Microsoft has teamed up with a government organisation focused on tackling child sex abuse to help youngsters report IM (instant messaging) buddies they think are up to no good. Young people in the UK who use Windows Live Messenger or MSN Messenger to chat online with friends will be able to use a single click to send a report to police if they are concerned an online buddy is a sex offender.

Microsoft’s partnership with the CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) centre involves creating a new element to MSN Messenger – the UK’s most popular IM client.

A new Messenger tab will be incorporated that features the CEOP centre’s "report abuse" icon. This links users in the UK directly to online police services, allowing users to report suspicious behaviour and instances of inappropriate contact of a sexual nature they have encountered whilst online.

Users from elsewhere in the world can access the VGT (Virtual Global Taskforce) – an international group of law-enforcement agencies – of which the CEOP centre is the UK’s representative.

More here.

According to the press release: "The tab will appear on both MSN Messenger, and its replacement, Windows Live Messenger. As well as a ‘one-click’ link through to a report to the police, each week, CEOP and Microsoft will provide a new safety tip as part of the tab, for example, how to safeguard your personal details or to how to spot a potential threat."