Google used ‘to fuel child-sex fantasies’

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IO_scitech google logo0 AP Google, the world's most popular Internet search engine, wants to settle the EU probe and avoid a possible fine which could be as much as 10 percent of its global turnover.

London - Google is under pressure to act over the ease with which Stuart Hazell was able to use the internet to fuel his child-sex fantasies.

Hazell was obsessed by paedophile websites and used his mobile phone to trawl the web for child porn before he killed 12-year-old Tia Sharp.

Police found searches including the terms “naked little girlies”, “illegal under-age incest pics” and “schoolgirl abuse” in his Google browser.

There were also Google searches for “violent forced rape”, “little girls in glasses”, “daddy daughter pictures” and “under-age incest galleries”, and he visited a child abuse website on August 6, 2012 - as Tia’s body lay hidden in the loft of the home he shared with her grandmother.

Experts believe Hazell’s habitual use of violent and paedophile pornography on the internet saw him progress from petty criminal to child killer. On Tuesday night child safety charities, including the NSPCC, demanded Google introduce immediate controls to stop monsters such as Hazell from getting access to child pornography.

John Carr, of the Children’s Charities’ Coalition on Internet Safety, said: “If these images were not available on the internet then men like Stuart Hazell might not go on to kill.

“We cannot blame the internet for the likes of Stuart Hazell but it has opened pathways that lead them on to violent pornography and paedophile material.”

Mr Carr wants web companies such as Google to trigger online warnings when attempts are made to access explicit sites. He also wants Google to make their “safe search” facility the default on their web browser. He added: “That is something Google could do overnight.” Jon Brown, of the NSPCC, said: “Google need to do more in terms of blocking searches for child abuse imagery but they also need to be alerting the authorities if someone is blatantly doing these searches.”

Jim Gamble, the former head of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, said the internet could create a “spiral of abuse” where offenders awakened their sexual interest in children and met like-minded people who normalised their behaviour.

He added: “Ultimately what they find online is not enough to satisfy them and they can move to attacking a real child in the real world.”

A Google spokesman said: "We take this issue extremely seriously at Google. We are members and joint funders of the Internet Watch Foundation - an independent body that searches the web for child abuse imagery and then sends us links, which we remove from our search index. When we discover child abuse imagery or are made aware of it, we respond quickly to remove and report it to the appropriate law enforcement authorities." - Daily Mail



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