April 10, 2010

US, EU Team Up To Combat Child Pornography

The United States and the European Union announced on Friday that they plan to join together to combat child pornography on the Internet.

The agreement was announced at the end of an EU-US meeting of justice and interior ministers in Madrid.

"We decided on something very important for both our citizens, that is to set up a common action in order to take down child pornography from the Internet," said EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Viviane Reding.

"Child pornography should be eliminated whenever we spot it," she told a news conference.

"Many of those sites are all over the planet, many are in Europe, many are in the United States. We should join forces to protect children and to give no chance to pornography."

According to the Swedish commissioner, the program would involve using "hotlines" and the European police agency Europol.

"We are looking forward to this action, that is going to be set up in the coming weeks."

Spanish Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said the two sides also discussed efforts to combat cyber crime in general.

"We know that if the Internet is global by definition we need to prevent child pornography and other cyber crimes from happening," he said.

Spanish police have stepped up their efforts to fight Internet child pornography in recent years by arresting hundreds.  They have had help by Hispalis, a computer program that identifies those who access pedophile sites.

Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano headed the U.S. delegation at the meeting.