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UK ISPs BT, Sky, Talktalk and Virgin Media pledge £1m to tackle online child abuse

Culture Secretary Maria Miller calls a meeting to fight child pornography
Tue Jun 18 2013, 15:40
New culture secretary Maria Miller for the Department for Culture Media and Sport image

THE UK'S FOUR LARGEST internet service providers (ISPs) have announced a joint commitment with the Government to donate £1m towards tackling online child abuse.

Making the announcement during a Government summit today called by Culture Secretary Maria Miller, BT, Sky, Talktalk and Virgin Media joined some of the technology industry's major players such as Google, Microsoft and Facebook to discuss how the internet industry can prevent harm to children.

The funds will go to aid the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), a hotline aimed at removing child sexual abuse content online. Though the ISPs already claim to be the largest funders of the IWF, they said that this additional funding will supplement the ongoing battle against illegal material "by investing in technology and awareness raising to help parents protect children in the online world".

Moving forward, BT, Sky, Talktalk and Virgin Media will work with the IWF to review its activities and see how it can be made even more effective in the future.

The ISPs will also work closely with the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre to support its efforts to eradicate the sexual abuse of children, particularly in relation to online activity.

Ahead of the summit today, Google announced a series of initiatives over the weekend to fight child pornography hosted online, including a new database that will make it easier to identify and remove offending images.

As with the four UK ISPs, the firm also announced it will donate £1m to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) to help the charity increase its workforce.

The database, which is based on Google's hashing technology, has been designed to make it easier for law enforcement and internet advocates to highlight child abuse images and remove them from Google's internet search index.

All the companies present at the summit signed a zero tolerance pledge regarding child sexual abuse imagery. µ


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