Prevent paedophiles by tracking Google, say MEPs

European Parliament declaration

Hundreds of MEPs call for search engines to be monitored as part of a paedophile warning system

Hundreds of MEPs have signed a declaration calling for search engines to be monitored, as part of a plan to combat online paedophilia.

The emotively presented declaration pictures a distressed child, and claims that the "the internet allows paedophiles and sex offenders to enjoy freedom of action, putting them on the same footing as honest citizens and making it difficult for the authorities to trace them."

The declaration adds that it is "essential to ensure that the internet continues to afford a high level of virtual democracy, which does not present any threat to women and children."

The internet allows paedophiles and sex offenders to enjoy freedom of action, putting them on the same footing as honest citizens

The motion asks for Directive 2006/24/EC to be extended to search engines, as part of pan-European early warning system for paedophiles and sex offenders. The MEPs claim this is necessary "in order to tackle online child pornography and sex offending rapidly and effectively".

Directive 2006/24/EC refers to the "retention of data generated or processed in connection with the provision of publicly available electronic communications services".

More than 320 MEPs have signed the declaration, bringing it tantalisingly close to the 369 majority required for adoption.

MEPs such as the Swedish Pirate Party member, Christian Engström, are calling on members to withdraw their signature before the majority is reached and the decision can't be reversed.

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