Google pledges $5m to battle child porn on the web

Internet giant pledges global funding to help charities find and remove exploitative images

Google is to spend $5m (£3.1m) fighting child pornography and abuse, the company will announce today, after criticism that it is not doing enough to prevent the spread of harmful online imagery.

With a Whitehall summit on online protection set for this Tuesday, chaired by the Culture Secretary, Maria Miller, the internet giant has pledged to tackle child sex abuse images through "hashing" technology that gives each picture a web "fingerprint" that can be identified and removed.

Google's funding package includes the £1m announced last week for the UK-based Internet Watch Foundation. The US National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children will receive $1m, while $2m will go towards Google's Child Protection Technology Fund. Similar bodies in Brussels, Canada, Australia and Latin America will also receive funding.

The Culture Secretary called the summit after it was revealed that the murderers of Tia Sharp and April Jones had viewed child pornography. The companies attending the summit are Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Facebook, BT, Sky, Virgin Media, TalkTalk, Vodafone, O2, EE and Three.

Mrs Miller will chair the talks and be joined by the Communications minister, Ed Vaizey, and the Home Office minister Damian Green. The issue of internet security, raised by the Prism affair in the US, is expected to come up but sources said that the main focus would be ridding the internet of child pornography.

Scott Rubin, director of communications and public affairs at Google, said: "We have a zero-tolerance attitude to child sexual abuse imagery online. The fight to remove these images from the internet is a global one, and we hope these measures will help in that important battle."

The extra cash for the Internet Watch Foundation will more than double the number of analysts it employs to search the web for abusive and exploitative material to be removed. Hashing technology, which has been developed since 2008 and tags known child sexual abuse images, allows Google to identify any duplicate images existing elsewhere. Each offending image is branded with a unique "fingerprint" that the technology can pick up without humans having to view them again.

John Carr, an adviser on child internet safety for the UK government, said: "In all my time working in this space no [other] company has ever devoted anything like this level of resources to working with civil society organisations to attack online child abuse images. This  …  should focus the minds of other industry leaders in relation to how they are going to join the fight."

Susie Hargreaves, who heads the Internet Watch Foundation, said: "We know that the best way to tackle some of the most horrific content online is by working with others from all over the world to combat this on a global platform. These funds, made available internationally, will  … allow international experts to target images and videos of children being sexually abused with the best technology based on the most technically progressive ideas."

A Whitehall source said: "Parents are rightly worried about what their children have access to online and, given the proliferation of child abuse imagery, we need a committed emphasis on tackling the problem."

Life and Style
Customers can get their caffeine fix on the move
food + drink
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
News
Jermain Defoe got loads of custard
i100
News
peoplePamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals
Arts and Entertainment
tvExecutive says content is not 'without any purpose'
News
A cleaner prepares the red carpet for the opening night during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival May 17, 2006 in Cannes, France.
newsPowerful vacuum cleaners to be banned under EU regulations
News
newsChester Zoo have revealed their newest members
Sport
sportLeague Managers' Association had described Malky Mackay texts as 'friendly banter'
News
The video, titled 'A Message to America', was released a day after Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot that has overrun large parts of Iraq, threatened to attack Americans 'in any place'. U.S. officials said they were working to determine the video's authenticity
i100
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
tvSpielberg involved in bringing his 2002 film to the small screen
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Data Insight Manager - Marketing

£32000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based o...

Business Analyst

£250 - £350 per day: Orgtel: Business Analyst, Bristol, Banking, Business Obje...

Internal Communications Advisor - SW London

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Communications Advisor - SW...

Data Insight Manager

£40000 - £43000 Per Annum plus company bonus: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape