HC Deb 08 June 2004 vol 422 c314W
Ms Shipley

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what research his Department is funding into the use of(a) peer to peer file-sharing technology, (b) Freenet and (c) other new technologies for the dissemination of child pornography. [173904]

Paul Goggins

The role of peer to peer file-sharing technology and related technology, such as 3G mobile phones, has been identified as a means of disseminating illegal content, including child pornography. This was confirmed in Home Office research which sought to examine current and potential future abuses of otherwise legitimate technology, and is consistent with the findings of similar studies which have been carried out by others in this field.

Regardless of the method used to distribute these images, it is our intention to ensure that law enforcement have the capability to effectively identify and investigate individuals who are producing, distributing, and using them.

Government continue to work in partnership with industry and law enforcement agencies to assess the new technology which is emerging and the potential it offers for the distribution of child abuse images and other illegal material. Our aim is to ensure that the technology does not present law enforcement with any barriers to fulfil their investigative role.

As part of a wide range of on-going work of the Police Science and Technology Strategy Group (future scanning subgroup) seeks to ensure that the police service can exploit new technology at the earliest opportunity and is prepared for new technology based threats.