Amber Rudd asks tech firms to do more to fight online abuse

Amber Rudd asks tech firms to do more to fight online abuse

UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd has said that technology companies need to step up their efforts in handling online child sexual abuse.

She stated that internet companies must act swiftly to make child gaming platforms and forums safe from paedophiles.

The Home Secretary will visit Washington DC to meet her counterparts and discuss combined efforts to tackle the issue.

During the trip, Rudd will meet global partners in the fight against online child abuse at a roundtable hosted by the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children with the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, attended by representatives from tech companies leading the fight, including Google, Facebook and Microsoft.

In an interview with BBC’s Andrew Marr, Rudd said: “We’ve seen the real growth of child sexual exploitation internationally, and we’re going to make sure that we work with the Americans to take action against it.

“We need to make sure [tech companies] put their technical know-how into addressing it.

“Particularly working with smaller platforms where children go to game online, to meet each other; there are paedophiles working there.

“We need to make sure that internet companies work with us, in partnership, to change this.”

Highlighting the new figures on the scale of the challenge and the progress that’s already been made, She wrote in the Sun on Sunday article that UK law enforcement identified 524 victims within IIOC in 2016/17 compared with 450 in 2015/16 and 177 in 2014/15.

She said that there has been a 700 % increase in the number of indecent images found on technology company servers and flagged to law enforcement between 2013 and 2017.

Due to coordinated action by the NCA and UK law enforcement agencies, over 400 arrests for IIOC offences in the UK each month and 500 children are being protected from online sexual exploitation, she said.