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U.S., EU form alliance to curb child sexual abuse on the Web

Law enforcement agencies from nearly 50 countries will work together to identify instances of child victimization and bring criminals to justice.

The U.S. has teamed up with nearly 50 countries around the world in an effort to curb child sexual abuse on the Internet.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and European Union Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmstrom today announced a new initiative called the Global Alliance Against Child Sexual Abuse Online. A host of European Union countries have joined the effort. South Korea, Vietnam, Turkey, and Nigeria are among the many non-EU countries that will participate in the alliance.

The alliance will make it easier for the participating countries to work together to identify instances of child sexual abuse and bring people victimizing children to justice. In addition, the effort will aim at reducing the number of depictions of child abuse on the Internet and educate children on the risks associated with using the Web.

"Through increased cooperation, broader information-sharing, and expanded training opportunities, we're already laying the foundation for a more effective international legal framework -- designed to allow investigators and prosecutors to move more seamlessly between jurisdictions in order to shut down exploitative online enterprises," Holder said today in a speech in Brussels. "Those who would harm our children are not respecters of our national borders -- we in law enforcement must not allow these borders to be impediments to our best efforts."

Though the countries are now formally working together, the U.S. has partnered up in the past to catch child predators. Holder specifically cited last year's Operation Delego, which saw the U.S. work with international law enforcement to take down a global community of pedophiles known as "Dreamboard." According to Holder, members were arrested in 14 countries around the world.

"And as we move forward -- by establishing common procedures, exchanging knowledge and expertise, enhancing reporting mechanisms, and engaging a broader coalition of private industry leaders -- I'm hopeful that this Global Alliance will enable us to take our comprehensive efforts to a new level," Holder said.

(Via CNN)