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IWF shortlisted twice for ISPA Safety Award

Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) delighted to be shortlisted twice for the 2016 ISPA Safety Award.

As a charity that works to eliminate child sexual abuse images and videos online, the IWF and our partners are working hard to make the internet a safer place. And we’re delighted that this work has been recognised in the ISPA Safety Award category.

This year we are excited have been shortlisted twice: Once for our services which enable our Members to protect internet users from seeing child sexual abuse images online as well as protecting victims, by stopping these images and videos being seen or shared again. And for our international reporting portals which enable other countries to provide their citizens with somewhere to report online images of child sexual abuse confidentially.

We are also delighted to be shortlisted as a partner of the UK Safer Internet Centre for the coordination of the 2016 UK Safer Internet Day campaign, in which over 1100 organisations took part. The UK Safer Internet Centre is a collaboration of a hotline, a helpline and an awareness centre and we are proud to make up one third of the Centre along with Childnet International and the South West Grid for Learning. The UK Safer Internet Centre is recognised as a leading partnership working to promote the safe and responsible use of internet technology.

Susie Hargreaves, IWF Chief Executive, said: “When we started work nearly 20 years ago, 18% of child sexual abuse images and videos online were hosted in the UK. Today, it is less than 0.2%.  Each and every day, our services and our work with partners, is making the internet a safer place for all users. But this is not a victimless crime, the children in these hideous images are real – and so is their suffering. So we’re also working hard to protect the victims of child sexual abuse from having the images and videos of their abuse shared again and again.

“We believe that being shortlisted for these awards recognises the significant impact being made by our small dedicated team. But this is not a battle that can be won single handily. So it’s important to recognise our partnerships with the internet industry, government, law enforcement, UKCCIS (UK Council for Child Internet Safety) and the UK Safer Internet Centre, that have contributed to our vital work.”

ISPA Secretary General Nick Lansman, said “The companies shortlisted at this year’s ISPAs play a vital role in connecting the UK and this year has an incredible range of companies nominated. We are proud to say that this is the 18th ISPAs and I look forward to finding out the winners at the gala black tie ceremony on 7 July.”

IWF works internationally to make the internet safer. We search for child sexual abuse images and videos and offer a place for the public to report them to us anonymously. We then have them removed.

This year, we have actioned 68,092 web pages. Many web pages contain thousands of images. Our work helps victims of child sexual abuse worldwide by identifying and removing these online images and videos of their abuse. 69 per cent of the material removed was of children assessed as 10 or under. In 1788 cases, the children were assessed as under three. 34 per cent of the images were assessed as category A – that’s the rape or sexual torture of children.

Our services, deployed through our industry Members and partners, also prevent innocent internet users from stumbling across child sexual abuse content.

Recently, we introduced two new services: IWF Image Hash List and IWF Reporting Portal.

IWF Image Hash List - a game changer

During 2015, we collaborated with industry to create the IWF Image Hash List - a game changer in the fight against online child sexual abuse imagery.

A ‘hash’ is a unique code that’s generated from the data in an image. Our Image Hash List is a database of individual hashes from known images of child sexual abuse.

In August 2015, five IWF industry members began to use our IWF Image Hash List.   By April this year this List contained just under 70,000 hashes; created from images including those sourced from the UK Police CAID and assessed by our analysts as Category A content – the ‘worst of the worst’ level of sexual abuse and violence inflicted on children.

Our aim is to prevent uploading, sharing and viewing by using hashes to search for duplicates of known images of child sexual abuse. We want more industry Members to use IWF image hashes. And as our analysts see thousands of images every week, we know this is just the beginning.

The children in the images we work with are real children. Their suffering is real. We believe this technological breakthrough is already making a real difference to them and internet users across the world.

IWF Reporting Portal – helping other countries

Some countries don’t already have a reporting hotline, such as we provide in the UK.

Our IWF Reporting Portal is designed to enable other countries to provide their citizens with somewhere to report online images of child sexual abuse confidentially.

Reports made through IWF Reporting Portals (by that country’s citizens) are assessed by our experienced analysts. We then take action on those reports using the same processes already in place for UK reports.

IWF Reporting Portals have already been established in Uganda and Mauritius and we’re developing portals for several other countries.

High level competition

There’s strong competition in this year’s Safety category so along with the UK Safer Internet Centre we’re pleased to see IWF Members Exa Networks and Schools Broadband shortlisted for their excellent work. Together, we’re making a real difference.

The winner will be announced at a ceremony on 7 July 2016.

Ends


About IWF

We make the internet a safer place. We help victims of child sexual abuse worldwide by identifying and removing online images and videos of their abuse. We search for child sexual abuse images and videos and offer a place for the public to report them anonymously. We then have them removed. We’re a not for profit organisation and are supported by the global internet industry and the European Commission.

About the UK Safer Internet Centre

The UK Safer Internet Centre is coordinated by a partnership of three leading organisations; Childnet International, the South West Grid for Learning and the Internet Watch Foundation. It is co-funded by the European Commission's Safer Internet Programme and is one of the 31 Safer Internet Centres of the Insafe network. The centre has three main functions: an Awareness Centre, a Helpline and a Hotline.

ISPA Awards

Full details of the ISPA Awards shortlist can be found here.

Report here