back to article IWF: Good on child abuse...

The Internet Watch Foundation is coming of age. Over the last few years it has transformed from an organisation apparently focused on takedown figures and URL hit rates into something altogether more strategic and sophisticated, in line with the nature and scale of the problem it sees itself as dealing with. The headline …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Perhaps it is a good thing, morally

    But technically, it's appalling. Remember the Wikipedia blocking? Turns out that it's still behaving in a similar manner. One link on a domain means that all traffic to that domain is proxied - which doesn't use X-Forwarded-For and in turn means that sites on the filter list start to block the proxy IP address. In other words, block and you'll find that all other links become inaccessible due to daily limits being hit.

    Filter this stuff by all means, but please, find a bloody decent way of implementing it.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    And how much is traded on p2p networks...

    I wonder.... the IWF seems curiously reticent on this matter.

  3. Anonymous Coward


    Oh the wonders of this lot again. Has anyone stopped to think that this place is likely the #1 destination for the mentally disturbed when looking for jobs - a working day spent looking at child porn? Frankly that might explain why the guy in charge of it acts like such a 'tard. Next campaign up by them is likely something along the lines of outlawing children to protect children from being abused or the like. Then again, maybe they'll just go whine again about Facebook's only virtue - namely that they're not bowing to this lot of child-death-exploiters (re the child tricked into meeting with some pervert and murdered who wouldn't atall have been helped by their button but whom they like to pretend would have been saved by it in order to further their agenda).

  4. Annihilator

    Dream job

    Statistician at the IWF must be a dream job "we've blocked 7m images. Though I can't show you them or tell you what's been blocked. Can I get a bonus for our massive success please?"

  5. Bad Fish
    Thumb Down

    Complete waste of money

    So their idea of success is:

    The level of crime unchanged after 3 years.

    Crime driven into the hands of "big suppliers" (presumably the Russian Mafia; presumably untouchable )

    Only 0.2% of web sites dealt with.

    No mention of any prosecution of anybody for anything, let alone child abuse.

    And in return, we all get our internet access filtered by an unaccountable body with close links to the government.

  6. The Metal Cod

    Unanswered Questions About IWF

    The questions raised about the IWF regarding its status, its methods, its transparency (none), accountability (none), due process for when it gets things wrong (none) which were highlighted by the Scorpions album cover debacle have still yet to be properly answered. Noble aims should not protect them from the consequences of fouling up nor from the requirement to answer questions completely in an open and honest way.

    The IWF seems to think of itself as law enforcement. Yet it lacks the due processes and transparency that democratic law enforcement should have. If memory serves it has charitable status. This fact should be reported so everyone understands that law enforcement is (or is not depending on if you're BT or Phorm) carried out by the Police & CPS.

    1. Adrian 4 Silver badge
      Big Brother

      charity ?

      I believe the word you're looking for is 'Vigilante'.

  7. Mr Sceptical
    Big Brother

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

    There's a saying, "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter" and depending on your cultural and religious upbringing, some UK norms could be considered obscene, bizarre or disgusting. And who the hell are the IWF to judge?! I don't remember voting them into government - did the rest of you?

    Until they subject themselves to full public scrutiny and respond to the public will, they aren't anything but another special interests group regardless of what good they are trying to do.

    In an environment as diverse as the internet, to accept the blinkers of one organisation looking from a specific point of view strikes me as short-sighted at best, bloody stupid at worst.

    Like the great firewall of Oz, stupidity knows no bounds. We're heading for a society where you can't look at naked pictures of yourself as a baby cause they're now 'child porn' - idiots!

    Context, context, context people, that's what determines what is 'child porn' and what are merely embarrasing photos of your childhood.

    And until they put thoughtcrimes into UK law, they can kiss my ass if they think I'll change they way I tell good from bad.

    The producers of actual child porn make very good candidates for castration by wooden spoon though...

    1. Annihilator

      Say hello

      to the freakin' FCC...

      1. I didn't do IT.
        Big Brother

        Re: FCC

        Would be nice to have a governmental body that actually enforces freedom of connectivity, but the IWF are in the UK... not the US. So the FCC has no jurisdiction there.

