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back to article Google donates £1m to child abuse charity ahead of Whitehall meeting

Google has donated £1m to the Internet Watch Foundation, after the ad giant had previously dropped tiny annual payments of around £20,000 into the child sex abuse charity's collection bucket. The move comes ahead of a meeting in Whitehall between Culture Secretary Maria Miller and a number of US-based internet companies …

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Internet Watch Foundation

Is not a child abuse charity, they do not help abused children. They publish a list of websites that they don't like.

It's like saying Mary whitehouse's National Viewers and Listerners Association is an anti-war charity because they don't like swearing on TV

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Anonymous Coward

'They publish a list of websites that they don't like.'

Great. Just what we needed more internet smoke and mirrors!

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Re: Internet Watch Foundation

"they do not help abused children"

In that regard, they are just like all 'child abuse' charities.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Internet Watch Foundation

"In that regard, they are just like all 'child abuse' charities."

....In our black humoured world what you wrote was pretty funny!

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Are there 'other' IWFs?

I've never looked into the remit of the IWF.

Are they UK based?

Are there other similar agencies around the world?

Do other-national ISPs use the IWF list for their filtering?

If other "IWFs" exist, do they share their lists?

Or are the UK based IWF being the international censor for this stuff?

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Re: Are there 'other' IWFs?

Yes they are UK based.

They are a charity so there is no government or official oversight over what they say should be banned. There is no need for them to disclose any backers, funders or political ideology. There is no reason for an ISP to use their list other than a Daily Mail backlash if they don't.

You could just as easily decide that Greenpeace, or CND, or the Socialist Workers Party should publish a list and you should use that.

Other countries have their own groups of citizens concerned about the children. Some of these groups also don't like gays, or abortion, or breastfeeding - you have no way of knowing what their agenda is because the lists are secret.

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FAIL

Politicians don't seem to understand

This stuff came up on "Any Questions" on Radio 4 last week. There was something about it a couple of weeks ago too.

Peter Hain seems to hold Google (and maybe Bing) responsible for the content of the entire internet. It seemed to be his opinion that Google - a search engine and indexer - ought to be taking down dodgy sites. He doesn't seem to realise this is like asking the yellow pages to shut down street drug dealers.

Some of the other panellists seemed to be under the impression that the smart people of silicon valley ought to have a solution to it all.

None of them seems to realise that the smart people are the ones creating the secure networks that get abused by these freaks, for reasons of protecting freedom of speech and preventing government interference in the first place.

So don't look for anything useful to come out of this. The UK government will probably blame google for not wiping their arse too.

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Re: Politicians don't seem to understand

I don't know if it is terminal stupid or willful ignorance but 'they' have a rather tenuous grasp of technology as a whole.

Our town council chairman was excited last year because the far side of town was getting 'high speed Google' this summer. I just blinked slowly and stared. I didn't have the heart to correct the guy.

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Re: Politicians don't seem to understand

I recognise a common political ploy:

1. Demand that an industry Do Something. Don't ask anything specific. Don't ask them to do something actually practical - the more impossible the demand, the better.

2. When nothing is done (for there is nothing they can do), use this lack of action to justify passing new laws and regulations. It's easier politically to push through if you first show self-regulation doesn't work.

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Internet Watch Foundation

Deciding what's acceptable for you to look at since 1996.

(If you don't remember, this was the organisation that effectively cut off access to the Wayback Machine, and blocked access to wikipedia because of a Scorpions album cover.)

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Anonymous Coward

would I be wrong to suggest

that google's "demonstrating moral leadership" to the tune of a large cheque - which might make the IWF their friend - is because in their eyes its cheaper than trying to get influence via MPs. The latter currently being on high alert against accepting even the most innocuous of "fact-finding trips" lest allegations of lobbying be cast upon them.

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Trollface

>Internet Watch Foundation

They do a good job.

Remember the time they blocked Wikipedia to protect us from that album cover?

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Anonymous Coward

Mission Creep

I read an article on the BBC new website last week in regards to filtering out pornography. The article was poorly written in the fact that it kept jumping from censoring legal consensual adult pornography to the filtering of child porn. Lots of the media haven't got a clue on what they are talking about, never mind the politicians. And thats not including the Daily Mail readers.

