Europe “arms” itself against the abuse of minors on the internet

Faced with the growth of child pornography and other sexual abuse of minors on the internet, the European Commission proposed a new law to strengthen the work of detecting and monitoring this content. The idea is to encourage the cooperation of companies that offer services on the web to develop prevention strategies.

In Brussels, the authorities expressed concern about the increase of these products on the internet. According to official figures, in Europe, reports of child sexual abuse online went from 23 to a thousand in

to 95 thousand in
. In 2021, there were more than 95 million cases worldwide, 85% more than in the previous year.

This led the Commission to conclude that the system The current detection and notification of criminal content on a voluntary basis by companies has become insufficient to track this material. Proof of this is that, in 2021, 95% of the complaints were received from a single virtual services company, despite the problem not being present only in that company.

The proposal

The new proposal seeks to renew Regulation (EU) 2021/1232, approved last year, which is an interim rule to fight against sexual abuse of minors on the internet.

The new bill proposes clearer rules, stronger requirements and greater protection for the detection of illicit content with the least intrusive methods possible, to respect the privacy of users. The regulation will apply to internet service providers operating within the European Union, such as data storage companies, interpersonal communication services, application store and internet access providers.

Obligations of detection involve inspection of images and videos of sexual abuse of minors, as well as the well-known child grooming or child grooming, a practice in which adults create emotional and trusting relationships with minors through the web, with the aim of sexually manipulating and exploiting them.

The new measures

Firstly, it is proposed to create a center against sexual abuse of minors in the European Union. This entity will facilitate the efforts of Internet service providers, providing reliable information on identified materials, receiving and analyzing complaints, and offering support to victims.

Companies must carry out a risk assessment of the misuse of its services in the dissemination of material that contains sexual abuse of minors or grooming. They must also propose measures to mitigate the dangers of using their platforms.

Likewise, the member states of the European Union will designate national authorities responsible for reviewing this assessment and the risks in different web environments. They will have the authority to ask a court or other body to issue a material detection order if there are serious risks. These orders will have deadlines and will be based on specific content.

National authorities may issue takedown orders if the material in question is not quickly removed. Likewise, providers must disable access to images and videos that cannot be removed, for example, because they are on service platforms outside the European Union.

Now it is up to the Parliament and the Council European Commission to examine the proposal. If approved, it will replace the provisional regulation of 2021. It is hoped that, with the reforms, a more effective joint action will be developed with internet service companies, and, thus, it will be possible to combat abuse of minors on the web more efficiently.

©2020 Acpress. Published with permission. Original in Spanish.

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