“Tens of thousands” blocked from child porn

Every day 20,000 to 30,000 attempts by Swedes to enter child pornography sites are blocked, according to the latest figures from the police, who say that filters introduced in April are working.

Between 80% and 90% of child porn web sites are blocked by the filters, reported Svenska Dagbladet, after a joint operation by the police, the organisation Ecpat, which works against child prostitution and pornography, and several internet service providers.

There are around 1,100 web sites on the police’s blacklist. Anyone who tries to access them is shown a “barrier page” instead, which prevents the user from going any further.

The number of attempts to access the sites is usually highest at the weekends.

“Since we have never had filters before we had no idea of how many people were looking for these sorts of sites. It’s interesting that such a high number are trying to do so,” said Annethe Ahlenius at the police’s child pornography unit, to SvD.

The figures for the number of blocks do not, however, reveal precisely how many individuals are attempting to access the sites.

One persistent person could account for many attempts, and the number could include people who inadvertently stumble across the pages.

Nevertheless, the figures are “grotesque”, said Ecpat’s general secretary Helena Karlén.

“It’s significant and shocking that so many people in our country are interested in watching children being raped and in certain cases tortured,” she said to SvD.

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TT/The Local