Google to block abuse images

Web searches for child abuse images will be blocked for the first time by Google and Microsoft after mounting pressure. New software is to be introduced that will automatically block 100,000 "unambiguous" search terms which lead to illegal content.

View all 15 updates ›

Search engines already block abuse images, says lawyer

Steps announced by search engines today to stop abusive images of children from showing up are "things that Google already do" to prevent paedophiles from accessing obscene material, according to one obscenity lawyer.

Myles Jackman accused search engines of merely "advertising" the lengths they were already going to in order to prevent the publication of lewd and obscene images of children.

This could have a negative effect on freedom of speech and information on the internet, he warned.

Obscenity lawyer Myles Jackman accused search engines of not doing anything new to filter out child porn. Credit: ITV Daybreak

He told Daybreak: "One of the problems that this causes is what searches are going to be prohibited and whether it is under or over-exclusive.

"In other words whether things that shouldn't be filtered out will be and things that should won't be."

Mr Jackman said the algorithm used to filter out obscene images of children was so clumsy that it sieved out his law blog "as pornography, despite being purely text based".

More on this story