Bing first to introduce popup warning for sites containing illegal images

Bing has become the first of the major search engines to display a popup warning to those in the UK intentionally searching for sites containing images of child abuse.

The Bing Notification Platform will warn the user that the content is illegal, and offer details of a counselling service. The popup is triggered by ‘blacklisted’ terms from a list compiled by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre when entered into the search engine.

Prime Minister David Cameron had already pointed out that companies should be doing more to ensure such images are not accessible online. Cameron accused firms of not doing enough to block access to images of abuse and met with tech companies such as Google to discuss preventative measures.

His calls for tighter security followed the high profile murders of Tia Sharp and April Jones, whose killers had both accessed indecent images before committing their crimes.

The Bing notification aims to “stop those who may be drifting towards trying to find illegal child abuse content on the web via search engines”, said Microsoft.

A spokesman for Bing said:

If someone in the UK tries to use search terms on Bing which can only indicate they are looking for illegal child abuse content, they will activate the Bing Notification Platform which will produce an on-screen notification telling them that child abuse content is illegal.

The notification will also contain a link to Stopitnow.org who will be able to provide them with counselling.

Google responded to calls to take a more proactive approach to blocking exploitation of online child abuse, stating:

“Child abuse imagery is illegal and we have a zero tolerance policy to it.

“We use purpose built technology and work with child safety organisations like the Internet Watch Foundation to find, remove and report it, because we never want this material to appear in our search results.

“We are working with experts on effective ways to deter anyone tempted to look for this sickening material.”

The move also follows a massive clampdown on the availability of legal pornography being accessible from UK ISP's; from next year UK residents will have to "opt in" to access pornography sites, although the ban could be implemented before the end of this year.

Source: The Independent | Image: The Mirror

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29 Comments

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I hope the UK government gets sued big time over this stupid stuff.

Like others have said, censoring is bad and does NOT work.

They will block legal sites they simply do NOT like. You can be sure many "pirate" sites will be blocked because they (could have an unknown amount of "illegal" content).

I'd sue the UK government for deeming my site illegal without even taking me to court first. That goes for the US too or any other dictatorship.

I love how companies and government are blocking "illegal" sites and services before the site/service has even been proven in court as illegal. Just awesome, not!

Just more proof there is no such thing as "Presumption of innocence" anymore. As many of these sites and services have NOT been deemed illegal by any valid court, ever.

This is just another way for "big brother" to control the people. When will you sheep step up and fight for your rights! That's what it will take, a fight. Hoping (or praying) for change gets you no where. You have to FIGHT for what you believe in.

Umm.. this isn't really censorship, it's a simple notification. Google is the one that's purely censoring, Bing is giving a notification (in case there are results that don't deserve to be blocked, for example news results or blogs that mention the topic).

While i am not into child porn, hard core porn or snuff, this measure, sooner or later, will affect us.

And sheesh, nobody asked that Bing (or Google) should act as our guardians.

And btw, Honey Bo Bo (or how it is called the program) IS CHILD ABUSE.

Also, it could exists some exceptions, for example medical photos of minor, or artistics photos, for example a painting of half naked cherubins flying could be considered child pornography.

They are guarding children. Adults can get legal porn anywhere they like, including the Internet. They may have to pay for it, or sign up for it to prove their age, but they can get it.

The thing that always drives me insane on Windows, coming from Mac, is how it won't stop nagging me for stuff. Apparently Microsoft wants to export the same experience to Bing.

So you'd rather have legit results be blocked and deleting? I've searched lots of things on Google before (legit topics for reports and research papers) and so many results are blocked and can't even view them. At least Bing keeps the results, and simply displays a warning message. You'd be surprised how many stupid people out there need that message.

Majesticmerc said,
Don't underestimate the stupidity of paedophiles, after all, they're paedophiles.

Yeah they are stupid enough to have virtual encrypted harddrives within virtual encrypted harddrives within virtual encrypted harddrives. Using encrypted paedophile networks where you only get access if you have some child porn to share of your own.
Which is all hanging on the internet, a whole world, invisible to (most of) us.

Nono, this will stop the major paedophiles for sure, blocking their bing/google search results and they are dead in the water ofcourse.

Shadowzz said,

Yeah they are stupid enough to have virtual encrypted harddrives within virtual encrypted harddrives within virtual encrypted harddrives. Using encrypted paedophile networks where you only get access if you have some child porn to share of your own.
Which is all hanging on the internet, a whole world, invisible to (most of) us.

Nono, this will stop the major paedophiles for sure, blocking their bing/google search results and they are dead in the water ofcourse.

