Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Europe becomes ‘hub’ for child sexual abuse content


LONDON: Europe hosts the majority of child sexual abuse webpages, according to a report released by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) on Monday (Apr 3). The report by the UK body said Europe leads the list of regions with 60 per cent, followed by North America at 37 per cent. It also found that 92 per cent of all child sexual abuse URLs identified globally in 2016 were hosted in five countries: the Netherlands, (37 per cent), the US (22 per cent), Canada (15 per cent) followed by France (11 per cent) and Russia (7 per cent). Social networks are among the least abused site types according to the report, while image hosting sites and cyberlockers were the most abused services, according to the report. “Among the key findings of the report… 94 per cent of URLs were hosted on a free-to-use service where no payment was required to create an account or upload the content. “Criminals are increasingly using masking techniques to hide child sexual abuse images and videos on the internet and leaving clues to paedophiles so they can find it – hidden behind legal content,” the report added. “The shift of child sexual abuse imagery hosting to Europe shows a reversal from previous years,” said Susie Hargreaves, CEO of IWF. “Criminals need to use good internet hosting services which offer speed, affordability, availability and access. Services which cost nothing, and allow people to remain anonymous, are attractive.”

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