Sri Lanka police arrested an 18-year-old resident of Colombo who had been sexually abusing his cousin for two years and uploaded the footage of the abuse to Google Drive. The police said that the arrest was made using a new method introduced by the Google company to the Sri Lanka Police to easily identify people who watch and share child pornography. The arrested suspect was produced before the Colombo Magistrate’s Court.
The Deputy Inspector General of Children and Women’s Bureau, Renuka Jayasundara, revealed that the Sri Lanka Police have integrated into the ‘International Center for Missing & Exploited Children,’ a global database aimed at tracking down individuals involved in the creation, storage, and dissemination of explicit content featuring children under 18 years old.
Highlighting the legal implications, DIG Jayasundara emphasized that the act of creating, sharing, or possessing obscene images of minors on the internet is a punishable offence. This includes watching, sharing, or commenting on such content across social media platforms.
Recent statistics shared by the police department indicated a worrying trend, with 146,000 obscene images released on the internet in 2022, and 98,000 in 2023.
Explaining the mechanism of the data system, DIG Jayasundara stated, “When individuals release illicit visual content or engage in activities related to such material on social media or cyberspace, data collected by relevant service providers will be shared with the ‘International Center for Missing & Exploited Children.'”
Furthermore, she added, “This system facilitates the sharing of information with the respective countries where the perpetrators and victims are located, thereby alerting them about ongoing crimes involving internet-based exploitation.”
DIG Jayasundara stressed that this collaboration is a proactive step in curbing cybercrimes against children. “Frequent reports of our children falling victim to cyber abuse have prompted us to take this vital step. By connecting with this international data system, we aim to address these issues effectively.”
The system’s operations involve notifying concerned countries, informing them of the prevailing situation within their borders, and alerting them to the various forms of internet-based exploitation occurring, ensuring a unified global effort to safeguard vulnerable children.