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EU panel waters down child porn draft

Feb. 15, 2011 at 10:44 AM   |   Comments

BRUSSELS, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- A panel of the European Parliament has watered down a draft law aimed at preventing child pornography and abuse on the Internet, observers said.

The measure voted on in Strasbourg does not make blocking of Web sites hosting child porn or child abuse material mandatory for member states, the EUobserver reported Tuesday.

Instead it permits blocking only in cases where the hosting server is in a country unwilling to cooperate or when procedures take too long.

The original proposal put forward by the EU commission last year called for blocking to be mandatory for all member states.

The move prompted outrage among German members who strongly support Internet freedom.

Campaigners against child abuse disagreed.

"MEPs seem more concerned with the rights of child pornographers than they do with the rights of children who have been sexually abused to make their foul, illegal images," said John Carr of the Children's Charities Coalition on Internet Safety.

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