A Europe that protects children
The EU Commission recently put out a statement highlighting concrete ideas for how to tackle illegal content online. They have called it a set of operational measures, which have been issued together with necessary safeguards that will have to be taken by companies and Member States before a further step is taken to decide whether legislation will be necessary.
As someone who works in the businesses of prevention and advocating a holistic approach to preventing online child sexual abuse – promoting both vital detection work and full engagement from all parts of society – I want to take a moment to highlight and celebrate some of the content in the EU commission’s recent communication.
Two highly important safeguards
Two safeguards put forward by the Commission stand out to me in particular. The first is the call for ‘more efficient tools and proactive technologies to detect and remove illegal content…’ This is something that NetClean is trying to install into all company culture; both by adding software to computers, and by ensuring that employers, big and small, understand how important it is to engage with this issue. We believe that it should be just as important for companies to install detection software as it is to install virus scanning software.
Special attention to small companies
Secondly, and just as important is the call for ‘Special attention to small companies’.
In the case of small companies, the Commission is calling for ‘voluntary arrangements, cooperate and share experiences, best practices and technological solutions, including tools allowing for automatic detection.’ This tells me that the EU Commission is engaging with this issue in the right way. It has seen the big picture – asking companies to put aside their market competitiveness and also work across sectors to ensure that we find the best way to stop the spread of online child sexual abuse.
Closer cooperation with authorities
In addition, the call for closer cooperation with authorities is also key to fighting this crime. Once a crime has been found it is important that it can be reported swiftly and efficiently to well-equipped police and security forces. Only then children can be rescued and enabled a brighter future.
Great technological solutions and collaboration are at the very core of solving this problem, and I am pleased that the EU Commission has recognised this. I for one will continue to follow this work with great interest.