IWF Highlights

2016

2016 marked our 20th anniversary. See our key milestones on our interactive timeline.

2015

We processed 112,975 reports. During the year, a total of 68,092 reports were confirmed as containing child sexual abuse images or videos. That’s a 118% increase on 2014.

In a single, record breaking day, we actioned 941 webpages.

We created a new ‘game changing’ service, to help in the fight against child sexual abuse imagery: the IWF Image Hash List.

We increased our work globally and began developing new international Reporting Portals for countries without reporting a hotline. These will launch in 2016.

We welcomed 11 new companies to Membership.

2014

74,119 reports processed. 31,266 URLs were assessed as child sexual abuse imagery, up 137% on the year before. The difference was attributed to additional analysts and a new way of working.

The IWF recruited seven additional analysts, taking the total to 12.

In April the IWF was granted the ability to proactively seek out child sexual abuse imagery using intelligence-based methods. The Director of Public Prosecutions updated a Memorandum of Understanding which exists between the Crown Prosecution Service and the Association of Chief Police Officers.

2013

51,186 reports were processed.

Mauritius became the first country to use IWF’s online child sexual abuse reporting portal; a solution enabling countries without a hotline to use IWF’s services.

A new funding model regarding IWF’s membership subscription was developed and approved. It meant the IWF could deliver a package of enhanced activities aimed at increasing its effectiveness.

2012

39,211 reports were processed.

The IWF first measured the speed that child sexual abuse imagery was removed from within the UK in minutes rather than days, from the point at which the hosting company was notified.

The IWF launched and international programmed of work, to enable countries without a hotline to benefit from using IWF’s hotline services.

56 politicians signed up to be IWF Champions. It’s an initiative enabling them to publicly show their support for the IWF’s work, and a way for them to give something back to the cause by, for example, raising awareness or hosting an event. 

2011

Incitement to racial hatred was removed from the IWF’s remit in 2011. A new service for reporting all hate crimes online (www.report-it.org.uk Opens in New Window) has been launched by the police. All reports of incitement to racial hatred content hosted in the UK previously reported to the IWF should now be reported directly to True Vision.

2010

48,702 reports were processed.

Seven organisations joined the IWF.

A new funding model regarding IWF’s policy on membership subscription was developed and approved.

The IWF’s remit was extended to include UK hosted non-photographic child sexual abuse images on 6th April.

A new simultaneous alert service for non UK Members was introduced.

The IWF was a finalist in the 2010 National Business Awards, Better Regulation category, a leading programme in recognising excellence in business achievement, innovation and success in the UK.

The IWF was certified as ISO27001 compliant for another year.

2009

38,173 reports were processed.

18 organisations joined the IWF.

In January 2009 the IWF began accepting reports of extreme pornography from the public within the criminally obscene element of our remit.

Professor Ian Walden became the interim Independent Chair of the Board

Eve Salomon became Independent Chair of the IWF Board.

We processed our 275,000th report since our inception in 1996.

IWF became a member of the European Financial Coalition (EFC) Law Enforcement Working Group.

In June 2009 the Ministry of Justice asked the IWF to extend our national Hotline to enable the public to report online non-photographic visual depictions of the sexual abuse of children, covered by Sections 62 to 69 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009. Following consultation with our Funding Council of industry members, in October 2009 the IWF Board informed government of our agreement to fulfil this role from 6 April 2010.

The IWF was certified as ISO27001 compliant for another year.

2008

33,947 Reports were processed

21 organisations joined the IWF.

The IWF’s ‘Hotline’ systems, assessment, security and processes were independently audited and IWF was found to be compliant with best practice standards.

The IWF was awarded the 2008 Nominet Best Practice Challenge award for raising industry standards.

The IWF were invited to join the Executive Board of the new UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS).

The IWF was a finalist in British Computer Society’s IT Awards 2008.

The IWF was certified as ISO27001 compliant for another year.

Amanda Jordan’s OBE term in office as the IWF Board Chair came to an end.

2007

34,871 reports were processed.

12 organisations joined the IWF.

The recommendations outlined in the governance review that was commissioned in 2006 took effect in 2007. This included the development of two subcommittees to the Board as well as the increased number of Board meetings to be held throughout the year.

The Home Office asked the IWF to allow its public internet reporting mechanism to be used for the reporting of UK-hosted extreme pornography covered by Section 63 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008. Following consultation with IWF’s industry members, the Board informed the government of our agreement to fulfil this role, from 26 January 2009, as part of the IWF’s existing remit.

The IWF marked its first Awareness Day in October 2007.

The IWF received a Nominet’s Best Practice Challenge Special Award for multi-stakeholder cooperation for our exemplary co-operative approach involving industry, charities, police and Government and the outcomes achieved.

The IWF was ISO27001 accredited in September.

The IWF was a finalist in the 2007 National Business Awards, Better Regulation category, a leading programme in recognising excellence in business achievement, innovation and success in the UK.

The IWF’s Ten Year Anniversary Campaign was a finalist in the Marketing Society Awards for Excellence 2007, nominated in the Marketing A Cause (Not For Profit) category.

The IWF’s Hotline Manager was elected as Vice President of INHOPE, the association of Hotline providers.

2006

31,776 reports were processed.

20 organisations joined the IWF.

Amanda Jordan OBE became Chair of the IWF.

The IWF launched its ten year anniversary campaign with several conferences and an advertising campaign throughout the country.

