Microsoft's Bing search engine has become the first service in the UK to introduce measures warning users who request online images of child abuse. BBC News reports that Bing users will now see pop-up notices if they search for indecent images of children, warning them that the content is illegal and linking to details of a counselling service. The move comes shortly after the UK government announced its bold and controversial plan to crack down on online pornography, which will require UK internet users to opt-in to view porn content later this year.

Bing will display pop-up warnings and link to counselling services

Microsoft is working with UK police agency Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) to filter results, applying pop-ups on search terms that are on a predefined blacklist. Yahoo, which displays Bing search results on its own service, is reported to also be considering a similar move. Google, on the other hand, has said it will continue to utilize on its own reporting system, working with child protection organizations as part of its "zero tolerance' policy.

While Microsoft is the first to implement such measures, the prime minister will meet with representatives from the leading search engines in October to discuss their progress in blocking terms included on CEOP's blacklist. The government will also establish a UK-US joint task force to combat illegal and violent websites, begging the question why Microsoft hasn't rolled out the same filters in the US and the other regions in which it offers its search service.