Posted on
November 18th, 2013

Measures agreed by Microsoft and Google to block images of abuse

In response to mounting political and public pressure, Google and Microsoft, two of the leading search engine companies, have both agreed measures which will make it much harder for users to find images online of child abuse.

Google chief executive Eric Schmidt said “New software is to be introduced that will automatically block 100,000 “unambiguous” search terms which lead to illegal content,”

The move, which has been welcomed by the Prime Minister, David Cameron, will see up to 100,000 searches which might find illegal material now return no results. In addition to this, the searches will trigger warnings to the user about the illegality of child abuse imagery. A further 13,000 queries will subsequently bring up a warning message that child abuse is illegal.

The changes to the algorithms will be launched in the United Kingdom first, before being introduced over the next six months to other English-speaking countries and 158 other languages.

Peter Barron, Google communications director said “We’re agreed that the child sexual imagery is a case apart, it’s illegal everywhere in the world, there’s a consensus on that. It’s absolutely right that we identify this stuff, we remove it and we report it to the authorities,”

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