London: British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced the placement of government intelligence and anti-crime agencies at the centre of a fight to eliminate "digital hiding places for child abusers".
A new joint National Crime Agency (NCA)-Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) specialist unit will be established to crack down on paedophiles who are using the "dark web" to disguise their identities and to encrypt illegal images of children that they share with peers in what Cameron has described as a "horrific crime", The Guardian reported.
"GCHQ is using its world-leading capabilities to help NCA reach into the dark web and bring to justice those who misuse it to harm children. With the NCA, we are committed to eliminating digital hiding places for child abusers," Robert Hannigan, the director of GCHQ, said.
The prime minister will highlight the work of GCHQ and NCA at a global online summit later in the day, in identifying an individual in Britain who shared child abuse material around the world using chat services and websites in Asia and eastern Europe.
GCHQ and NCA were able to identify the man who was using software designed to maintain anonymity online.
He was later sentenced to three years in prison for making and distributing indecent images of children.
Cameron will also unveil new technology to make it harder for paedophiles to move illegal images around the net when websites are closed down.
Digital fingerprints, known as "hash values", of child sex abuse images identified by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) will allow the internet multinationals, such as Google, Twitter and Yahoo, to block the images on their services.
Google is planning to share with the industry new hashing technology that identifies child abuse videos.
The prime minister will also highlight global commitments from more than 30 countries to improve the tracking of paedophiles.
According to official date, more than 1,000 alleged paedophiles have been arrested in Britain in the last 12 months - five times more than the 192 people arrested in 2012-13.