IWF receives special commendation at 2013 ISPA Awards

Published:  Mon 15 Jul 2013

We are very proud to announce the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) received a special commendation at the 2013 ISPA Awards.

The IWF was shortlisted in the Internet Safety and Security category for its work in combating online child sexual abuse images and videos and was highly commended for the role in making the internet a safer place.

A spokesperson from ISPA said: "The judges wanted to recognise the Internet Watch Foundation who have been integral to keeping the internet safe; it’s only fitting, in the ISPAs 15th year to commend them for their work in removing child-abuse content from the web.”  

Susie Hargreaves, IWF Chief Executive,said: “We are thrilled to have been shortlisted for this prestigious award and to receive a special commendation is a testament to the work our staff do and the commitment of our 100+ members within the internet industry.”

The IWF recently announced that 100,000 child sexual abuse webpages have been actioned thanks to the work of the IWF and in the past two years 12 children have been rescued from their abusers as a direct result of IWF actions.

The IWF was formed in 1996 with the aim of eliminating online child sexual abuse content. In 1996, before the IWF was established, the UK hosted around 18% of the known child sexual abuse content.Since 2003, the IWF, working with the online industry, has reduced this to less than 1%.

The IWF is the UK Hotline for anyone to report this content. IWF Analysts assess each report made to the Hotline against UK law. If a webpage contains child sexual abuse content, it is traced to determine the country hosting the content. If it’s hosted in the UK,the IWF issues a notice to the hosting provider who then removes the content,typically within one hour. If it’s hosted abroad, the details are sent to the corresponding Hotline in the host country, via INHOPE (the Association of Internet Hotlines). If no such Hotline exists in that country, the IWF works with the relevant police service in order to get the content removed.

Whilst steps to have that content removed are in progress, the UK internet industry has voluntarily agreed to block access to them using a list provided by the IWF. We consider blocking to be a short-term disruption tactic which can help protect internet users from stumbling across these images, whilst processes to have them removed are instigated.

The 2013 ISPA Awards are the internet industry awards and this was the 15th ISPA Awards.


For more information,or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Emma Lowther, Director of Communications on +44 (0) 1223 20 30 30 or [email protected]

About the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF)

The IWF was established in 1996 by the internet industry to provide the UK internet Hotline for the public and IT professionals to report criminal online content in a secure and confidential way. The Hotline service can be used anonymously to report content within our remit:

    child sexual abuse images hosted anywhere in the world;
    criminally obscene adult content hosted in the UK;
    non-photographic child sexual abuse images hosted in the UK.

To be kept up to date with our activities throughout the year you can

    like us on Facebook
    follow us on Twitter
    add us to your Google+ circles or
    sign up to our regular e-newsletter.

The IWF is a self-regulatory body with charitable status. It is part of the UK Safer Internet Centre.

UK Safer Internet Centre

The UK Safer Internet Centre comprises Childnet International which works with others to “help make the internet a great and safe place for children”; South West Grid for Learning which provides safety advice for professionals working with young people in the UK and the IWF Hotline for reporting online criminal content. For more information visit www.saferinternet.org.uk

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