TECH
12/06/2013 09:48 BST | Updated 12/08/2013 06:12 BST

Google Donates £1 Million To Internet Watch Foundation

AP

Internet giant Google - under fire for failing to do enough to tackle child porn - has donated £1 million to a charity responsible for policing criminal content online.

Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), which runs a confidential hotline for reporting online child abuse, said the "substantial sum" is equal to a whole year's running costs and would be spread across four years.

California-based Google has faced severe criticism from a range of campaigners and politicians, including Prime Minister David Cameron, in the wake of a number of child murder cases with porn connections.

April Jones killer Mark Bridger and Tia Sharp murderer Stuart Hazell were both found to have accessed child and violent pornography and some experts argue there is a clear link between their obsessions and their actions.

Susie Hargreaves, IWF chief executive, said: "This contribution will significantly boost our work to meet our vision eliminating online child sexual abuse content. We are experts at doing this and, like any organisation, we can do more with more resource.

"We've been talking to Google about how we can do more together. This donation will directly fund additional skilled analysts who are the forefront of tackling some of the most horrendous content on the internet."

In addition to removing illegal content from the internet, in the past two years the IWF has helped identify and help the rescue of 12 children from their abusers.

The move comes before Google and other firms are summoned to a council of war with Culture Secretary Maria Miller and Mr Cameron's adviser on the issue, Tory MP Claire Perry, on June 17.

Research by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre has suggested that more than half of those who view child abuse images go on to commit abuse themselves.

Cameron said earlier this week that he is ''sickened'' by the material available online and told web search firms to stop making excuses.

Last week research by charity Rape Crisis South London showed that of the top 50 accessible ''rape porn'' sites, found through a simple Google search, more than three-quarters advertise content portraying staged attacks on girls.

The charity and 100 other organisations wrote to the PM calling for an urgent change to legislation to make it illegal to download pornography depicting rape.

Scott Rubin, Google director of communications and public affairs, said: "We have a zero-tolerance policy on child sexual abuse content.

"The IWF are essential partners in our fight to rid the internet of this illegal material by providing us with lists of webpages that we block from search results.

"Our donation should help them do their work more quickly and efficiently. This grant is part of a broader package of measures we are putting in place with other international agencies to help tackle this problem at a global scale."