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Eric Schmidt and Google Teams with Microsoft to Tackle Online Child Porn

Google and Microsoft team up to stop internet child porn by blocking searches.

Google and Microsoft team up to stop internet child porn by blocking searches.

That’s why internet companies like Google and Microsoft have been working with law enforcement for years to stop paedophiles sharing illegal pictures on the web. We actively remove child sexual abuse imagery from our services and immediately report abuse to the authorities. This evidence is regularly used to prosecute and convict criminals. – Eric Schmidt, Google [UK Mail]

AS THE UK Mail article by Google’s Eric Schmidt reveals, the Internet’s role in the scourge of child pornography has gone unchecked since the inception of the search engine. Google and Microsoft have made what is being explained as a breakthrough, the two giant tech companies teaming up and joining with enforcement internationally.

There has always been a concern about censorship when talking about policing content, beginning with porn, but also including the most violent content as well. However, what Google and Microsoft seem to have done is program internet searches so that the most vile public trolling for the worst possible images can be policed through blocking images and providing warnings of the illegality of sexual crimes against children.

Not that it will stop the inhumane scourge.

It comes after Canada’s Project Spade, last week, produced what could be the largest child porn bust in internet history.

A sweeping child pornography investigation has led to the rescue of 386 children around the world and the arrest of 348 people, Canadian police said Thursday.

“It is alleged that officers seized hundreds of thousands of videos detailing horrific sexual acts against very young children, some of the worst that they have ever viewed,” Inspector Joanna Beaven-Desjardins said.

Police said 108 people were arrested in Canada and 76 in the U.S. Others were arrested in other countries.

This is a subject that I was involved in back in the 1990s. As editor-in-chief to what was reported as the first mega site to make money on the web, a strictly soft-core site owned and operated by women and the first of its kind, which beat Playboy and every other adult enterprise in making money on the web, I was in charge of restructuring the content. It was 1997 and the internet was exploding, everyone trying to make money, when the boss I worked for had already figured out how.

But that’s not the only reason why I appreciate so much what Google and Microsoft are doing. The other reason is because everyone on the web has a responsibility to refuse to foster fantasies that encourage the sexualization of children. When I adamantly refused to post content that I felt was over the line, my boss overruled me. Not having a second thought that I was correct, I quit and walked out. In the 2008 profile of me at The New Republic:

Mixing the political with the prurient, she tried to make the website an outlet for those, like her, who believed that porn should be feminist, or at least socially conscious. But when Marsh couldn’t convince [her boss] to kill a pictorial of a naked stripper on a school playground (“It was like holding up a welcome sign for pedophile fantasies”), she quit the same day. “There comes a point in time when you have to say: This is wrong,” [Marsh] says. “And you walk out.” [The New Republic]

Back in the 90s, my experience was a very small story well outside a much larger problem that’s been allowed to metastasize, because there was no way to address it. Because of the recent action, it is estimated that over 100,000 images will now be blocked from view. That doesn’t do anything to stop the secret networks of child predators who trade on this filth.

From the UK Daily Mail, Google’s Eric Schmidt explains today:

We actively remove child sexual abuse imagery from our services and immediately report abuse to the authorities. This evidence is regularly used to prosecute and convict criminals. But as David Cameron said in a speech this summer, there’s always more that can be done. We’ve listened, and in the last three months put more than 200 people to work developing new, state-of-the-art technology to tackle the problem.

There is no way to stop all illegal photos that fuel child sex slave networks, secret pedophilia clubs and listservs, and the predators who troll the web looking for innocents, or an outlet to experience their depravity. What we have to do is keep tightening the net, joining together, and helping investigators narrow in on criminals who prey on children, as well as those people who tease the instinct and tantalize the minds who are mentally and sexually sick.

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