Friday

22nd Feb 2019

EU wants to block child pornography sites

The EU commission on Monday (29 March) proposed that access to internet sites offering child pornography images and videos be blocked in all member states.

"Child pornography is a horrible crime. It is not an expression of freedom of speech," EU home affairs commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said during a press briefing in Brussels.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

  • The EU commission wants to pull the plug on child porn sites (Photo: Flickr)

"If police can confiscate leaflets, books, and videos with child pornography, it should also be able to shut down sites. The internet is not a safe haven for criminals," she argued.

Under the proposal, systems would be developed by member states to block access to such sites. Agreements with internet providers should also be encouraged, and users should be notified as to why access was blocked.

Such systems are already in place in Scandinavian countries, Italy and Great Britain and "stop thousands of requests each day," Ms Malmstrom said.

The proposal also calls for criminal prosecution of activities such as 'grooming', where adults pretend to become friends with children in order to sexually abuse them, and sex tourism, even if the child abuse has taken place outside the EU.

Also, children's rights would be protected, for instance by allowing video testimonies in court so as not to traumatise them further with testifying in front of an adult jury about their experiences.

Blocking sites at the source is preferable, she added, but this is a more difficult task, given that sites are often based outside the EU or have scrambling devices altering their traceable location several times a day.

The Swedish politician stressed that she personally guarantees this measure would only apply to access to child pornography sites and not to other purposes, restricting the users' freedom and rights.

She admitted that some computer-savvy users would be able to circumvent the blockades, but "most people are not experts," including paedophiles. Also, the "preventive element" should not be underestimated.

The proposal needs the approval of both the member states and the European Parliament. But already German justice minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said she would oppose the move and opt for erasing such sites instead of blocking access to them.

"The German government rejects internet blockades. They don't represent an effective means in fighting child pornography, while instead leading to greater mistrust on the part of internet users," the minister told the Hamburger Abendblatt.

EU to propose scrapping summer time change

Based on the preliminary results of an online survey in which mostly Germans took part, the EU executive is proposing that the whole EU stops changing times in March and October.

Investigation

How to get around the EU posted workers directive

Some EU careworkers in Belgium receive around €400 a month - despite their carers paying €2,500 a month and paying for flights and accommodation. The answer lies in how firms can skirt the safeguards in the EU's posted workers directive.

Feature

Resetting the gender balance through football

Many sports, like football, have been so heavily male-dominated at every level that women and girls have battled against poor odds to be treated as equals in the game. FIFA aims to change that.

News in Brief

  1. Report: Russia offered Italy's Salvini €3m for EU election
  2. EU and US could 'quickly' clinch mini-trade pact
  3. Belgium to gather evidence on Syria 'foreign fighters'
  4. Dozens of Tory and Labour MPs threatening to quit over Brexit
  5. UK will struggle on free-trade deals, EU says
  6. Juncker pledges climate action alongside Swedish activist
  7. Swedbank brings in external help on money laundering revelations
  8. No-deal Brexit danger 'very serious', Corbyn says after Brussels meeting

Stakeholder

A touch of football at this year's G20 summit

FIFA president Gianni Infantino addressed the G20 leaders and placed football at their disposal as a powerful tool to help them address the challenges facing the world today.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersMilestone for Nordic-Baltic e-ID
  2. Counter BalanceEU bank urged to free itself from fossil fuels and take climate leadership
  3. Intercultural Dialogue PlatformRoundtable: Muslim Heresy and the Politics of Human Rights, Dr. Matthew J. Nelson
  4. Platform for Peace and JusticeTurkey suffering from the lack of the rule of law
  5. UNESDASoft Drinks Europe welcomes Tim Brett as its new president
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers take the lead in combatting climate change
  7. Counter BalanceEuropean Parliament takes incoherent steps on climate in future EU investments
  8. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups

Latest News

  1. Swedish activist urges EU to double climate goals
  2. EP budget chair seeks clarity on Saudi lobbying and College of Europe
  3. Microsoft warns EU on election hack threat
  4. Brexit talks to continue after May-Juncker meeting
  5. Trump and Kurz: not best friends, after all
  6. EU commission appeals Dieselgate ruling
  7. 'No burning crisis' on migrant arrivals, EU agency says
  8. 'No evidence' ECB bond-buying helped euro economy

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us