Financial Services company Western Union joins Internet Watch Foundation

Published:  Mon 25 Jan 2016

The Western Union Company, a leader in global payment services operating in more than 200 countries and territories has joined Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). As a Member of the IWF, Western Union will receive Payment Alerts from analysts where they find that Western Union payment services are being used to purchase child sexual abuse material online.

Welcoming the global company into IWF membership will prove hugely important in disrupting the distribution of images and videos of the sexual abuse of young girls and boys worldwide.
Western Union commented: “Western Union is firmly committed to preventing the misuse of its services. Our collaboration with IWF will enable us to better detect and deter instances where our services are being offered as payment options for the purchase of child sexual abuse material online and to act immediately to stop this practice.”

Susie Hargreaves, IWF CEO, said: “The sexual abuse of children and the subsequent sale of online images of this abuse is a practice that must be stopped.  I’m pleased we have established an alliance with Western Union, so that together we can stamp out this criminal use of payment streams.”
 

Ends

Notes to editors:

Contact: Lisa Stacey, IWF Communications Manager +44 (0) 1223 203030 or +44 (0) 7929 553679.

1.    The just under 19,000 Hash List figure relates to the collation of Category ‘A’ images between June 2015 and October 2015. The CSAM was sourced from the Home Office CAID database.

2.    IWF have three categories of CSAM, A, B and C. A is the most severe.

3.    All other figures source IWF, for additional information: www.iwf.org.uk

CAID went live at the end of 2014 and contains indecent images of children as well as hashes of those images. All police forces across the UK are due to be connected and using CAID by the end of 2015.

The Police have shared data from CAID with the IWF in order to assist our work with internet companies. Home Office’s new Child Abuse Image Database (CAID).

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