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Anti-paedophile group targets child abuse sites

Calls for 'global attack'

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The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) has called for international cooperation to tackle a core of 2,755 foreign-hosted abuse sites that it says are responsible for the majority of images of children obtained by UK paedophiles.

In its annual report, released today, the consortium of ISPs and content providers argues that the challenge of combating the sexual abuse of children online is not insurmountable. The number of sites identified by the IWF is down ten per cent on last year.

IWF chief executive Peter Robbins said: "We believe that speculative figures can create a distorted picture of the scale of the problem of child sexual abuse websites. This year we have highlighted what we believe is a manageable number worldwide of such websites, known to us.

"A coordinated global attack on these websites could get these horrific images removed from the web and those responsible investigated."

Some 80 per cent of the IWF's 2,755 targets are commercial operations, which hop from web host to web host to evade investigators. The need for international teamwork, particularly with the US and Russia, was highlighted by news that less than one per cent of UK reports of images of child abuse were traced to domestic sources.

Seven UK paedophiles were successfully prosecuted using evidence supplied by the IWF last year. You can read the full report here. ®

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