Guest blog and press release statement by the Global Alliance against Minor Exploitation
Tuesday, June 18 saw a very well-publicized summit taking place between the UK Culture Secretary and major Internet companies such as Google and Facebook. The purpose of this meeting, as everyone knows, was to find ways to hold the industry accountable for the scourge of child sexual abuse material freely being shared across the internet and find ways to curb the exploitation and abuse of children online.
The result was that all parties have jointly agreed to sweeping measures to combat “child pornography” and also to give the Internet Watch Foundation more powers and funds to police the internet and “stamp out” such “abhorrent” material. In the lead-up to the summit Google took the lead with various ground-breaking initiatives, such as setting aside a huge fund for various aspects of the fight against child abuse material as well as a plan to digitally fingerprint hundreds of thousands of known child abuse images, enabling more efficient tracking. While we fully support these efforts and salute the leadership of the Prime Minister as well as Maria Miller and the rest of the UK leadership, including of those such as the First Minister of Wales, The Right Honourable Carwyn Jones, who was one of the first to fight for this issue, we must but wonder if this is a case of “too little, too late”.
Before we attempt to answer the above question, it would be absolutely prudent to hail the amazing example set by the two true “Justice Campaigners” Dr. Sara Payne and Shy Keenan, who with the help of the Sun Newspaper first lobbied extensively for this to be brought to the table and fully succeeded. They, with the motivation of preventing any further such horrible and senseless acts as perpetrated against little April Jones – and untold other children – decided that surely “enough is enough” and that the internet giants need to be called out and held accountable for their part in the inaction that lead to the massive explosion of online child sexual abuse and the encouragement of such that leads to real-life abuse, exploitation, harassment, rape and murder of our children.