The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) are marking their 20th anniversary today with more than a quarter of a million online child abuse images successfully identified and removed from the internet within their 20 year history.
Dedicated to making the internet a safer place, the IWF help victims of child abuse worldwide, by identifying and removing online images of their abuse. Members of the public are also able to anonymously report any criminal content they come across online by using the IWFhotline.
At 11.21am on 21st October 1996, the very first report was made to the newly-formed IWF by telephone call, to a small room in a victorian house just outside of Cambridge. Since then 699,403 reports have been made and assessed by the IWF’s analysts, 281,781 of those showing the rape, torture and sexual abuse of children. In addition, the analysts have logged 125,583 ‘digital fingerprints’ also known as hashes, to their Image Hash List. The Image Hash List is shared with the online industry to help speed up the identification and removal of content worldwide, in order to actively protect and help victims of abuse. Top internet giants and IWF members, BT, Facebook, Google and Microsoft are amongst those using the game-changing technology.
IWF Chief Executive Officer, Suzie Hargreaves says: