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IWF ready to step up the fight against online child sexual abuse content

The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) welcomes the outcome of the meeting that the Culture Secretary called for on Tuesday 18 June. The IWF is looking forward to closely working with its members and other partners, both nationally as well as internationally, to step up the fight against online child sexual abuse content.

We welcome the Government’s request for the IWF to take a more proactive approach in the fight against online child sexual abuse content. The IWF possesses specialised expertise in this area and the opportunity to proactively search for child sexual abuse images on the internet will enable the IWF to use its expertise to the fullest. This new proactive approach is a significant step forward in the fight against online child sexual abuse content.

In addition, we are pleased with the announcement of the UK’s four largest ISPs – BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media – that they will commit an additional £1m collectively over the next four years to further crack down on the creation and distribution of child abuse material online.

The companies will work together with Government, IWF and CEOP to establish how best these funds can be spent to tackle the availability of online child abuse content. The additional funding will supplement the existing zero tolerance approach to child sexual abuse material online, adding to the existing contributions that each company makes both in relation to the ongoing battle against illegal material online, and investment in technology and awareness raising to help parents protect children in the online world.  

Susie Hargreaves, IWF Chief Executive, said: “This is a great commitment from the UK internet industry. We are ready to step up the fight against online child sexual abuse content. By expanding our resources and by allowing the IWF to proactively target child sexual abuse content, we can make real headway towards our shared vision of an internet free of child sexual abuse content.”

The IWF is already one of the most successful Hotlines in the world at removing child sexual abuse content hosted in its own country. Upon notifying the content host, it typically takes just 60 minutes to remove an image or video of a child being sexually abused.

This remarkable achievement is due to the excellent relationships with industry, law enforcement,government and the UK public. In 17 years the IWF has removed over 100,000 URLs and assisted in the rescue of at least 12 children.
 

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About the Internet Watch Foundation

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.

The IWF is funded by the EU and Member companies from the online industry, including hosting providers,internet access providers, content providers, filtering companies, search providers, trade associations and the financial sector. Working together,and sharing relevant intelligence with law enforcement agencies and international Hotlines, this partnership approach aids the removal of online child sexual abuse content wherever it is hosted.

For information about becoming a member of the IWF please email: members@iwf.org.uk  

 

Contact details

Kristof Claesen – Press and Public Affairs Manager

media@iwf.org.uk

Tel: 07929 55 36 79

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