The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) has identified twice as many child sexual abuse webpages this year, compared to last year

Published:  Thu 11 Dec 2014

The reason for the increase is due to the IWF’s new ability to proactively search for the criminal content.

In the past, the IWF worked from public reports alone. Taking public reports is still a key feature of the hotline, but since 1 April 2014, its analysts can now proactively search for the content.

Last year (1 January 2013 to 31 December 2013) the IWF processed 51,186 reports, of which 13,330 URLs (web addresses inc newsgroups) featured child sexual abuse. Action was taken to get the criminal images and videos removed.

Since 1 January until 30 November 2014, the IWF has processed 70,541 reports which is a 38% increase on the whole of last year with one month of 2014 remaining.

·        The total number of those URLs assessed as child sexual abuse and actioned for removal is 27,850. This is an increase of 109% on the previous year.

 

o    Since 1 April 2014 to 30 November 2014, the total number of URLs identified as child sexual abuse through proactive searching alone is 19,182.

 

o    Therefore, 69% of the child sexual abuse URLs assessed by IWF since 1 January 2014 were found through the ability to proactively search for them.

 

All of these URLs have been subject to action to have them removed through working with international partners and where appropriate, their inclusion on our IWF URL List. This list enables companies to block and filter access to the images while they are in the process of being removed.

The IWF is the only hotline in the world with the ability to proactively search for content.

Due to the continued support of the online industry, the UK leads the world; in 1996, 18% of the world’s known child sexual abuse imagery was hosted in the UK. Since 2003, it has been less than 1%. Today it is less than 0.3%.

Background:

In June 2013, Google donated an additional £1million to the IWF, and all the IWF Members agreed a new fee structure which increased funding to the charity. This has enabled the analyst team to triple. At the same time the Director of Public Prosecutions permitted the IWF analysts to actively search for the criminal content.
 
Notes to editors:

Contact: Emma Hardy, IWF Director of External Relations +44 (0) 1223 203030 or +44 (0) 7929 553679.
About the IWF

The IWF is the Hotline to report:

·        child sexual abuse content hosted anywhere in the world;

·        criminally obscene adult content hosted in the UK;

·        non-photographic child sexual abuse images hosted in the UK.

For more information please visit www.iwf.org.uk.

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.
About the IWF URL list

We provide a list of webpages of child sexual abuse images and videos hosted abroad to companies who wish to voluntarily block or filter them for their users’ protection and to prevent the revictimsation of the child. The list is dynamic, updated twice daily with URLs added and removed.

For more information please visit https://www.iwf.org.uk/join-us/services.

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