Fighting to eliminate digital hiding places for child abusers

David Cameron will place GCHQ and the National Crime Agency (NCA) at the centre of a fight to eliminate ‘digital hiding places for child abusers’.

Responding, Prof Will Stewart from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) said: “These moves sound very sensible. Modern communications may help offenders to access indecent material but it also enables the law enforcement agencies to monitor and respond to evidence in ways that were never possible in the past when grooming happened only by personal contact and pictures were sent by post.

“The protection of children from online exploitation and abuse is best addressed by parents following the excellent advice provided by GetSafeOnline and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection agency CEOP, and teaching their children to do the same.

“The internet was designed to provide adaptable routing even after serious damage and this resilience, whilst vitally helping us all, does make even well-intentioned censorship difficult. There is no quick technical fix that will protect victims – the most effective approaches use education, responsible parenting and more resources for enforcing the law.”

Notes to editors:
§  Interview opportunities are available with IET spokespeople from a broad range of engineering and technology disciplines including cyber-security, energy, engineering skills, innovation, manufacturing, technology, transport and women in engineering.

§  The IET is one of the world’s largest engineering institutions with nearly 160,000 members in 127 countries. It is also the most multidisciplinary – to reflect the increasingly diverse nature of engineering in the 21st century. Energy, transport, manufacturing, information and communications, and the built environment: the IET covers them all.

§  The IET is working to engineer a better world by inspiring, informing and influencing our members, engineers and technicians, and all those who are touched by, or touch, the work of engineers.

§  We want to build the profile of engineering and change outdated perceptions about engineering in order to tackle the skills gap. This includes encouraging more women to become engineers and growing the number of engineering apprentices.

§  For more information, visit

§  Follow the IET on Twitter.