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UK govt launches child protection centre

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AOL and Microsoft have joined together to back a new centre dedicated to tackling child abuse online.

They are just two of the companies behind the UK's Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre unveiled today, which is drawing together law enforcement officers, specialists from children's charities, and industry to help track down paedophiles.

As part of its work CEOP will target paedophiles who buy images using credit cards and other payment systems. It will also attempt to trace victims of child abuse from images that are seized.

Explaining the difference between CEOP and the already established Internet Watch Foundation, Sarah Robertson of the IWF said: "Essentially, the Internet Watch Foundation deals with illegal online content, as we have successfully for the last 10 years, and the new CEOP Centre deals with illegal behaviour, such as grooming, in chat rooms.

"CEOP will also work to trace and rescue the victims of child abuse while tracking the offenders and educating internet users about staying safe online," she said.

And in a stark warning to those who view illegal content online, CEOP chief exec Jim Gamble said: "If you are a sex offender - get help or get caught. The internet will increasingly expose you to new policing powers and will cease to be the anonymous place that it once was." ®

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