In a rare display of unity, both Google and Microsoft have introduced new algorithms to prevent searches for child abuse imagery, stating that as many as 100,000 search terms will now fail to produce results and trigger warnings that child abuse imagery is illegal.
Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt said these changes would be introduced in Britain initially and then rolled out to another 158 countries in the next six months.
Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said deploying technology improvements to identify and eliminate Internet content that portrays child sexual abuse was a team effort.
Both companies also agreed to use their technological expertise to help in identification of abuse images and give technical support to Britain's Internet Watch Foundation and the U.S.'s National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Some anti-child porn campaigners, however, argued the proposals did not go far enough and called for greater funding to wipe out sharing of child porn through peer-to-peer networks.