Saturday 21 October 2017

New EU laws may force State to filter porn

Adrian Weckler Technology Editor

THE Government has indicated that it will not ask Irish ISPs to implement filters to block legal pornography, despite some children's advocacy groups indicating support for such a move.

However, the Government may have to consider some form of filtering or blocking technology under new European anti-child sex abuse legislation.

The EU directive to combat child sexual exploitation specifically mandates Ireland and other EU countries to block child pornography websites and images, which could see ISPs here asked to consider new ways of tackling the problem.

The news comes after British Prime Minister David Cameron warned web companies to remove results for some child sexual abuse search queries.

Mr Cameron said that failure to do this may result in the British government legislating in favour of the move.

Mr Cameron is also attempting to force internet service providers in Britain to block home broadband users from automatic access to legal adult pornography.

He has asked that ISPs implement blocking filters to make this happen, saying the move was intended to prevent children from inadvertently accessing appropriate imagery while online.

The anti-child pornography web service, hotline.ie, has seen a rise in child sexual abuse content traced to Irish sources.

Child abuse images and videos traced by hotline.ie to Ireland have almost doubled, according to website director Paul Durrant.

Last year, the organisation tracked 96 incidences of child sexual abuse online, with four traced to Ireland; while the number of confirmed Irish cases so far this year has risen to seven, said Mr Durrant.

The abuse content is tracked to Irish computers and servers, but could originate elsewhere due to cloud technology.

Last year, hotline.ie tracked more cases of child abuse content to Ireland than to Britain, Germany or France.

Mr Durrant said that 90pc of all illegal content reported was removed from the internet within 72 hours.

Cameron attacks internet giants

Irish Independent

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