The Government understand that 95 per cent. of consumer broadband connections are covered by blocking mechanisms that use the IWF list. Since 2004, blocking of these sites on consumer broadband in the UK has gone from nothing to 95 per cent. thanks to the work carried out by industry and the IWF.
The IWF processed more reports in 2007 than in 2006; however fewer reports were confirmed to contain child sexual abuse content which may be an indicator of the effectiveness of the voluntary blocking arrangements put in place by many UK service providers. The blocking initiative is designed to reduce the occasions when innocent internet users might accidentally be exposed to traumatic and unlawful images, diminish the re-victimisation of children by restricting opportunities to view their sexual abuse and disrupt the accessibility and supply of such content to those who may seek out such images.
The Government encourage people who are inadvertently exposed to child abuse images to report the URL to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). Ninety-five per cent, of consumer broadband connections are now covered by blocking, based on the IWF's list of known child sexual abuse URLs. Since 2004, blocking of these sites on consumer broadband in the UK has gone from nothing to 95 per cent. thanks to the work carried out by industry and the IWF. The number of sites hosted in the UK, potentially containing child abuse images is less 0.4 per cent., down from 18 per cent. in 1997.
There are difficulties in removing sites which originate outside of the UK's jurisdiction. The IWF 2007 annual report shows the longevity of some child sexual abuse sites and how they avoid detection by moving servers. This is a challenge for law enforcement because these sites hop between jurisdictions to avoid being closed down.
This issue might be taken up by the new UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS).