GCHQ Will Crack Down on Those Soliciting Child Abuse Images Online

By Gerald Lynch on at

David Cameron is tasking the GCHQ spying agency and National Crime Agency with cracking down on the distribution of child abuse images over the web.

Aiming to eliminate the “digital hiding places for child abusers,” a specialist unit comprised of GCHQ and NCA employees will be established. Combining GCHQ's web-monitoring expertise with the investigatory pedigree of the NCA, the task force will target the "dark web", tracking down paedophiles using encryption techniques to cover their tracks.

"Hash values", the digital fingerprints of previously-identified child sex abuse images, will allow for greater collaboration between authorities and web giants such as Google in relation to blocking the circulation of criminal materials.

Downing Street has shared statistics showing that the UK is comparatively active when it comes to tackling online child abuse. Over 1,000 alleged paedophiles have been arrested in the UK over the past year -- five times the that of the previous 12 months. Of the known child pornography found on the web, only one percent has been stored in the UK too.