David Cameron calls for online clamp down on child pornography

David Cameron

David Cameron has called on internet search engines to do more to eradicate child pornography from the web, ahead of crunch talks later this month on this issue.

The Prime Minister said internet firms and search engines should use their "extraordinary" tech skills to "root out" images of child abuse.

In a statement, he said: "I am sickened by the proliferation of child pornography. It pollutes the internet, twists minds and is quite simply a danger to children."

Pressure has been mounting on search engines and internet service providers to do more to block access to child abuse images in the wake of the April Jones murder trial.

I am sickened by the proliferation of child pornography. It pollutes the internet, twists minds and is quite simply a danger to children.

During the court case, which saw Mark Bridger jailed for a full-life term for the five-year-old girl's murder, it was revealed that images of child pornography had been found on his laptop.

As a result, the Culture Secretary Maria Miller invited the likes of Google and Facebook to a meeting on 17 June where they can set out what they are doing to clamp down on this type of content.

"You organisation plays a key role in terms of how individuals access online content, and has serious public responsibilities as a result of this position," Miller is reported to have written in a letter to the web firms.

"A relatively small number of organisations wield a great deal of online power, and I believe with that power comes a great responsibility.

In the Cameron statement, he said there were "encouraging signs" that the industry is willing to step up, but more action is still required.

"The time for excuses and blame is over. We must all work together. The safety of our children is at stake; and nothing matters more than that," the statement continued.

In a statement to IT Pro last month, search giant Google said it has a "zero-tolerance" stance on child pornography, and works closely with the Internet Watch Foundation to remove offensive content from its search listings.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.