Google boss Eric Schmidt said yesterday that the tech giant had developed new technology that makes it harder to find child sexual abuse images on the Web.
Writing in British newspaper the Daily Mail, Google’s executive chairman said more than 100,000 searches would no longer feature such material in their results.
The restrictions will initially apply to English-speaking countries, but will be expanded to the rest of the world and 158 other languages within six months.
The announcement came before yesterday’s Internet Safety Summit at British Prime Minister David Cameron’s Downing Street office, where Google and Microsoft were to be joined by other firms.
In July, Cameron urged search engines to go further in blocking surfers from accessing illegal images.
“While society will never wholly eliminate such depravity, we should do everything in our power to protect children from harm,” Schmidt wrote.
He said that in the past three months, Google had put more than 200 staff to work on developing new technology to tackle the problem.
Schmidt said warnings from the California-based Internet giant were now showing at the top of results for more than 13,000 searches. The alerts also make clear that child sexual abuse is illegal and give advice on where to get help.
He also said Google had developed technology that allowed illegal videos to be “tagged,” so all duplicate copies can be removed across the Web.
“We welcome the lead taken by the British government, and hope that the technologies developed [and shared] by our industry will make a real difference in the fight against this terrible crime,” Schmidt said.