I am pleased to hear that David Cameron is going to announce the introduction of a further package of measures today designed to tackle online child abuse. In his speech which he is delivering to the #WeProtectChildrenOnline summit he will announce the creation of a joint National Crime Agency and Government Communications Headquarters specialist unit which will look at the most serious cases of online child exploitation.
Increasingly paedophiles have been found to be using the “dark web” where is more difficult for investigators to penetrate and they have also become more sophisticated about covering their tracks online. This new unit using ground-breaking technology will be able to uncover even the most devious perpetrators of these horrific online crimes against children.
I understand the major internet search engines (Microsoft, Google and Yahoo) and social media sites (Facebook and Twitter) have committed to using hashing technology which identifies the hash values (digital fingerprints) of images and videos depicting child abuse and using this will block their distribution so that they cannot be shared online. Likewise Microsoft, Google and Mozilla are to investigate the possibility of introducing browser level blocking restrictions so that people will not be able to search and view known child abuse material online.
These are all very positive developments and I am extremely glad that the Prime Minister is taking online child abuse so seriously. The online exploitation of children is despicable and we must do all that we can to ensure it is stamped out as far as possible.