned by Microsoft Corp, said it would support education and deterrence campaigns and that it was working with the British government to determine the best industry-wide approach to tackle illegal content.

Yahoo was not immediately available for comment.

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