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European police chiefs team up to demand that techs “tighten up” on child pornography

The UK's National Crime Agency (NCA) will lead a campaign in partnership with 32 European countries, including Portugal, and with the support of Europol and Interpol, to demand technological giants more serious measures to stop sexual exploitation children's online.

The NCA campaign comes after the British Government has presented a proposed law that could make Ofcom, the communications regulator in the United Kingdom, scrutinize the performance of social networks and digital platforms. Boris Johnson's executive wants technological giants to be more responsible and to reinforce their role in removing offensive or dangerous content, such as child pornography.

The initiative carried out by the NCA wants companies to ensure that material relating to child sexual abuse is blocked as soon as it is detected, preventing the enticement of minors on their platforms and the live transmission of child exploitation practices. The NCA campaign also wants companies to be willing to work with the government and authorities to put an end to this crime.

With just three clicks, our agents were able to locate material relating to child sexual abuse on the Internet. There is no practical crime barrier and this cannot continue, says Lynne Owens, NCA's Director General, quoted in a press release. While the authorities continue to try to stop criminals, the British agency indicates that a response from technologists is increasingly needed to tackle high levels of online crime.

The NCA clarifies that there should be no tolerance for the presence of materials relating to child sexual exploitation on digital platforms. The agency recalls that criminals are not limited to seeing the content in question: they use the online medium to approach and manipulate children in order to obtain explicit photographs or videos.

It is recalled that an investigation published last year shows that, in 2018, more than 18 million cases of child pornography were reported online. Altogether 45 million illegal images and videos have been signaled by several technological companies, however, these are not taking sufficient measures, and in many cases, their performance opens the door to online child sexual exploitation.