Progress on improvements to tackle online child abuse
In the world of online child safety there are two main areas hitting the press recently, reducing the amount of child abuse material that is online, something the IWF has successfully being tackling for some years and the separate issue of restricting access of legal pornographic materal such that only adults can access it.
The high level online safety summit chaired by Culture Secretary Maria Miller MP in Whitehall with Claire Perry MP and a raft of other Internet industry people present has now taken place and the result appears to be that the four largest broadband providers in the UK, BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media are committing to providing additional funding of £1m over four years to help crack down on the creation and distribution of child abuse material.
At the end of last week there had been talk that default content filters would be agreed at the meeting with this coming into effect for 2014, but this appears to be based on some quotes from Claire Perry on wired.co.uk and nothing official has been announced.
Extra funding to help reduce the amount of child abuse material online is welcome, but we have to question whether this is really just a case of the Government looking towards private funding for an area that should be part of its core values in a world where everything is increasingly done online. Back in February 2012, the Police Federation was expressing concern over the effect that budget cuts in CEOP may have on the operation of this small but important unit. Putting on our cynics hat for a moment this latest summit has simply balanced the books, while giving the impression that the Government and industry is doing more than it has in the past.