£25M Internet Safety Awareness Campaign Announced in U.K.

Rhett Pardon

LONDON — Britain's four largest ISPs — BSkyB, TalkTalk, BT and Virgin Media — have pledged to form a new joint venture to lead a £25 million awareness campaign around child safety on the Internet.

Those ISPs together supply Internet service to about 90 percent of households in the UK.

“We’ve been focused on the issue of online safety since we developed the world’s first Cleanfeed filter to block child abuse images and made the technology available free to other ISPs across the world a decade ago,” BT CEO Gavin Patterson said yesterday.

 “Awareness, expert advice and support are crucial in making sure that parents feel confident in using the protections that are offered by ISPs,” Patterson said.

The £25 million awareness campaign was announced as executives from the ISPs and reps from Microsoft and Google met for Prime Minister David Cameron’s cyber-summit.

The Downing Street summit on Monday saw Cameron announce a joint operation by British and U.S. law agencies to jointly target online child abuse by monitoring those who operate in the cracks of the Internet.

A transatlantic taskforce has been tasked to identify ways of targeting criminals and pedophiles who use secret encrypted networks to distribute images of abuse.