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UK and US launch taskforce to tackle child abuse

Policing Minister Damian Green launched the first meeting of the ‘US-UK taskforce to Counter Online Child Exploitation’.

Policing Minister Damian Green launched the first meeting of the ‘US-UK taskforce to Counter Online Child Exploitation’ at the US Department of Justice in Washington on Monday.

The taskforce, set up by the Prime Minister, is led by Damian Green and by US Acting Assistant Attorney General, Mythili Raman.

Policing Minister Damian Green said:

Child abuse is a vile crime. The UK government is working hard with partners in the US to ensure the internet cannot be used to sexually abuse children or trade child abuse imagery no matter how technically savvy an offender may be.

We have set up the US-UK taskforce to counter online child exploitation and are drawing on the brightest and best minds from across industry, law enforcement and academia to tackle the dark web, catch abusers and make it much more difficult to access child abuse images online.

Representatives from the online industry were invited to attend the first taskforce meeting, and more companies, both large and small, will be invited to join us in the coming months.

Over the next year, the taskforce will bring together experts in government, industry, law enforcement and academia from both sides of the Atlantic to combat child sexual exploitation crimes on the Internet and to reduce the volume of child sexual exploitation images online.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman said:

Sexual predators are using technology to exploit and harm children, and we need to consider whether technology-based solutions can help curb this abuse and give parents the tools they need to keep their children safe.

Law enforcement is committed to protecting children from abuse, but we know that the help and support of the innovators in the tech community are critical to this important effort. We look forward to collaborating with experts throughout the digital industry on the work of this taskforce.

The taskforce members include the National Crime Agency’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre Command, FBI and the Homeland Security Investigations.

The taskforce builds on the Government’s wider work to tackle child abuse and clean up the web, including working with Google and Microsoft to prevent offenders accessing child abuse images online via search engines and strengthening the UK’s capability to combat abuse through the newly-formed National Crime Agency.

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