`Blocking sites,search terms `ineffective` to stop child porn`

A recent move by technology giants Google and Microsoft to prevent users from searching for child pornography online is a "blunt and ineffective tool and can easily be circumvented", a global professional body of engineers said.

PTI| Last Updated: Nov 19, 2013, 21:04 PM IST

New Delhi: A recent move by technology giants Google and Microsoft to prevent users from searching for child pornography online is a "blunt and ineffective tool and can easily be circumvented", a global professional body of engineers said.

The UK-based Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), which claims to have over 150,000 members globally in 127 countries, said, while, this is a step in the right direction, but not enough to completely resolve the issue.

"The move by Internet search engines to make it harder to find child abuse images online do not go far enough to solve the problem," IET said in a statement.


"Universal blocking of websites, search terms and content is a blunt and ineffective tool and can easily be circumvented," IET Chair (IT Policy Panel) Martyn Thomas said.

The serious offenders are already using encryption and other technical means to hide their activities, so the blocking by Internet service providers (ISPs) will not affect, he added.

"Whilst these moves to make it harder to find child abuse images online are a step in the right direction, they do not go far enough. There are better and more effective ways to protect children," Thomas said.

The measures will help prevent young children from accessing such material, but they will do little for the people sharing these images which is being done through private peer-to-peer networks, he added.

Explaining the process, Thomas said Internet was designed to withstand serious damage and it treats censorship as damage and provides routes around it.

"There is no quick technical fix that will protect victims - it needs education, responsible parenting and more resources for enforcing the laws that already exist," he said.

On possible steps that can be undertaken to prevent such acts, Thomas said protecting children from online exploitation and abuse are best addressed by parents following advice provided by GetSafeOnline and Child Exploitation and Online Protection agency (CEOP).

"Every illegal image is a crime scene but law enforcement agencies do not have resources to identify, locate and protect every victim, nor to identify, and charge every abuser. More resources must be provided. That is top priority," he said.

IET provides expert advice to UK`s Parliament, government and other agencies on engineering related policy issue. Every year, the body makes around 30 submissions to the UK government and the EU on such issues.