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The Internet Watch Foundation and Netintelligence

14/12/12

Working to remove child sexual abuse content on the internet

The unfolding of the Jimmy Savile scandal in the UK and its effect on public awareness around the issue of child sexual abuse has reinforced the importance of protecting our children and young people. Netintelligence’s parent company iomartcloud is a member of the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), which works to remove images and videos of child sexual abuse from the internet and as such is a strategic partner for the IWF in its battle to eliminate such content online.
We met with the IWF recently to discuss our work and our partnership and get an update on the positive work the IWF is doing to remove these images from the internet, help rescue young victims and stop criminal gangs profiting from the sale of images of child sexual abuse online.

IWF CEO Susie Hargreaves visited our Glasgow headquarters and was impressed by the success of our web filtering software in blocking unsuitable content from being accessed in offices, schools and homes throughout the UK. Twice a day a team of highly trained IWF analysts provides a list of web pages containing child sexual abuse content. These lists are then incorporated into our software to ensure that those sites cannot be accessed.

“The IWF is only able to do its work because of the great partnerships we have with companies like Netintelligence’s parent company iomartcloud. The UK is now a hostile place for hosting this content because of the determination of our Members to protect their users,” says Susie. “Without this collective effort, the IWF would not be as successful as it is in removing and disrupting the distribution of online child sexual abuse images and videos.”

The majority of the IWF’s funding is from its Members and the charity works with the police including the the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) and the European, UK and Scottish parliaments to help create a safer online environment. Since 2003, just 1% of child sexual abuse content is hosted in the UK, down from 18% in 1996 thanks to the work of the IWF and its Members.

There is to be no let-up in the work of the IWF; one current trend explored by them is of ‘harvesting’ sexually explicit, self-generated content of young people. This is the reposting of imagery that has been posted online by either young people, their friends or family onto websites carrying paedophilic content.

Support is everything and more than 50 Politicians from the UK and Europe have recently signed up to help the IWF fight online child sexual abuse.
“Our aim in 2013 is to work even harder with our partner companies, parliamentarians and the wider online industry to remove criminal content that appears on websites hosted outside of the UK as well as inside the UK,” explains Susie Hargreaves.

Netintelligence is the first (and so far, only) web filtering software to have been awarded the Child Safety Online Kitemark (PAS 74:2008). We will be playing our part to ensure that it continues to block websites that break the law.

The IWF runs the UK hotline to report websites that host criminal content relating to the sexual abuse of children.  Reports can be made anonymously via their website at www.iwf.org.uk/report
For more information about the work of the Internet Watch Foundation, visit www.iwf.org.uk

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