IWF response to the announcements made by the UK’s Home Office on data sharing and encryption

Published:  Fri 4 Oct 2019

Here’s IWF response to the announcements made by the UK’s Home Office, which can be found here:

On the issue of the data access agreement, IWF CEO, Susie Hargreaves OBE, said: “This data access agreement which promises to speed up the detection of people who commit crimes against children is commendable.”

Regarding encryption, Ms Hargreaves continued: “The IWF secures the removal of millions of images and videos showing the sexual abuse of children every year from the open internet. 

“Initiatives to encrypt more and more everyday internet traffic, whilst important to privacy and security, are catastrophic for sexually abused children whose images are shared and traded online. 

“The internet is so woven into our lives that we cannot have a situation which dismisses crimes against children. We need an approach to online privacy and security – something we support – which also prioritises child safety.

“If encryption doesn’t balance all these priorities, online sex offenders will be more able to trade and stockpile their images of sexually abused children, ordinary people could be more exposed to this imagery, and efforts to thwart and deter the offenders will be hampered.” 

IWF has been campaigning against the proposed roll-out of DNS over HTTPS, which you can read about in our blogs:

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