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Online pedophiles to face greater risk with coordinated alerts

Online pedophiles to face greater risk with coordinated alerts
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A coordinated alert system to help police forces crack down on Internet child pornography has been given the green light by the European Union. Brussels said: “Child pornography represents more than half of all the offences committed on the Internet.”

EU justice and interior ministers backed proposals while meeting in Luxembourg. The idea is to improve the capacity to catch people responsible for putting abusive material – including pictures and video – online.

French Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie chaired the talks. She described the plan: “We want to set up a European platform at Europol which will allow immediate information-sharing, centralising all alerts, and at the same time harmonise what is known, to be retained at Europol, about a given wrong-doer.”

The public will be able to report questionable online content. The alert system will spread national notifications to all 27 EU countries when illegal Web sites and their operators are found.

An EU-wide “Safer Internet” plan also aims to protect children and promote public awareness, such as by warning about sexual predators on live chat sites establishing further contact with minors.