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Uganda launches Portal with IWF

Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) and the Government of Uganda will today (Thursday 10 September) launch a Portal for Ugandan citizens to report child sexual abuse images and videos.

The launch is the culmination of two years’ work by a number of Ugandan and international bodies including the National Information Technology Authority (NITA), National Computer Emergency Response Team of Uganda (CERT.UG), Internet Society Uganda Chapter, Ministry of Internal Affairs and IWF.

The IWF Portal – an online child sexual abuse reporting solution – enables all Ugandan citizens to report their exposure to online child sexual abuse images or videos in a safe and confidential way. All reports will be assessed by IWF analysts in the same way they would assess any report to the IWF hotline.

The IWF is based in the UK but works internationally through a network of partners and operates one of the world’s most successful hotlines regarding the assessment and removal of child sexual abuse content.

IWF, together with the online industry, has created a hostile environment for hosting this type of criminal content in the UK. Ugandan authorities wish to create the same hostile environment to prevent the hosting, distribution and consumption of child sexual abuse imagery within their borders.

Fred Langford, IWF Deputy CEO said: “I congratulate Uganda in taking such proactive, positive steps in the fight against online child sexual abuse content.

“The benefits of the Portal to countries are multiple. For instance, it means people in Uganda will have a gold standard service to report child sexual abuse content to. Our analysts will then use their established networks with the online industry, other countries all over the world and the police to get that content removed from the internet.

“It is also a strong message to those who persist in attempting to distribute child sexual abuse images and videos; Uganda is hostile to this.”

Before the IWF was founded, 18% of the known worldwide child sexual abuse content was hosted in the UK. Since 2003 this has been less than 1%, and last year dropped to less than 0.3%.

IWF’s aim is to eliminate online child sexual abuse content worldwide by working with internet companies who can make a difference, and countries all over the world. Mauritius has been using the Portal for two years.

The launch is taking place in Kampala, Uganda, on Thursday 10 September at the Information Access Centre – Ministry of Information and Communications Technology.

The Executive Director of NITA-U, James Saaka, is enthusiastic that the partnership will provide an effective solution that leverages the IWF expertise and international collaboration to remove online child sexual abuse content and protect Ugandan citizens.

The Director of Information Security of NITA-U, Peter Kahiigi, emphasizes that the portal will be able to support the tracing and removal of criminal content, and will assist in investigations to prosecute offenders.

Find out more about the Portal: https://report.iwf.org.uk/ug/

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