A European Parliament decision on Monday to remove child pornography images at the source rather than promote Web blocking has been hailed as a success by Internet rights activists.
Members of the Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee ruled that complete removal "at source" must be the main aim in tackling child pornography online and that blocking access to websites is acceptable only in exceptional circumstances -- when the host server in a non-E.U. country refuses to cooperate or when procedures take too long.
The original Commission proposal would have made blocking of child porn websites mandatory for all E.U. member states, prompting concern among Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) who tend to support Internet freedom.
"The new generation of MEPs has shown it understands the Internet and has courageously rejected populist but ineffective and cosmetic measures in favor of measures aimed at real child protection," said Joe McNamee, of the European digital rights movement EDRi. "This is a huge and implausible success for an army of activists campaigning to protect the democratic, societal and economic value of the Internet," he added.