Highlights of the Year


Tech-for-good hackathon

Our tech-for-good hackathon brought together developers, coders, data experts and designers to pioneer new solutions in the fight against child sexual abuse material online.  


Protech project launched

In collaboration with UK and EU experts we launched Protech, a two-year project to research, design and create a unique safety tech tool that detects criminal imagery on the devices of individuals at risk of accessing child sexual abuse material.  


Marriott International enrols as Member

In an industry first, global hotel chain Marriott International joined the Internet Watch Foundation as a Member. With the help of our URL List, the biggest hotel group in the world can now block access to imagery of child sexual abuse on their hotel guest networks.  


Safer Internet Day 2023

Along with partners at the UK Safer Internet Centre (UKSIC), we proudly took part in the annual global celebration of Safer Internet Day to promote the safe and positive use of digital technology for children and young people. Read the UKSIC article. 


IWF and partners host Brussels panel on vital EU child sexual abuse laws

We hosted a high-level event in Brussels along with our partners in the European Child Sexual Abuse Legislation Advocacy Group to discuss the EU legislation needed to effectively tackle child sexual abuse online.  


Children and Youth Board of the Year finalist 2023

The IWF was delighted to be shortlisted at the Diversifying Group’s 2023 Board Awards. IWF was nominated for Children and Youth Board of the Year. 


Winners of Tech for Good at National Technology Awards 2023

We were awarded a top prize at the 2023 National Technology Awards which celebrates pioneers of technology and excellence across a range of industries. The IWF was recognised in the Tech for Good category for our important work to protect children in the UK.  


IWF featured in BBC Newsnight investigation of AI-generated child abuse material

BBC’s Newsnight investigated the rise of child sexual abuse material as a result of the rapid proliferation of open-source AI image generators. Reporter Joe Tidy visited our offices in Cambridge to learn more. 


NCMEC colleagues visit

We welcomed partners from the US National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) at our Cambridge headquarters. As lifelong strategic key partners, our committed and close working relationship with NCMEC has helped us shape services and solutions for the protection of children worldwide. 


Revolutionary new clustering tech speeds up child abuse image assessment

Clustering technology, a “revolution” in assessing child sexual abuse imagery, was adopted by our analysts to link similar images together, which helps the Hotline quickly assess and grade hundreds of criminal images, resulting in their blocking and removal faster than ever before. 


Youth Internet Governance delegation

Sixteen delegates from the Chinese Youth Internet Governance Forum joined us in London to discuss the role of the Internet Watch Foundation, the Online Safety Act, and UK policies concerning online safety. 


IWF CEO listed in Computer Weekly’s Most Influential Women in UK tech

Our CEO, Susie Hargreaves OBE, was nominated as one of Computer Weekly’s Most Influential Women in UK Technology in the endeavour to showcase the top brilliant and hard-working women in the technology sector. 


Scottish Government/Education Scotland joined as Member

The Scottish Government/Education Scotland became a Member of the Internet Watch Foundation, using our services to ensure the online safety of children and young people who use its national digital learning platform, Glow.  


New resource launched to support victims of ‘sextortion’

In the first six months of 2023, reports of confirmed child sexual abuse involving sexual extortion, or ‘sextortion’, surged by 257% compared with the whole of 2022. In response to this increase, we launched a new resource to help support victims. 


IWF joined child safety demonstration in Brussels

Along with our partners in the European Child Sexual Abuse Legislation Advocacy Group (ECLAG), we demonstrated in Brussels to demand that EU leaders ‘clean up the internet’ from sexual predators and protect children online. 


Susie Hargreaves OBE made Honorary Member of NSPCC Council

The NSPCC announced that our CEO, Susie Hargreaves OBE, had been made an Honorary Member of the NSPCC Council in recognition of her “contribution to child protection over the years”. 


AI-generated imagery report released

Our report shows offenders are able to make thousands of AI images depicting the sexual abuse of children at the click of a button. IWF analysts warn this imagery is now realistic enough to be treated as real imagery under UK law. 


Online Safety Act receives Royal Assent

On 26 October, the Online Safety Act received Royal Assent in the Houses of Parliament. The Act places legal responsibility on tech companies to prevent and remove illegal content, with the aim of making the UK “the safest place in the world to be online”.  


IWF and Home Office host AI Safety Summit side event to combat AI-generated child sexual abuse imagery

Alongside the Home Office, we co-hosted an event in London to discuss the challenge of AI-generated child sexual abuse imagery in the lead up to the UK government’s AI Safety Summit. 


IWF attended White House roundtable on preventing AI-generated child sexual abuse material

IWF CEO, Susie Hargreaves OBE, attended a White House roundtable on preventing AI-generated image-based sexual abuse. It brought together experts from the US and UK, global civil society advocates, survivors and researchers to discuss policy and technology-based recommendations for addressing AI-generated child sexual abuse material. 


New tool empowers global law enforcement in the fight against child sexual abuse material

In partnership with Cyacomb, we made hashes of 1.7 million child sexual abuse images available as a secure-by-design Contraband Filter. Now global law enforcement agencies can use this tool to identify illegal files on suspect devices faster and more reliably.  


We celebrate 200 Members

We welcomed our 200th Member to the IWF. Covering a broad and diverse range of industries, our community of Members are united in their commitment to work towards a safer internet for all.