David Cameron orders Google to pull child porn Web images

The prime minister has called for Google to employ a round-the-clock team to banish harmful images from the Web.

Prime minister David Cameron has ordered Google to ban child porn from the Internet. It's hoped this will help prevent murders like those of Tia Sharp and April Jones. In both cases, the killers had viewed violent child porn online.

Cameron told the Mail on Sunday, "I am sickened by the proliferation of child pornography. It pollutes the Internet, twists minds and is quite simply a danger to children.

"Internet companies and search engines make their living by trawling and categorising the Web. So I call on them to use their extraordinary technical abilities to do more to root out these disgusting images."

He said the government will convene a round-table meeting of "the major Internet companies" and will demand that more be done.

"The time for excuses and blame is over -- we must all work together," Cameron said. "The safety of our children is at stake -- and nothing matters more than that."

Previously, Google has claimed it isn't responsible for policing the Web. According to the Mail, Google and other companies will be told to set up teams of investigators to trawl the Web 24/7 to remove indecent child images.

A government official pointed out that Google Earth shows that "firms can do amazing things on the Internet when they want to," and called on companies to use that kind of manpower to root out harmful images. But it claimed the government wasn't singling out Google. "This is not targeted at Google," they said. "We believe they are moving in the right direction and will agree to our plans. This is about getting tough on pornography, not getting tough on Google."

Google has been summoned to meet with Claire Perry, Cameron's adviser on preventing the sexualisation of children, on 17 June. Perry also spearheaded the campaign for the 'opt in' policy on Internet porn.

Is it up to Google and other tech companies to police the Web? Do they have enough social responsibility, considering their size and power? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook page.

Image credit:10 Downing Street 

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