Korea could censor child porn on mobile messengers

Child pornography could be automatically blocked on online messengers, and people making or distributing such material could face tougher punishments in a move to crack down on sex crimes against children.

Public calls are growing for a stricter crackdown on child porn in the wake of increasing cases of child sexual abuse, including a 7-year-old girl who was kidnapped and raped by a 23-year-old man in Naju, South Jeolla Province.

And police are working to introduce comprehensive measures to deal with the crime.

From as early as next month, sending or receiving content including child pornography over online messengers from smartphones and PCs will be strictly monitored by the authorities, according to police.

The cyber division of the Korean National Police Agency announced on Sunday that it is now in talks with the developer of KakaoTalk and other online messenger developers to crack down on child pornography.

Measures include installing filters that block access to porn websites. The police have sent a list of more than 200 websites that contain child pornography to the messenger developers.

Also, words such as "Lolita," which is often linked to pornographic materials involving children, will be automatically blocked, according to the new police measure.

Similarly, the government is also seeking to strengthen punishment for production or distribution of child pornography.

The Prime Minister's Office said earlier that it is considering the maximum jail terms for people producing, importing and exporting child pornography of up to 10 years from the current five years. The office is also considering imposing jail terms not only for people producing, but also people possessing child pornography.

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