During the trial of Mark Bridger for the sexually motivated murder of 5-year-old April Jones, details emerged of Bridger's use of online child porn.
Search engines including Google and Bing are now coming under pressure from campaigning groups to do more to prevent access to these illegal and obscene images.
Acting chief executive of the NSPCC, Phillip Noyes commented: "For some time we have been concerned about the growing number of these obscene images which are becoming more easily available and can fuel the fantasies of offenders like Bridger...This case points to the ever-growing evidence that there is a worrying link between looking at this vile kind of material and committing other serious sexual assaults."
Suggested actions include:
- Introducing pop-up warnings which threaten prosecution when users attempt to access certain material
- Introducing the "safe search" option as default (the current default setting, "moderate" allows access to pornography)
But is this a realistic and reasonable expectation? Or a knee-jerk response to a particularly shocking and horrific crime?