AFP, Sunday, 11 April 2010
The United States and the European Union announced they plan to launch a joint action programme to fight 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.’
The Swedish commissioner said the programme would involve the use of ‘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, whose country holds the six-month rotating presidency of the European Union, 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 fight against Internet child pornography in recent years, arresting hundreds, aided by Hispalis, a computer programme that identifies those who access paedophile sites.
The US delegation at the meeting was headed by Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.