Wednesday 08 December 2021

Hosting companies face large fines for failing to remove child porn

Photo: Depositphotos.com

Internet hosting companies which fail to remove pornographic material involving children from their servers within 24 hours of report will face a fine of up to 4% of their annual turnover, if new legislation drawn up by justice minister Ferd Grapperhaus becomes law.

The legislation, which has been put out to consultation, also includes the establishment of a regulatory body to monitor compliance with efforts to combat child porn.

Researchers at Delft University found last year that 84% of reported child porn is taken off line within 24 hours but that four companies are responsible for the bulk of the hosting.

And analysis by the online child abuse expertise centre EOKM shows that the number of reports about child pornography hosted on the internet has increased more than tenfold in five years: from 28,960 in 2014 to 308,430 in 2019.

‘Hosting companies from our country play a key role in the worldwide internet thanks to our optimal digital infrastructure,’ Grapperhaus said.

But this special position also creates obligations. Internet companies have a social responsibility to protect children against abuse online which is why I want to continue cleaning up the internet. In short, the days of non-commitment are over.’

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