Home Business IT Networking 80 percent of Internet child porn victims under 10 years old
The true horror of Internet child pornography has been revealed by the Internet Watch Foundation, a UK organisation that works with law enforcement agencies to help prevent such abuse. Be warned, this story does not make for happy reading...

The Internet Watch Foundation is a British organisation that works closely with the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre and other law enforcement agencies to encourage the reporting of child porn online.

It helps Internet Service Providers and web hosting companies within the United Kingdom to combat the abuse of their networks by paedophiles by way of a national 'notice and take down' service to alert them to potentially illegal content.

Beyond this, IWF also provides data to law enforcement agencies both in the UK and abroad to help assist with investigations into the distribution of such illegal content.

A new survey by the IWF has shown that less than 1 percent of child porn can be traced back to UK servers, so much of its work is in facilitating an industry-led block list initiative to protect users from inadvertent exposure.

That new survey, published to coincide with IWF Awareness day, also reveals the truly shocking statistic that 80 percent of the children featured in these sickening images accessed by the IWF are under 10.

33 percent are under 3, and 10 percent are under 2.

Such figures make you appreciate why the Internet Watch Foundation itself does not refer to these collectively as being child pornography or kiddie porn, as it insists that these terms just serve to legitimise images which are not pornography.

Instead, it says that they are actually permanent records of children being sexually abused and as such should be referred to as 'child sexual abuse images.' To be honest, semantics and language aside, it does not matter what you call them: this is a sickening and evil trade that needs to be policed and prevented.

So what else did the Internet Watch Foundation research reveal? More shocking statistics on page 2...

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There was more bad news from the IWF survey, not least that 77 percent of UK adult Internet users who have stumbled across these images of children being sexually abused actually have no idea what to do about it.

Yet 71 percent say that the availability of such paedophile fodder online is their top Internet related concern. Obviously more needs to be done to balance these figures, more needs to be done to ensure the public know how to properly and safely report such filth.

Peter Robbins OBE, the IWF Chief Executive, agrees: "Internet consumers should know that if they do stumble across these images then it's vital to report them to the IWF; we have international partnerships in place to get these websites removed."

It isn't that the IWF is not having an impact upon child porn as initiatives like the voluntary blocking in the UK of child sexual abuse websites by online companies are helping to reduce inadvertent access to content hosted abroad. In 2007 there was a 10 percent decrease in confirmed websites depicting child sexual abuse.
 
Yet only 27 percent of those surveyed knew that this dynamic blocking takes place, while 94 percent think unrestricted access to all content on the Internet is important. In actual fact, 95 percent of the UK population with residential broadband connections are protected this way.

Other statistics to come from this report include the disturbing news that 50 percent of all child sexual abuse websites known to IWF depict the most brutal and severe levels of abuse, with the IWF identifying 2755 overseas 'core' child sexual abuse websites last year alone.

Message to UK users: if you discover child sexual abuse content online, please report it to the IWF www.iwf.org.uk while being aware that UK law protects your right to report such content without being labelled a paedophile yourself. The IWF does warn, however, that "anyone taking it upon themselves to seek out or investigate this kind of material where there is no legitimate duty to do so will be liable to prosecution."

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