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Online Child Abuse Laws to End “Grey Area”

New laws are set to be passed to end a “grey area” in online child abuse in England and Wales. Under current laws it is illegal for anyone to possess explicit images of children, but not illegal to ask children to send them.

No Loopholes

The new laws are set out to ensure that there are no loopholes or grey areas that allows potential sex offenders to avoid prosecution.

As well as the new laws, the Prime Minister is expected to announce a special unit to tackle abusive images circulating on the “dark web”, with the development of a specialised team. The team will use every tactic known to try and prevent the distribution and sharing of abusive images. Existing “digital fingerprints” of sex offenders will be monitored and used to block the sharing of other images.

Following the introduction of the online child abuse laws, any sexual communication with a child will see an offender imprisoned for up to two years. The law will also punish anyone who has material providing advice or guidance on abusing children. Although the current law prevents the sharing of images, it does not prevent adults asking for images of minors to be shared.

Companies Set to Install Restrictions

The laws are expected to be announced at the We Protect Children Online summit in London with top experts and internet firm chiefs attending the summit.

The gathering will see tech giants such as Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Twitter propose ways to work with the Government to monitor and track down offenders. The tech giants are expected to announce that they are bringing in filters and restrictions into browsers to prevent explicit images being accessed and shared.

"Better Future"

Prime Minister David Cameron said: "Every time someone chooses to view an online image or a video of a child being abused, they are choosing to participate in a horrific crime.

"I want to build a better future for our children. The package I am announcing today is a watershed moment in reducing the volume of child abuse images online."

More than 50 countries, and over 20 technology leaders are expected to attend the conference to try and end online child abuse.

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For legal advice in regards to child abuse or any matter regarding family law, contact our specialist lawyers using our online contact form for advice you can trust.

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