PM calls on tech firms to block child porn or face new laws

Prime minister David Cameron will order tech firms to regulate the Internet, or face tougher laws forcing them to comply.

Prime minister David Cameron will call on tech firms like Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! to crack down on child porn. If they don't, he'll introduce new laws that will force them to, the Mail on Sunday reports.

In a speech in London tomorrow, Cameron will focus on web search companies and Internet service providers (ISPs), telling them they have a "moral duty" to ban these types of searches. He'll demand they introduce new on-screen warnings that tell anyone searching for indecent images that they could lose their job or access to their children. He'll also stipulate that the most "abhorrent" phrases searched for produce no results.

These changes will have to happen by the autumn, Cameron will say, or he'll bring in the new laws himself.

"There are some searches which are so abhorrent and where there can be no doubt whatsoever about the sick and malevolent intent of the searcher that there should be no search results returned at all," Cameron will say. "I have a very clear message to Google, Bing, Yahoo! and the rest. You have a duty to act on this and it is a moral duty.

"You are not separate from our society, you are part of our society, and you must play a responsible role in it.

"If the progress is slow or non-existent, I can tell you we are already looking at the legislative options we have to force action."

From this month, anyone trying to access a website featuring images of child abuse will see a warning saying the site contained illegal images and has been taken down.

Last month, Cameron said he would call on the same companies to " root out these disgusting images ". It's thought he was spurred into action after the murders of Tia Sharp and April Jones -- in both cases, the killers had viewed child porn online.

Last year, the government abandoned plans for an ' opt-in ' policy that would have meant anyone wishing to view adult content online would have to ask their ISP for permission.

What do you think of Cameron's proposals? Are they actually practical? And is it up to these companies to regulate the Internet? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook page.

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About the author

    Joe has been writing about consumer tech for nearly seven years now, but his liking for all things shiny goes back to the Gameboy he received aged eight (and that he still plays on at family gatherings, much to the annoyance of his parents). His pride and joy is an Infocus projector, whose 80-inch picture elevates movie nights to a whole new level.

     

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