One of Ireland's leading internet service providers has announced it is to block websites featuring child sexual abuse material.

UPC said it has signed an agreement that will see them block domains and addresses based on a list supplied by An Garda Síochána.

If a user accesses child sexual abuse material, whether deliberately or mistakenly, access will be restricted and an advisory message will be displayed outlining the reasons why.

An Garda Siochána is also in negotiations with other internet providers to get them to block child sex abuse sites as well.

Similar blocks are in place by ISPs in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia, UK, France and Malta. This approach is endorsed by both Interpol and Europol.

"We welcome UPC putting in place this valuable restriction," said acting Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan.

"They have put significant time and resources into this project."

Her comments were echoed by Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald, who commended UPC for being the first company engage in this initiative.

"The close cooperation with law enforcement which was launched today will reduce the amount of child abuse material which will be available on the internet in Ireland," Minister Fitzgerald said.

"It will also reinforce the message that the viewing or possession of or indeed the trading in child abuse material is simply not acceptable."

UPC say the agreement adheres fully to Data Protection legislation and does not provide for any transfer of user data to the authorities. The IP address and identity of a person trying to access domains is not stored when the blocking notice appears. UPC said it does not make its user data available to any external parties except where required to do so by law.


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