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IWF Touts Triumphs

Porn Net Watchdog Touts Triumphs


The number of child abuse images on UK computers has fallen sharply, the
Internet Watch Foundation has said. 

In its annual report, the net watchdog said the amount of illegal content
hosted in the UK was now less than 1%, compared with 18% in 1997. 

The industry-founded body said the fall was due to good links with net
providers and the police. 

But the watchdog said it was receiving more reports of potentially illegal
content than last year. 

The IWF was conceived as the internet industry's own self-regulated body to
deal with illegal net content and avoid police intervention. It is largely
funded by internet service providers. 

Its annual report for 2003 shows that its efforts to reduce the amount of
suspect content online are paying off. 

The IWF said that less than 1% of potentially illegal content was now hosted
by internet service providers (ISPs) in the UK, while in Europe the figure
was down from 18% to 6%. 

By contrast, the body said more than half of the child abuse content was
hosted in the US, while 23% was traced to Russia. 

It means that the bulk of illegal material is now outside of the reach of 
the IWF and UK law enforcement agencies, which can only control material
hosted in the Britain. 

"The partnership between the IWF and the ISPs, telcos, mobile/software
industries, police and government is an outstanding success story," said
Peter Robbins, IWF Chief Executive. 

But at the same time, the watchdog said it had processed some 20,000
complaints in 2003, a 9% increase on the previous year. 

This amounts to 80 reports of potentially illegal content every day and the
foundation warned this looked set to rise. 

"The IWF has contributed to a dramatic reduction in potentially illegal
content in Britain since its inception in 1996," said the e-commerce 
minister Stephen Timms. 

"We continue to support its work across international borders by urging 
other countries to follow this very successful model."

- SCHRADE in Akron

The Council For Secular Humanism