LONDON: Internet companies like Google and Facebook have been summoned by British prime minister David Cameron for a "council of war" meeting to find ways of battling child and rape porn.
Cameron said it sickens him to see the internet full of child abuse images and rape pornography which is perverting people watching them to carry out the acts in real life.
Cameron on the June 17 meeting will exert pressure on the companies to do more in order to clean up the internet.
Research by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop) has suggested that more than half of those who view child abuse images end up committing abuse themselves.
Recent research found that, of the top 50 accessible 'rape porn' sites found through a Google search, 78% advertise content depicting simulated rape of under 18 year olds (eg "schoolgirl rape").
Of the top 10 Google search results for 'free porn' half the websites host free rape pornography. Sites include terms like 'brutal rape', 'real rape' and 'savage rape' in their web addresses.
UK last month saw the arrest and conviction of Mark Bridger for the murder of five-year-old April Jones. Police investigating the crime recovered 65 criminal abuse images from his computer.
Cameron said "I am sickened by the proliferation of child pornography. It pollutes the internet, twists minds and is quite simply a danger to children. Internet companies and search engines make their living by trawling and categorising the web. So I call on them to use their extraordinary technical abilities to do more to root out these disgusting images". He added "That is why the government is convening a roundtable of the major internet companies, and demanding that more is done. The time for excuses and blame is over - we must all work together. The safety of our children is at stake and nothing matters more than that".
Organisation like Rape Crisis South London, supported by Rape Crisis (England and Wales) and 100 others have written to the prime minister Minister urging him to urgently close a loophole in the extreme pornography legislation in UK which permits the possession of pornography depicting rape.
The letter to Cameron draws attention to the fact that the possession of rape pornography is already criminalised in Scotland where law-makers took its harm into account when legislating.
Research conducted by Rape Crisis South London into freely available online 'rape porn' found descriptions including 'young schoolgirls abducted and cruelly raped. Hear her screams'; 'little schoolgirl raped by teacher'; 'tiny girl sleep rape'; and 'girl raped at gunpoint'.
The letter cites the recent report of the Children's Commissioner on young people's, especially boys', exposure to pornography and its links to harmful attitudes and behaviours.
Professor Clare McGlynn of Durham University, an expert in this area of law, said the extreme pornography legislation is in urgent need of reform.
"The current law excludes the vast majority of pornographic images of rape. This is not a simplistic argument about rape pornography causing rape. It is undeniable that the proliferation and tolerance of such images and the messages they convey contributes to a cultural climate where sexual violence is condoned".
Times of India
by Kounteya Sinha, TNN | Jun 9, 2013, 08.00 PM IST