Google has said it will clean up search results pertaining to underage sexual abuse.

Writing in Daily Mail, Google Chairman, Eric Schmidt, said, “We have fine-tuned Google Search to prevent links to child sexual abuse material from appearing in our results.”

Daily Mail said the restrictions, to apply in English-speaking countries, would be expanded to cover the rest of the world and 158 other languages in the next six months.

Schmidt said Google had developed breakthrough technology that would allow illegal videos to be 'tagged' so that all duplicate copies could be removed across the internet.

Daily Mail said Google's new technology, developed by 200 of their IT experts, will “put a unique identification mark on illegal child abuse videos, meaning all copies are removed from the web once a single copy is identified. The firm is offering to share the technology, similar to existing 'photo DNA' used for still images, with rivals.”

PTI reports: The announcement comes ahead of today’s Internet Safety Summit at Prime Minister David Cameron’s Downing Street office, where Google and Microsoft will be joined by other Internet firms.

In July, Cameron urged search engines to go further in blocking surfers from accessing illegal images.

Schmidt wrote: “While society will never wholly eliminate such depravity, we should do everything in our power to protect children from harm.”

He said that in the last three months, Google had put more than 200 staff working on developing new technology to tackle the problem.

“While no algorithm is perfect and Google cannot prevent paedophiles adding new images to the web these changes have cleaned up the results for over 100,000 queries that might be related to the sexual abuse of kids.

“We will soon roll out these changes in more than 150 languages, so the impact will be truly global.”

Schmidt said warnings from the California-based Internet giant were now showing at the top of results for more than 13,000 searches. The alerts also make clear that child sexual abuse is illegal and give advice on where to get help.

“We welcome the lead taken by the British government, and hope that the technologies developed (and shared) by our industry will make a real difference in the fight against this terrible crime,” said Schmidt.

(This article was published on November 18, 2013)
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