Monday

25th Jun 2018

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.

... our 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.

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.

EU takes step closer to 'posted workers' deal

Negotiators from the member states, EU Parliament and Commission reached a 'common understanding' to guarantee equal pay for equal work in the EU. They hope to reach a final agreement in June.

Opinion

EU needs comprehensive 'sexuality education'

The subject is mandatory by law in some form in nearly all EU countries - but it is mostly reproduction- and biology-centred, covering topics such as unwanted pregnancy and sexually-transmitted infections.

News in Brief

  1. Nine countries to sign up for Macron's military initiative
  2. Re-elected Erdogan potentially in power until 2028
  3. Macron's popularity drops among French pensioners
  4. Tajani calls for €6bn investment to halt migration
  5. Major demo in London for second EU referendum
  6. Venice Commission: Hungary should repeal NGO law
  7. Trump threatens to slap 20 percent tariff on EU cars
  8. EU closes deficit procedure against France

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  2. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  3. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMHRMI Launches Lawsuits Against Individuals and Countries Involved in Changing Macedonia's Name
  4. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  5. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow
  7. UNICEFWhat Kind of Europe Do Children Want? Unicef & Eurochild Launch Survey on the Europe Kids Want
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Countries Take a Stand for Climate-Smart Energy Solutions
  9. Mission of China to the EUChina: Work Together for a Better Globalisation
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordics Could Be First Carbon-Negative Region in World
  11. European Federation of Allergy and AirwaysLife Is Possible for Patients with Severe Asthma
  12. PKEE - Polish Energy AssociationCommon-Sense Approach Needed for EU Energy Reform

Latest News

  1. Progressive CAP alternative only hope for sustainability
  2. Ponytailed green MEP joins 'the other side of the table'
  3. EU leaders still in search of migration plan
  4. Migration row at centre of EU summit This Week
  5. Merkel's woes cast shadow on EU's future
  6. Europe's tech race - trying to keep pace with US and China
  7. Merkel and Juncker's mini-summit risks fiasco
  8. Greece and creditors proclaim 'end of crisis'

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us