Dark Web Child Abuse Image Protection: UK Government Allocates Thirty Million Pounds

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A report published in six years ago established that child abuse image victims are constantly affected by their indecent images displayed on the dark web. The child abuse image category was reported as the most viewed on the various dark web platforms. A number of experts have argued that child abuse is still active due to the role played by some dark web users to create a market for it.

In response to the many calls for the government to implement measures to fight against this act and to protect child abuse image victims, the U.K government has allocated £30 million to protect victims from the dark web according to reports.
The fund is expected to be used to equip law enforcement officials to acquire the needed technical capability to trace and expose pedophiles who hide on the dark web, and also ensure that the number of recorded incidents are reduced drastically.

The allocated fund will also take care of the utilization of an Artificial Intelligence tool which will play a vital role in age estimation and voice analytics. The UK government has always been interested in this initiative as a previous fund allocated went a long way to expand the joint operation team of National Crime Agency (NCA) and GCHQ. The NCA already has a dark web intelligence unit formed to collect all necessary intelligence and patterns on the dark web child abuse images.

Child abuse image

Image Source: www.istockphoto.com

As part of the data collected by the unit of NCA, a total of 2.88 million accounts were opened on the most harmful sexual child abuse image dark web sites in 2018. According to the report, 5% of the recorded accounts were registered in the UK. With regards to the statistical backings that establishes that pedophiles are really making use of the dark web to commit child abuse crime, Home Secretary Priti Patel believes that the law enforcement deserves all the necessary resources, power, and support to bring perpetrators to justice.

She further stated that the £30 million will go a long way to ensure pedophiles are not able to hide in the shadows of the dark web to take advantage of the most vulnerable people in society.

To ensure that this problem is totally eradicated, the Home Office assured that more investment would be made in the Child Abuse Image Database (CAID). This ensures that authorities have the needed tools and the technical-know-how to search through all seized devices to identify indecent child images. The CAID has also promised to ensure that the ability to identify victims is enhanced, and the time used to identify child abuse image of victims is reduced.

Recently, the National Crime Agency reported that the number of people in the United Kingdom using the dark web to access child abuse images has greatly increased to about 144000. Lynne Owens, director-general of the NCA revealed that the increasing number of organized crime poses a corrosive threat to the country, and called for an investment of £2.7 billion to be used to fight pedophiles and secure the protection of the children.

Child Abuse Image

Image Source: www.medium.com

  1. Though the NCA report stated that most of these child abuse materials exist on the open web, a total of 2.9 million people in the world access them on the dark web. This reason is largely linked to the protection provided by the dark web to help people access indecent materials while they stay anonymous. This initiative has been welcomed by law enforcement, but critics believe that this is a way to score a political point.

The NCA report also revealed that the number of child abuse and exploitation reports received from internet firms increased by 700%. This obviously shows that the numbers will keep increasing exponentially if nothing is done about it.

Security minister Ben Wallace explained that tackling organized crime on the dark web will cost the government about £37 billion annually. He further reported that child abuse image uploaders and organized crime groups have evolved into complex operation online which can be a threat to the national security and even jeopardize the victims involved.

Child abuse crime has been a global problem orchestrated by pedophiles based in different countries. It has been argued that cracking down on perpetrators based in the UK alone will not have any meaningful impact unless the criminals are targeted globally.

The UK law enforcement being fully aware of this have planned to co-host a summit in Ethiopia to present the idea of a joint operation to deal with this problem on a global scale.

Authorities have also made a number of arrests relating to child abuse images to send a message to perpetrators that this issue is treated with a high level of seriousness.

Source: The Government Computing


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