Feeds

UK telcos chuck another £1m at online child abuse watchdog

Web enforcers IWF gain power to seek and destroy illegal content

High performance access to file storage

Britain's largest ISPs have agreed to contribute a further £1m to the Internet Watch Foundation, following a meeting with Culture Secretary Maria Miller about child sex abuse images and videos found online.

BT, BSkyB, Virgin Media and TalkTalk will collectively stump up the extra cash over the next four years. Each telco thus has increased its annual donation to the IWF to £62,500, from previously dropping sums of over £20,000 per year into the organisation's charity bucket.

In a joint statement the companies said:

This additional funding will supplement the existing zero tolerance approach to child abuse material online, adding to the existing contributions that each company makes both in relation to the ongoing battle against illegal material online, and investment in technology and awareness raising to help parents protect children in the online world.

The ISPs have agreed to work with the IWF to review its activities and see if its work of blocking images of child sex abuse can be even more effective.

BT et al added that they would continue to work closely with the government's Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), whose budget is down 10 per cent.

Meanwhile, the Internet Service Providers' Association, which represents the UK's big four ISPs and many smaller ones, reiterated that the industry was doing all it could to battle illegal material hosted in Britain. It noted:

ISPA helped found the Internet Watch Foundation to tackle images of child abuse and criminally obscene adult content, and works with law enforcement and industry to block and remove child abuse content.

Images hosted in the UK can be removed in under an hour from being first reported, and content hosted abroad can be blocked in less than ninety minutes. Industry will continue to work with the IWF, law enforcement and others in this important area.

While it is illegal for anyone to actively seek child pornography, the IWF today told Channel 4 News that it now has the power to actively search for illegal content, enabling it to report offending sites to police and ISPs for further action.

ISPA said that, for content which is not illegal, the industry was making "filtering tools more widely available to their customers, putting them in control of what occurs on their connection."

In May, BT and Virgin Media publicly stated for the first time that they would bring in network-level filters to allow subscribers to block unfavourable content such as porn. BSkyB announced earlier this year that it would offer such a system, while TalkTalk has been peddling its Homesafe product to its customers since 2011.

It has been wrongly reported elsewhere that such filtering - at this stage - would force broadband customers to have to declare that they wish to opt out of viewing smut and other supposedly controversial web content.

At present, the ISPs are insisting on sticking to an "Active Choice" self-regulatory code that falls short of government intervention.

Miller, meanwhile, claimed to the BBC at lunchtime today that the IWF would move from being "reactive" to "proactive". The Cabinet minister said the change would mean "it can actively seek out the images that people find abhorrent."

She dismissed assertions that the government - having slashed CEOP's budget by 10 per cent - was failing in the safeguarding of children. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.