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UK Politics

Government launches new crackdown on paedophiles streaming sex abuse from developing world


A drive to shut down live streams of sex abuse images from developing nations to paedophiles in Britain and other western countries is to be launched by the Government.

More than 1,600 search terms commonly used by child abusers have already been banned under an agreement between Internet service providers and ministers.

But Damian Green, the policing minister, signalled his determination to go further and track down “abhorrent” images hidden on remote and anonymous sites.

He also called for police to build on the success of an operation in January to break up a paedophile ring that streamed live child abuse over the Internet from the Philippines.

Crime gangs were increasingly exploiting the combination of extreme poverty and good Internet links in some developing nations to force youngsters to perform sex acts in front of webcams, he warned.

Mr Green announced that a summit of major Internet providers would be held next month to identify practical ways of blocking such broadcasts.

With millions of child abuse images available online, he denied that the authorities were fighting a losing battle against paedophiles operating worldwide.

He told The Independent: “We’ve only just started fighting the battle and we have made good progress.

“The law enforcement agencies have tended to lag behind the technical abilities of these evil people. That is why it is important why we get the best brains in the industry involved to make sure we are not fighting a losing battle.”