Okay, so if we're taking my comment seriously ...

Sure, the "professional" paedophiles will have their encrypted hard drives, and their TOR nodes and such all set up and configured, but I bet there's a massive number of wannabe's that'll just google "kids getting screwed" or some other messed up query into Google or Bing, so this might act as a deterrent for stupid people wanting to see what all the fuss is about.

To the same end, for every man that has a black book of escorts, there'll be some dumb schmuck that'll ask the undercover cop for business on a street corner, and for every cokehead with a dealer on speed-dial, there'll be some kid that asks the undercover cop for some weed in an alleyway. Same thing here (to an extent). There's a whole world of child porn rings that have international task forces dedicated to breaking them up, but there's also plenty of sad old men that'll want in and straight up Google it, and measures like this might just put them off doing something they'll regret big time.

Coming from government, I can tell you there are many terms and acronyms that, thankfully, would be foreign to you, that are synonymous with the Child Porn trade.

Initially I thought people were just morally depraved, but I've learned average citizens have no clue how many children are victimized daily, hourly, and never saved and the crimes never reported in the statistics. They are also unaware of how extensive the Internet trading rings are. I suppose that's a good thing.

Majesticmerc said,
also plenty of sad old men that'll want in and straight up Google it,

This is a dangerous stereotype that gets lots of kids abused and killed. Child victimizers are often quite young, even teens. These crimes go largely unreported and/or unsolved. Victims often become victimizers, well before they become "old."

It is also under reported because a great deal is within the family. Fathers, Brothers, Uncles, Grandpa, etc. Also Aunts, Sisters, et. al., but not so much, but of course it happens.

Actually, it's not just for that phrase itself. They have certain metrics to determine it. Also, Bing's notification system is better than Google's blocking system because it doesn't block legit sites (like news and blogs discussing the topic).

The problem with this approach is that they'll keep the blocked search terms secret and we'll never know how many legitimate sites are accidentally blocked. The organisation that produces the list can be overzealous and they're not concerned if innocent sites get blocked so long as they think child porn is being blocked.

At the end of the day paedos don't use Bing or Google to search for child porn so measures like this are pointless and can do more harm than good. It's a shame to see Microsoft pandering to Tory/Daily Mail idiocy.

How is this a shame? It's better they put a warning notification than purely block the results. This way they are not blocking legitimate results such as news outlets, blogs, etc. that simply mention the topic. You'd be surprised how stupid people are not knowing it's illegal. So a simple notification is good... Google's method of completely blocking results (including legit ones) is dumb.

Nothing should ever be censored, absolutely nothing, especially something as open as the internet. Move to North Korea if you support censorship.

This will have zero affect on child abuse, and just drive it more underground. Meanwhile this will likely cause problems with perfectly legal content, and lead to further censorship.

I actually agree with this. Censorship in any way shape and form is a bad thing, I do not support child abuse, but we already have "IRL laws" that makes it possible to take down and actually punish the people behind sites like this and taking down those people is the only way to stop this, not some silly filter on a search engine.

NoClipMode said,
Nothing should ever be censored, absolutely nothing, especially something as open as the internet. Move to North Korea if you support censorship.

This will have zero affect on child abuse, and just drive it more underground. Meanwhile this will likely cause problems with perfectly legal content, and lead to further censorship.

Going to BLAME someone for these "censored" results, then blame the people who put up such STUPID sites, not the search engines owners nor the Government ...

Torolol said,
well, as long bing doesn't follow google way, forcing filtered result that can't be turned off


It censors too much regular and legal porn too. Stupid Google Images.

EvilAstroboy said,

Going to BLAME someone for these "censored" results, then blame the people who put up such STUPID sites, not the search engines owners nor the Government ...

You will always get stupid people doing stupid stuff. How about actually going after the people that DO this?! Censoring anything is not the right way to deal with it. Time and time again it's been proven that censorship in any form is bad.

Something like this will never even work, it's a waste of money, they can't even block a single site (Pirate Bay) here in the UK, it only made hundreds more ways of accessing it appear. The UK government is already censoring all adult material soon under the BS guise of it being best for children. It's the job of parents to deal with that, or using parental controls, often built in to the OS will be just as effective as any ISP blocking.

This is just more censorship **** for the UK nanny state, they now have their foot in the door, and it will continue to get worse until the government controls everything you see and hear.

Agreed that nothing should ever be censored. I don't condone abuse or anything like that, especially with that kind of content.. but leaving things "open" makes the world go round. Maybe catching abuse is good for the legal business. Prosecutors need to put meat on the table too.