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The Independent – Monday June 17, 2013

Google Building 41 entrance

Google Building 41 entrance. Image: The Independent

Google is to spend $5m (£3.1m) fighting child pornography and abuse, the company will announce today, after criticism that it is not doing enough to prevent the spread of harmful online imagery.

With a Whitehall summit on online protection set for this Tuesday, chaired by the Culture Secretary, Maria Miller, the internet giant has pledged to tackle child sex abuse images through “hashing” technology that gives each picture a web “fingerprint” that can be identified and removed.

Google’s funding package includes the £1m announced last week for the UK-based Internet Watch Foundation. The US National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children will receive $1m, while $2m will go towards Google’s Child Protection Technology Fund. Similar bodies in Brussels, Canada, Australia and Latin America will also receive funding.

The Culture Secretary called the summit after it was revealed that the murderers of Tia Sharp and April Jones had viewed child pornography. The companies attending the summit are Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, Facebook, BT, Sky, Virgin Media, TalkTalk, Vodafone, O2, EE and Three. . .

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