EU, US launch biggest ever global fight against online child sex abuse

Worldwide teamwork to tackle 1m vile images


Some 48 countries have agreed to join forces to halt the spread of online child sex abuse videos and images.

EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström will team up with US Attorney General Eric Holder to launch the Global Alliance Against Child Sexual Abuse Online at a conference held today in Brussels, Belgium.

The initiative, billed as the biggest of its kind, aims to combat the increase of child pornography on the internet. It is estimated one million child abuse images are available on the web and this figure is estimated to increase by 50,000 per year.

Ministers from 27 EU member states will join 21 countries outside the continent - Albania, Australia, Cambodia, Croatia, Georgia, Ghana, Japan, Moldova, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, the Philippines, Serbia, Republic of Korea, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, USA and Vietnam - all backing the initiative, which aims to build international cooperation in the fight against the distribution of the vile imagery.

“This international initiative will strengthen our mutual resources to bring more perpetrators to justice, identify more victims of child sexual abuse, and ensure that they receive our help and support,” said Eric Holder. “Through this global alliance we can build on the success of previous cross-border police operations that have dismantled international paedophile networks and safeguard more of the world’s children.”

Child abusers exploit the dearth of information exchanged between nations' authorities and any legal loopholes available to operate freely, underlining the need for global cooperation to investigate and prosecute offenders.

As well as identifying victims, so as to find and protect them, and investigating incidents of child abuse, the scheme also aims to boost children's awareness of the risks posed by the web and those using it; kids will be told to take extra care with any photos they of themselves and to be wise to "grooming" methods used by paedophiles. ®

Similar topics

Broader topics


Other stories you might like

  • Intel demands $625m in interest from Europe on overturned antitrust fine
    Chip giant still salty

    Having successfully appealed Europe's €1.06bn ($1.2bn) antitrust fine, Intel now wants €593m ($623.5m) in interest charges.

    In January, after years of contesting the fine, the x86 chip giant finally overturned the penalty, and was told it didn't have to pay up after all. The US tech titan isn't stopping there, however, and now says it is effectively seeking damages for being screwed around by Brussels.

    According to official documents [PDF] published on Monday, Intel has gone to the EU General Court for “payment of compensation and consequential interest for the damage sustained because of the European Commissions refusal to pay Intel default interest."

    Continue reading
  • Qualcomm wins EU court battle against $1b antitrust fine
    Another setback for competition watchdog as ruling over exclusive chip deal with iPhone nullified

    The European Commission's competition enforcer is being handed another defeat, with the EU General Court nullifying a $1.04 billion (€997 million) antitrust fine against Qualcomm.

    The decision to reverse the fine is directed at the body's competition team, headed by Danish politico Margrethe Vestager, which the General Court said made "a number of procedural irregularities [which] affected Qualcomm's rights of defense and invalidate the Commission's analysis" of Qualcomm's conduct. 

    At issue in the original case was a series of payments Qualcomm made to Apple between 2011 and 2016, which the competition enforcer had claimed were made in order to guarantee the iPhone maker exclusively used Qualcomm chips.

    Continue reading
  • Big Tech falls in line with Euro demands to fight bots, deepfakes, disinformation
    Six percent of revenues at risk if Code of Practice broken

    Meta, Twitter, Google, Microsoft and other tech companies and publishers have agreed to fight disinformation online in accordance with the European Commission's latest Code of Practice rules, which were published on Thursday.

    The code [PDF] lists a broad set of commitments that signatories can choose to adhere to in the fight against digital fakery. Among the options are taking steps to demonetize disinformation; businesses should avoid placing ads next to fake news or profiting off the spread of false information online; and clearly labeling political advertisements. 

    Other concerns include making data from social media platforms more transparent and available for researchers and supporting the work of fact checkers. The EU updated these guidelines to tackle the rise of fake bots accounts and AI-generated deepfakes too. Signatories promise to outline their internal policies for dealing with manipulated content, and have to show their algorithms used for detecting and moderating deepfakes are trustworthy. 

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022