As the Online Safety Bill returns to Parliament for its Third Reading, the Internet Watch Foundation welcomes the Government’s continued commitment to making the internet safer for children online.
Susie Hargreaves OBE, Chief Executive of the Internet Watch Foundation, said: “The amount of child sexual abuse being shared online has accelerated while this legislation has been going through Parliament.
“We have seen a doubling of the most extreme forms of abuse in the last two years and children self-generating content depicting their own abuse now accounts for three quarters of everything we remove from the internet.
“For us, there is no excuse for platforms not to detect known child sexual abuse imagery which is being shared and distributed through their channels. Children have rights too, and we all owe it to child victims to intervene where we can, and not to stand by as images and videos of their abuse are passed around in private.
“As far as we can see, the Government’s position on this has not changed, and there has been no fundamental change to the proposed legislation. These powers were never going to be used right from the off on the Bill’s gaining Royal Assent, and the best available technologies should always be deployed to help ensure the ends of the Bill.
“We know technologies exist, now, which can do this – with no more invasion of privacy than a virus guard or spam filter which checks messages for acknowledged threats. We welcome the Government’s continued commitment to making the internet safer for children.”