In order to combat this issue a number of countries have set-up national organisations dedicated to the detection of illegal online content such as child abuse images. These organisations work together with communications service providers (CSPs), law enforcement agencies and governments to combat the availability of this illegal content.
Many of these national organisations operate hotlines where members of the public can report websites, to produce lists of sites known to host illegal content on the Internet.
These lists are provided to CSPs to disrupt the distribution of the material, and prevent their subscribers from inadvertently stumbling across it.
One such organisation in the UK is the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). It was formed in 1996 following an agreement between the UK government, police and the internet service provider industry that a partnership approach was needed to tackle the distribution of child abuse images online.
The IWF produce the CAIC (Child sexual Abuse Images and Content) block list and operate the only authorised ‘hotline’ in the UK for the public to report child sexual abuse and criminally obscene adult content on the internet. Since the formation of the IWF less than 1% of identified child sexual abuse content is hosted in the UK, down from 18%.
We are proud to support the Internet Watch Foundation. Learn more about their work.