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Child Sexual Abuse

Volume 699: debated on Monday 12 July 2021

The UK Government are committed to eradicating all forms of child sexual abuse and continuing to be a global leader in tackling these crimes. The Government’s tackling child sexual abuse strategy sets out our ambition to drive action across Government, law enforcement and society as a whole to combat this heinous crime in all its forms.

I thank my hon. Friend for that answer. She knows that the National Crime Agency is receiving more than 20,000 child abuse referrals a year from organisations such as Facebook and Instagram. If the services are end-to-end encrypted, those referrals may not be possible in future, so how are the Government addressing this really important problem to ensure that those who abuse children online continue to be brought to justice?

The implementation of end-to-end encryption in a way that intentionally blinds tech companies to content on their platforms will have a disastrous impact on public safety, and we remain seriously concerned with Facebook’s end-to-end encryption proposals. The safety and security of the public is at the heart of this issue, and Facebook must continue to work with us to embed the safety of the public in its system designs. Companies have a responsibility to prevent the proliferation of child sexual abuse imagery and to protect children from predators on their platforms.