Prime Minister David Cameron is on a crusade
to clean up the Internet, and he’s convinced the likes of Google
to help him do it. In a press release straight from Downing Street, the UK government revealed that the two tech behemoths have developed new search algorithms for Google and Bing
to block images and video of child abuse as well as preventing autocomplete features from producing child abuse terms. Google is also working on technology that will uniquely identify videos containing abusive content so that if one copy of the video is deleted, all copies will vanish from the Internet.
As part of the effort, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) produced some 100,000 unambiguous search terms that the companies are able to block, ostensibly preventing cutting off pathways to finding child porngraphy through search engines. Further, 13,000 of the top results on Google will produce a warning that child sexual abuse is illegal and will offer links to get help.
According to Downing Street, Google and Microsoft were at first hesitant to get involved with Cameron’s project, indicating that the sort of blocking the PM wanted couldn’t be done and positing that doing so would cut against the ideals of an open Internet (despite the egregious nature of that sort of content).
The two companies will now also be working with the UK’s National Crime Agency as well as the Internet Watch Foundation to attack a greater problem pertaining to the proliferation of child pornography, which is those dark corners of peer-to-peer sharing across the Internet.