My main concern in chucking shedloads of money at a perceived problem (yes perceived, because Google and IWF already do the job, once made aware), is that in time, mission creep will set in under the guise of child porn/terrorists.

Just look at the blocking of torrent sites from the MAFIAA

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Anonymous Coward

At least Google donating money to the IWF will make ministers ask

WHAT THE HELL IS THE IWF

Money seems to be the only thing they take notice of

Well done Google and well done the IWF

(I've read that article about how what they see screws them up proper. They look at it so we don't have to)

I'm not a fan of censorship, but the IWF is more right than wrong in my opinion

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"WHAT THE HELL IS THE IWF"

It's a modern version of the old Watch Committee - and about as reliable.

Hopefully having this amount of money at their disposal will encourage them to be more public in their stupidity, and attract more attention - this should result in it either sticking to what it's supposed to be doing, or legislated out of existance (I don't disagree that something like it is needed, just disagree with the way it operates in a highly non-transparent manner. Access to a watford rugby club was blocked for T-mobile users thanks to the IWF adding it to their blocklist and that's only one of many reports I've seen)

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Happy

IWF

IWF check complaints from the public against a checklist of ILLEGAL material and if they judge it ILLEGAL, they simply advise ISPs, Phone cos and Web sites that their is in-their-judgement, illegal material at a site. It is up to the service provider if they take it down or not.

IWF may inform the police if a service provider does not take it down.

It is neither a censer, nor a court room!

It allows the public a single clearing house for complaints regarding ILLEGAL material and provides the service providers with a simgle filter for getting ILLEGAL material off their sites. Thus keeping the CEO out of court!

This is an eligant solution to ONE problem, but then I designed it and got an OBE for the trouble!

Founder IWF

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Re: IWF

That's the really clever part.

They aren't official so there is no official process or review.

An ISP gets told to block an entire website (like wikipedia, or akamai) because of a single complaint from an unknown person. The ISP doesn't have to do this of course - it can explain to the Daily Mail why it is a fan of child porn.

It's secret censorship by "concerned citizens" - exactly the same problem of official response to an unofficial body that you have with ACPO.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: IWF

I'm going to call bullshit on this one.

So, IWF advises companies that "in-their-judgement" illegal material is contained in a site. So IWF offer an opinion. Their opinion is, this site contains illegal content, and if you don't block it, we may report this to the police. So, opinion and coercion? You don't have to block this site, because we say it should be blocked, but if you don't, we may be reporting you to the police or maybe just set some frothy daily mail readers on you?

So you are not a censor? You just say "That should be blocked, OR ELSE!" but that doesn't make you a censor? Who else makes statements like "Do what I want, or ELSE!".... ?

And your standards for judgement are what exactly? Do you only use legal guidelines, as a court would, for instance? Can I see into any part of the decision making process? Are you transparent?

Do you attempt to discuss the matter with the site first? Is there a resolution process? What about when you are wrong, what is your procedure for that? Compensation for the wrongly blocked site? Do you accept any responsibility? To who are you accountable?

Finally, are you remunerated for your time? How much? What benefits do you take from the position? How may I judge value for money? Am I even welcome to do so?

The only people who should be deciding on the legality of a site and its content should be the Police and the CPS. And incidentally, the CPS have the means to do something about it.

This is just another form of corporate or charity welfare. You have created yourself a job, that should already be covered by the Police and CPS. Failure by those organisations is a separate issue. And seriously, you were awarded an OBE for it? Still, I suppose it keeps you from hanging around street corners in a hoodie.

Anon, 'cos, well, do I really want to attract the ire of an unacountable group that can make 'those' kind of allegations and threats?

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FAIL

£1m. Peanuts!

Think how much money goes through the interwebs for porn, of every kind.

And think how much of that finds its way to the the companies who provide the search engines, of which Google is by far the biggest. $50 BILLION turnover.

£1m < 1/30000th of that

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WTF?

> £1m. Peanuts!

Still a million too much. By giving the IWF money, Google have just announced that they are perfectly OK with silent censorship of the internet by an unaccountable non-governmental organisation. So much for 'Do No Evil'.

> Think how much money goes through the interwebs for porn, of every kind.

And how much is for baked beans? Equally relevant to the IWF's remit, which is (supposed to be) purely about child abuse.

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