Nordic Site-Blocking Technique Favoured by Thailand-based Anti-Child Pornography Organization

The European Commission plans to spend 5 million kronor to bring the Nordic site-blocking technique to other EU member states. The move was met with enthusiasm by ECPAT, an anti-child pornography organization based in Thailand.
“Criminal gangs which earn money from child pornography must always work to retain their customers. To retain customers, they need to produce new material and new material requires new assaults against children,” said David Lagerlöf of ECPAT.
The Swedish system involves cooperation between ECPAT, Swedish police, and internet service providers to quickly block sites containing child pornography. The method disrupts commercial activity associated with the sites.
Six EU member states currently block child porn websites. Sweden and Denmark, along with non-EU member Norway, have led developments in the field.
“Site blocking is most effective when more countries are doing it, as the idea with site blocking is that it reduces commercial income,” said Lagerlöf.
According to Lagerlöf, more commercial sites featuring child pornography have appeared in recent years allowing anyone with a regular debit card to purchase child porn.
“These criminal groups have no real interest in child pornography. It is simply a product with which they can earn money with relatively little risk for getting caught. They are likely the same groups which are often involved in human trafficking and drug smuggling,” said Lagerlöf.
Now authorities don’t need to learn how a file-sharing network functions or integrate into closed groups of pedophiles.
“Its easier for larger groups to come by child pornography,” said Lagerlöf.
Police estimate that there are up to 30,000 daily attempts from Sweden to access the blocked sites. But as the number of sites increases, ECPAT estimates that the number of site log-ins is increasing as well.

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