Netherlands to fine internet companies who don't remove child porn quickly enough

Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security wants to eradicate child pornography on the internet. For that reason he is working on a new law under which internet companies who do not remove child porn at lightning speed, can face hefty fines, RTL Nieuws reports.

"It is certainly an enormous ambition, but I m going to do everything I can about it", the Justice Minister said. "I cannot guarantee an internet without child pornography, but I want to substantially reduce the share of child pornography on the internet in two years."

The new law gives the government options to tackle companies who do not process a report of child pornography quickly enough more severely. A regulator will be established to alert companies of child pornography on their servers, and monitor how quickly they remove it. TU Delft currently working on a monitor that must show which companies still have child pornography online, where and for how long, after they were alerted to it. 

"There is already a covenant stating that child pornography must be removed within 24 hours", Grapperhaus said. "I want it to be even faster. If it is up to me, within a few hours. But we are still busy working it out." The amount of the fines is also still being calculated. 

In order to get the law passed through both houses of parliament, and to reduce the chance of a legal challenge to block the law, Grapperhuis dropped a requirement to force suspects in child pornography cases to provide any passwords or technical devices needed to decrypt digitally stored content. The requirement, known in Dutch as ontsleutelplicht, would have faced scrutiny because in his opinion it would force suspects to incriminate themselves, violating their legal rights, he said in material submitted to members of parliament.

Ontsleutelplicht could also complicate a case in another way, as tech website Tweakers.net pointed out. A suspect might choose to refuse decrypting a drive if the punishment is less severe than the crime for which they are being investigated. In that scenario, the ministry would have taken a legally precarious position with little effective gain in criminal investigations.

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