Computer Crime Research Center


Mobile phone companies join war on internet child porn

Date: February 11, 2008
By: Richard Wray

The mobile phone industry will today announce its intention to shut off all access to child pornography on mobile phones that can access the internet, making the mobile internet safer than the world wide web.

The GSM Association, which represents companies which together provide mobile services to more than 2.6 billion people worldwide, will launch its initiative at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona.

It has already signed up mobile operators including 3, Orange, Telefónica, T-Mobile and Vodafone, which together serve more than half a billion people worldwide. They have agreed to introduce internet blocking technology to prevent users accessing child pornography and provide help for customers in flagging up potentially harmful content. Marking Europe's fifth annual Safer Internet Day, Telefónica, which owns O2 in the UK, will also announce today that it has launched dedicated child protection websites across all of its European operating businesses. The sites are to promote safer use of mobiles by younger teenagers and children.

The GSM Association initiative comes as more mobile phones can access the internet. Mobile phones are increasingly being used by paedophiles to swap images. While the new alliance will not be able to prevent that sort of behaviour, it will stop people from accessing websites that contain such images.

Mobile phone companies which sign up to the plan will work with police and child protection agencies to ensure that blacklisted websites cannot be viewed on mobile phones.

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