GOOGLE FACE PROSPECT OF PROSECUTION FOR FAILING TO REMOVE VILE CONTENT FROM ITS SERVERS – The UK Government is looking to force Google to take action against child pornography and terrorist related material held on its servers and is considering possible prosecution for crimes linked to such material.
Full Story: Daily Mail
While I will fight all day long for the rights of free press, free speech and freedom of expression there are, and have to be, limits on what content should be available on the internet and it is widely acknowledged that child pornography and terrorist related material has no place on the internet.
It was interesting to note that the British Government are considering prosecuting the likes of Google for allowing people to access such information if that access results and can be linked to the viewing of such information.
The UK has experienced a number of heinous crimes involving children and of course recently the murder of Lee Rigby in Woolwich in a terrorist attack.
The Government wants, and rightly so, to force the web giants such as Google, to do more to remove material that could instigate crime against children and the innocent.
While the Government appears to be ruffling its feathers and demanding action from the likes of Google it is disappointing to read in a separate article that only 1 in 15 cases of online child abuse reported to the police ever results in an arrest.
Recent research into crimes relating to child pornography and terrorism clearly indicates that there is a direct correlation between those who have viewed such material and then acted upon their desires.
There is a deepening worry that more of our children are being subjected to all manner of vile activities online, through images and video and that despite legal regulations these types of content continue to grow and become increasingly easier to access.
The debate of blocking pornography through the Internet Service Provider (ISP) is still being considered despite David Cameron’s rhetoric that he will force ISP’s to block all access unless the person paying the bill explicitly requests that no such block should be imposed.
Currently the major ISP’s such as BT, Virgin and TalkTalk are now vowing to take steps to introduce a filter and block such content but the filter can easily by-passed by the user by simply clicking ‘Yes’ when setting up the system.
When it comes to the likes of Google it’s all about profit and it has already been established that they make vast sums in advertising revenue from such content.
Google, in its woeful attempt to subterfuge any public admonishment, has stated that it will remove any such content that does not comply with its terms if reported by a user.
Considering the power Google has over the internet it is widely accepted that it could make real headway into eradicating illegal and vile content on its servers if it wanted to.
One analyst working at an Online Child Protection organization noted that not many people would report cases of child pornography to Google for fear of being labeled a paedophile. It was noted that child pornography is often simply stumbled upon innocently and yet the stigma attached to finding such material prevents them from making a report.
This leaves many believing that the only way to significantly reduce, or better still eradicate, this type of material is to put the responsibility squarely on the shoulders of Google for what it allows in its index.
With the vast profits Google makes it donated a pitiful £20,000 to an online Child Protection organization last year and yet had the affront to report that it was doing all it could. Again with the billions that Google rakes in it would not be unreasonable to form a dedicated team of people to tackle the problem and it should certainly be held accountable for anything it holds on its servers.
This is one debate that must never be allowed to die and we must continue to put pressure on our Government and the likes of Google.
Should Google and other search providers be legally responsible for the content they index and hold on their servers? Please leave your comments below.