Child abuse

"With this deal, Facebook and other Internet companies will be able to continue to voluntarily detect, report and remove all child sexual abuse material, and detect grooming attempts. Their work plays a fundamental role in our fight against these atrocious crimes, both online and in the real world that concern the most vulnerable members of society", explained Javier Zarzalejos MEP today. His statement came after the European Parliament and Member States agreed this afternoon on an emergency law to allow Internet companies to continue voluntarily reporting child sexual abuse material and grooming to the authorities.

Zarzalejos, who negotiated the law on behalf of the EPP Group, said: "Authorities across Europe rely on these voluntary reports to save children. That is why it is a great success that we now have in place an exception from the EU’s ePrivacy law that will allow online platforms to continue their important work in detecting and reporting child sexual abuse material. It also gives them tools to identify child predators who groom children for abuse in online chats - an important preventative tool", said Zarzalejos.

"We need clear measures to keep children safe, offline and online. In addition to the emergency law agreed today, we urgently need to improve the long-term legal framework to improve the detection, investigation and prosecution of these horrendous crimes. The e-evidence package to oblige providers to report child sexual abuse material must be put into place. Europol must have the adequate resources and competences to apprehend perpetrators and track down criminal networks. We need to send a strong message that there is nowhere in Europe that these criminals can hide", concluded Zarzalejos.

NOTE TO EDITORS

The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 178 Members from all EU Member States

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