An independent governance review lead by Julia Unwin CBE was commissioned to enable the IWF to consider the most effective structure for Board and industry relationships in light of the fast growing membership.

The systems and processes for compiling the IWF URL list of child sexual abuse images were inspected and validated by two eminent professionals and found to be consistent with best practice.

Becta, the Government’s lead partner in the strategic development and delivery of its e-strategy for schools and the learning and skills sectors, endorsed blocking access to URLs on the IWF list as a requirement for any services provider supplying managed internet services to schools.

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre was launched in April 2006.

2005

23,658 reports were processed.

15 organisations joined the IWF.

The IWF processed its 100,000th report.

The IWF’s Operations Manager was elected to be a Vice-President of INHOPE.

The IWF responded to the Ministry of Justice consultation on the possession of extreme pornographic material.

2004

17,255 reports were processed.

18 organisations joined the IWF.

Following an internal review the IWF Board introduced a number of changes to its governance arrangements in January 2004, including a revised Constitution, Board Members Handbook, remit and a Code of Practice for our full members based in the UK hosting online content.

A Memorandum of Understanding between the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decreed that the IWF were to be treated as a ‘relevant authority’ for the receipt of complaints relating to indecent images of children.

IWF Board agreed the principles and procedures under which the IWF’s Child Sexual Abuse Images and Content URL List would be made available to members and via license to specific non-members. 

BT launched its ‘Cleanfeed’ initiative in June. This initiative is based on blocking access to a list of URLs depicting child sexual abuse content provided by the IWF.

The IWF converted from a not-for-profit company to charitable status.

The IWF’s ‘Hotline’ systems, assessment, security and processes were independently audited and found to be compliant with best practice standards.

2003

19,553 reports were processed.

18 organisations joined the IWF.

Less than 1% of child sexual abuse content known to the IWF was traced to being hosted in the UK and subject to the IWF’s ‘notice and takedown’ procedures.

The revised governance structure took effect in January 2003 with a new smaller Board of three industry members and six independent members plus an Independent Chair.

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 increased the age of a child from 16 to 18 and created a limited defence to the offence of ‘making’ indecent images of children to ensure the IWF and other appropriate professionals can carry out their work without fear of prosecution.

2002

17,868 reports were processed.

Seven organisations joined the IWF.

Peter Robbins OBE, QPM was appointed as Chief Executive of IWF.

A governance review led to the recommendation of a smaller IWF Board which was implemented in 2003.

A remit review led to an increased focus on combating criminal content. The labelling and education part of the IWF’s role was discontinued.

A new ‘notice and takedown' Code of Practice was produced for all IWF members hosting online content.

Following legal advice, the IWF Board sanctioned the release of a child sexual abuse content URL list to IWF members for the purpose of implementing blocking or filtering solutions to protect consumers from being inadvertently exposed to sexually abusive images of children.

The UK Cards Association joined the IWF in a new initiative to combat the use of credit cards for commercial websites hosting indecent images of children.

2001

11,357 reports were processed.

Five organisations joined the IWF.

Newsgroup policies were adopted with member ISPs advised not to host any newsgroup found to contain child sexual abuse images on a regular basis or have a name which appeared to advertise paedophile content.

The IWF were invited to join the new Home Office Task Force on Child Protection on the Internet.

The IWF was awarded a ‘Positive Contribution to the Internet Industry’ ISPA Award.

The IWF was awarded a ‘the organisation or government department which has implemented regulation in the best interests of the consumer’ BT Award.

2000

8,942 reports were processed.

One organisation joined the IWF.

Reports assessed to depict potentially criminally content hosted in the UK decreased by 75% compared to the previous year.

The IWF was re-launched in January 2000.

A new governance structure came in to operation with a single Board of four industry members and eight independent members headed by a new Independent Chair, Roger Darlington, with a separate Funding Council of all the member companies.

Incitement to racial hatred content hosted in the UK was added to the IWF’s remit following a request by the DTI and in consultation with the IWF Board and Funding Council.

1999

4,297 reports were processed.

One organisation joined the IWF.

The DTI and the Home Office report commissioned from Denton Hall and KPMG was published in January. It recommended a reform of governance with more independence and the appointment of an Independent Chair.

The IWF helped set up the Internet Content Rating Association (ICRA).

The IWF helped to found INHOPE Opens in New Window, the association of Hotlines throughout Europe in November 1999.

1998

1,991 reports were processed.

Two organisations joined the IWF.

Online reporting was introduced.

18% of child sexual abuse content known to the IWF was traced to being hosted in the UK and subject to the IWF’s ‘notice and takedown’ procedures.

The DTI and the Home Office appointed Denton Hall and KPMG to carry out an independent review of the IWF in March 1998.

1997

1,291 reports were processed in the first year of operation.

The IWF had five funding members in its first year.

A Policy Board was created in January in order to address the rating proposals in the R3 Agreement.

The Steering Group was succeeded by a Management Group made up of representatives from the funding companies.

The funding of the IWF moved from the Dawe Charitable Trust to the companies on the IWF Management Board.

The IWF created the Internet Content Rating for Europe (INCORE) organisation as a partnership of European organisations concerned with internet rating and regulation issues.

 
Co-funded by the European Union Safer Internet Thinkuknow INHOPE UK Council for Child Internet Safety Investors In People Child rights Connect Nominet European Financial Coalition