Google to help fight child porn with industry-wide image-blocking tool

Written by Edward Chester

June 17, 2013 // 8:56 a.m.

Tags: #block #blocking #child-porn #google #tool

Google is working on a plan to help block access to child pornography across the entire world wide web.

The technology will enable websites, law enforcement agencies and charities to build a collective database of abusive imagery that should be hidden or removed.

Although these groups have been working to block this sort of content individually for quite some time, Google's new initiative will allow them to combine their efforts. The plan is simply to create an open database and allow any such group to easily contribute. With it, child porn images which have already been “flagged” by child protection organisations such as the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), can be wiped from the web in one fell swoop.

The plan follows recent political pressure on Google and other search engine providers to make even greater efforts to block access to abusive content. In particular, Prime Minister David Cameron said he was "sickened" by the proliferation of child pornography online and said that firms should use their "extraordinary technical abilities" to censor the images.

Google, which has been blocking such content since 2008 via its own pattern-recognition technology, is setting up a £1.27 million ($2 million) fund that will be used to help independent software developers to produce new tools to combat child pornography.

The new database is expected to be operational within a year.

Source: The Telegraph

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