Internet Watch Foundation wins at Global ICT Excellence Awards

Published:  Wed 13 Sep 2017

The World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) crowns the Internet Watch Foundation as its Public Sector Excellence Award winner

The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) has been given the Public Sector Excellence Award by the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA) at their 2017 Global ICT Excellence Awards.

techUK, an organisation representing and providing tech advice to companies and technologies in the UK and a member of WITSA, put forward their nomination of IWF for its huge leaps forward in erasing child sexual abuse content from the internet through their services to the internet industry and their provision of global reporting portals for this content.

WITSA is a leading consortium of ICT industry association members from over 80 countries and economies around the world, representing more than 90 percent of the world ICT market from which the winners were picked.

The award was accepted by techUK’s CEO, Julian David, on behalf of the IWF at the Gala Awards Ceremony in Taiwan on Tuesday 12 September.

Susie Hargreaves OBE, IWF’s CEO, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded this year’s prestigious Public Sector Excellence Award by WITSA and we can’t thank techUK enough for nominating us.

“To win the award symbolises the achievements that the IWF and our partners, across the world, have made in tackling the issue of online child sexual abuse imagery.

“In today’s world, a child can be sexually abused on one continent and that abuse can be recorded, stored and shared from another. Offenders across the world can then view the images of the abuse, and this can all happen in a matter of minutes. The internet doesn’t respect borders. It is only through working together that we can tackle this truly global problem.”

Julian David, techUK CEO, said: “We’re delighted to see the World Congress on Information Technology recognise the IWF’s achievements to date, as well as its ongoing commitment to protect citizens around the globe. techUK works closely with the foundation to achieve our common goal of ensuring that children, adults and businesses alike are able to enjoy the benefits of the online world in a safe and secure way.”

There were seven award categories including Public Sector, Private Sector, Digital Opportunity, Sustainable Growth, Mobile Excellence, Innovative eHealth Solutions and WITSA Emerging Digital Solutions.

Non-profit organisations and government entities from around the world were eligible to be nominated in the Public Sector Excellence category.

One of the key components for IWF winning the this award was for its work turning child sexual abuse images into unique codes, also known as hashes. Hashes allow the charity’s members to automatically remove an indecent image of a child as soon as it’s matched with an image on the IWF Hash List – even before it has the chance to appear on the member’s services.

This breakthrough in 2015 was a game-changer for the charity, which also continues to assess thousands of reports of online child sexual abuse material from the public every week.


Notes to editors:


Emma Hardy, Director of External Relations [email protected] +44 (0) 1223 203030 or +44 (0) 7929 553679.

What we do:

We make the internet a safer place. We help victims of child sexual abuse worldwide by identifying and removing online images and videos of their abuse. We search for child sexual abuse images and videos and offer a place for the public to report them anonymously. We then have them removed. We’re a not for profit organisation and are supported by the global internet industry and the European Commission.

For more information please visit

The IWF is part of the UK Safer Internet Centre, working with Childnet International and the South West Grid for Learning to promote the safe and responsible use of technology.

The IWF works globally to stop child sexual abuse imagery on the internet. If you ever stumble across a sexual image or video of someone you think is under 18, please report to the IWF. Reporting can be done anonymously and confidentially – we don’t need your details, just your help.



Catherine Brown named as new IWF Chair

Catherine Brown named as new IWF Chair

Ms Brown will take over from Andrew Puddephatt OBE, who has held the post since 2017.

27 November 2023 News
Discord steps up bid to rid internet of ‘appalling’ child sexual abuse imagery

Discord steps up bid to rid internet of ‘appalling’ child sexual abuse imagery

‘There can be no safe place for these criminals to operate. Children deserve a safer and happier internet.’

21 November 2023 News
New tool allows police around the world to scan for known abuse imagery in 'seconds'

New tool allows police around the world to scan for known abuse imagery in 'seconds'

'This is an important step in ensuring our world-leading expertise can be quickly drawn upon by police and law enforcement the world over.'

20 November 2023 News