The IWF has decided to start issuing take-down notices directly to foreign hosting where it finds child abuse images.
Until now the IWF relied on foreign partner hotlines and law enforcement agencies when it discovers child abuse images hosted on foreign hosting services. This has been strongly criticised as resulting in slow take-down times.
The IWF's web page describing their blocking initiative has been updated :
We consider removal at source to be the most effective way of combating child sexual abuse images online and other criminal content within our remit which has been almost eradicated from UK networks. [...] Whilst child
sexual abuse images hosted abroad remain available, the UK internet industry has voluntarily agreed to block access to them using a list provided by the IWF. We consider blocking to be a short-term disruption tactic which can help protect
internet users from stumbling across these images, whilst processes to have them removed are instigated.
In a major blow for the Government, Britain's largest children's charity, the NSPCC, criticised the regulations for parent helpers which it said threatened perfectly safe and normal activities and risked alienating the public.
Esther Rantzen, the founder of the Childline charity; paediatricians; teachers; children's authors; politicians and members of the public also joined the growing coalition opposing the Vetting and Barring Scheme, which could lead to one in four
adults being screened.
Barry Sheerman, Labour chairman of the Commons' children and families select committee condemned the way the policy was being implemented and demanded that Children's Secretary Ed Balls get a grip on this.
Next month parents in England and Wales who take part in any formal agreement to look after children – even if it is as little as once a month – will be told they have to register with the new Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) – at a cost of
£64. From next summer, parents who have failed to register with the ISA could face prosecution.
Critics claim parents will be wrongly labelled as criminals. Others fear that those who currently give up their time to help out in schools and clubs could give up rather than go through the hassle of registering.
Wes Cuell, director of services for children and young people for the NSPCC, said: The warning signs are now out there that this scheme will stop people doing things that are perfectly safe and normal, things that they shouldn't be prevented
When you get this degree of public outcry there is generally a good reason for it. I think we are getting a bit too close to crossing the line about what is acceptable in the court of public opinion. We don't want to throw the baby out with the