No.10 web summit: Agency to actively seek and block child pornography

Major tech firms have emerged from a government meeting with a new method for tackling child abuse online.

The summit was chaired by Culture Secretary Maria Miller and attended by a number of technology giants, such as Google, Microsoft and Facebook, and leading UK ISPs, including Sky and BT, as well as MPs.

It has been agreed that, going forward, the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) will begin to proactively search for and block online child pornography.

The UK's top ISPs have also come together to provide an extra £1 million of funding to the industry-supported IWF, in order to help it execute the new duties it has undertaken.

"What we've agreed today is a fundamental change to the way in which the industry will be working to remove illegal child abuse images that are too readily available online," Miller told Sky News.

As things stand, the IWF, which aims to rid the Internet of child abuse, only addresses content that has already been reported to it.

"Now the Internet Watch Foundation will be able to seek out those images and that will be an important way of increasing the number of those images that are removed," said Miller.

Web companies recently shot down a call from the government to impose parental filters as a default setting on their services, because they could be evaded and over-used.

Google last week donated £1 million to the IWF, in response to criticisms doled out against large technology companies by David Cameron.