Microsoft on Tuesday has joined a coalition formed to curb the soaring flow of child abuse images over the web and which includes a few industry leaders such as Visa, PayPal, and Mastercard.
The new entity, dubbed as “European Financial Coalition”, which include Internet Service Providers (ISPs), police, NGOs, and financial groups, was set up by the European Union, and UK’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) is the in-charge of the coalition.
In addition to these members, the foundation members also have a couple of law enforcement bodies, including Italian National Postal and Communication Police and Europol.
Citing the gravity of the issue, Jacques Barrot, VP for European Commission, said in a statement, “It is a reality that the rapid growth of the Internet has opened up a serious criminal market for images of child sex abuse”.
Along the same line Mr Barrot quoted the significance of the coalition by saying that the coalition will assist identify and safeguard victims, and above all, it will help “confiscate the profits from these criminal activities”.
Discussing the financial roadmap for the coalition, Mr. Barrot notified that the European Commission would spend as much as 55 million Euros between 2009 and 2013, in a bid to make the web a safer place for children and families.
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Policing the internet has never been an easy task and since cash is king, it is not a surprise to find some of the biggest names in online financial transactions involved in the scheme. Microsoft has yet to provide more information about its role although we can assume that it will be both financial and technological in nature.