IWF Finds Child Abuse On 2,000 Domains Including Over 400 New gTLDs In 2015

The UK’s Internet Watch Foundation found 68,092 URLs containing child sexual abuse imagery and hosted on 1,991 domains worldwide according to their latest annual report published Thursday.

Internet Watch Foundation IWF logoThe IWF, the UK online child sexual abuse charity, found these 68,092 URLs hosting child sexual abuse content were traced to 48 countries, which is an increase from 45 in 2014. And five top level domains (.com, .net, .ru, .org and .se) accounted for 91 percent of all webpages identified as containing child sexual abuse images and videos.

And for the first time the IWF saw these new gTLDs being used to share child sexual abuse imagery. The IWF believes many of these domains in new gTLDs have been registered specifically for that purpose.

The IWF took action on 436 websites in 2015 using new gTLD domains to share child sexual abuse material. 138 of these were disguised websites.

To assist registries and registrars that are members of IWF in taking down domain names that are used to host child sexual abuse content, the IWF has a Domain Alerts service to prevent abuse of their services by criminals attempting to share child sexual abuse imagery. This service appears to have commenced last year.

The service works through IWF analysts identifying new child sexual abuse images and videos. Domain registries or registrars are sent immediate alerts if any child sexual abuse material is discovered on any domains registered through or by them.

In the domain name business, members include Nominet, who provide registry services for .uk, .wales and .cymru, ICM Registry who operates .xxx, .adult and .porn, Afilias, GoDaddy, Rightside, names.co.uk and DotLondon.

The main finding of the report reveals a staggering increase in the number of reports of illegal child sexual abuse images and videos that the IWF removed from the internet last year.

68,092 reports were positively identified as containing illegal child sexual abuse imagery and taken down. This is a 417 percent increase in online confirmed reports over two years and an 118 percent increase in illegal child abuse imagery over the previous year.

Data from IWF’s 2015 Annual Report, show their analysts have seen a dramatic increase in reports. This is since Prime Minister David Cameron gave his approval for the IWF to start proactively searching for online child sexual abuse imagery in April 2014.

The IWF’s annual report is available for download from:
https://www.iwf.org.uk/accountability/annual-reports/2015-annual-report