An extradition request has been made by US authorities for an Irishman who is allegedly involved in the distribution of online child pornography.

Pat Rabbitte, Ireland's Communications Minister, met with the country's largest internet providers last week to discuss ways of preventing access to child pornography and other child-abuse sites online.

The meeting comes as Irishman Eric Eoin Marques, accused by the FBI of being "the largest facilitator of child pornography on the planet," remains in custody in Dublin pending the outcome of a US extradition request.

According to the Irish Independent, Rabbitte told the providers, which included Eircom, UPC and Vodafone, of his potential plans for an intergovernmental task force, which would include the Department of Justice, to examine ways of handling illegal online activity.

Due to EU law, the government is limited in its ability to impose mandatory filters for legal adult pornography services. However,  Ireland may be able to seek more restrictive filters for illegal content such as child-abuse and child-porn content under the EU's new anti-child exploitation directive, which must be signed into Irish law by the end of the year and states that it "may take measures to block access to web pages containing or disseminating child pornography towards the internet users within the territory."

Senior internet provider executives have said they would not oppose filters blocking material harmful to children as long as they are regulated by a publicly accountable body under law.

While Rabbitte has previously stated that he would not seek the mandatory imposition of blocking filters for legal adult pornography services, he told internet providers he was interested in looking at way to deal with home access to online adult pornography.

It is expected that Rabbitte, along with the Department of Justice, will meet with the internet providers again in the coming weeks and months to discuss the issues raised.