Anyone in the UK who uses Microsoft's Bing search engine to seek out images depicting child abuse will now be greeted with a pop-up warning informing them their activities are illegal.

The notification, which is the first of its kind in the UK, will also provide links to 'help and advice' services, for those who may be drifting towards such content, courtesy of the StopItNow.org counselling group.

The notification, which reads "Warning! Child abuse material is illegal," doesn't block access to such content, but Microsoft has a long-standing policy of removing such content once links are discovered.

The software giant's move comes after the UK government promised tough legal sanctions against the leading web providers unless they did more to block access to images of abuse.

Proactive action

In a statement: "Microsoft remains a strong proponent of proactive action by the technology industry in the fight against child exploitation.

"The Bing Notification Platform is just one way Microsoft is working to tackle the scourge of online child abuse content.

"In addition, we have teams dedicated globally to abuse reporting on our services and the development of new innovations to combat child exploitation more broadly".

Bing's new notification system is triggered by a list of search terms given to them The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), who welcomed the move.

The organisations deputy CEO told Sky News it wasn't "the whole solution" but may make those curious about child abuse images think again before starting down the dark parth.

Via Guardian