        Of course, if we could *imply* that IWF was in some way a cover for an extremist group (blindly following dogmatic rules of morality... hmm...), then DoJ could start extradition proceedings.

        If IWF in some way impeded US commerce, it would be done in a fortnight...

  8. RMartin


    Its constantly amazing and depressing how stories about the IWF attract the worst sort of ignorant commentard. At least El Reg seems to be learning from its previous judgement errors in reporting on this topic and giving credit where it is due.

    1. Mr Sceptical

      More details please...

      Ignorant? Or just a different point of view? ;-)

      Right or wrong depends on your frame of reference. And the world's a pretty varied place...

    2. Doshu
      Thumb Down

      Amazing indeed!

      Yes, it indeed DOES seem to attract some, ahem, ignorant commentards.

      ... dang, no sarcasm tags...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Impressive :P

    "Forty-eight per cent of all child sexual abuse content reports processed (commercial and non-commercial) were traced to networks in North America; 44 per cent to Europe and Russia."

    Now I know organisations like this like exaggerating but I thought they might be able to count?

    So no child porn in the rest of the world and 102% in Europe and the USA.

    Well I'm sure we're all reassured by that eh?

    1. I didn't do IT.

      Re: 102%

      While I agree with your sentiment, I must abide by the laws of math.

      48% + 44% = 92%, not 102%

      That they may have accurately reported that they did nothing (racism, obscenity) for the millions spent still does not encourage confidence. Why go after the BNP when you have such soft targets that won't use political (legal and otherwise), monetary, and phyiscal influence to shut you down?

    2. David Harper 1

      Is this an example of the New Maths?

      When I was a lad, 48 plus 44 came to 92.

    3. asiaseen

      48+42 =?

      'nuff said...

    4. Anonymous Coward


      Check your maths.

    5. 46Bit


      Whilst I agree they're a bunch of idiots albeit it with a respectable aim perhaps, I think you'll find that 48 + 44 = 92, not 102...

    6. Peter Johnstone

      Grammar nazis.

      Looks like I can't count either! I always thought that 48 + 44 = 92.

      I bet nobody else spotted this because they were too busy checking the grammar.

    7. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  10. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    That US figure looks *weird*

    I know 1st amendment rights can cover a *lot* but given the Merkin's twichiness on CP (and even stuff that *suggests* it looks sort of *like* CP as in the "Max Hardcore" case) I find it *very* hard to believe that with so much content being sourced from US servers that the FBI haven't been knocking down doors.

    Re-direction proxies? CP serving botnets run on zombie PC's?

    I can't put my finger on it, but something's not quite right.

    1. Pablo

      North America != US

      But aside from that, I imagine much of that figure reflects Web2.0rhea, user generated content on various popular services (Facebook, MediaFire, 4chan... Wikipedia) the majority of which are US based. Remember this was supposed to be the number of reports, not totally amount of child porn, or number of "child porn sites". Some girl posts her boobs on MySpace and it could easily generate multiple reports, whereas the super secret pedophile ring doesn't have any.

      I am curious how much differing laws comes into play, though. Or just plain over-zealous reporting of things that aren't illegal anywhere.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Do you mean child porn?

    In this article you used the phrase "child sexual abuse material", or variations of it, no less than 10 times. Let's be honest here, these are the same people who blocked the Scorpions album cover. Was that girl being abused? No, she was just sitting there. Any sexual content was purely a subjective interpretation. They may have backed down on that one, but they didn't admit doing wrong. That picture met their standards perfectly.

    Even the IWF would be forced to admit, when pressed, that the actual standard they use has nothing to do with abuse. Their standard is "potentially illegal" under UK law. Which in turn, uses the standard (if you can call it that) of "indecency". Now to my mind, "indecent" does not go far as saying even "pornographic", and it certainly says nothing about abuse.

    So please, you report their statistics if you wish, but not their propaganda. There's already a perfectly good common term (child pornography) and a legal term (indecent images of children), so I see no need to use IWF's deliberately deceptive jargan.

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