US needs to step up fight against online child abuse

The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) has claimed that 50% of all online child abuse pictures can be traced back to the US in a recent report.

The IWF is keen to stress that the reason the country has such an alarming proportion of material is because the US has more ISPs than any other country, handling more web-traffic than any other country. The report found almost 5,000 sites containing indecent images of children, with 2,500 of them hosted in the US.

Next in line was Russia with 14.9%, Japan with 11.7% and Spain with 8.8%. Thailand (3.6%), South Korea (2.16%) and the UK (0.2%) trailed in last, whilst 7.5% fell into the "Other" category.

The US has already made attempts this year to tackle the problem, in April there were proposed new laws and in June a coalition of five large organisations (Microsoft, AOL, Yahoo, Earthlink United Online and The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children) met to outline their own ways in which to deal with the problem.

Despite the growing problem of online child abuse, it is important that the relevant authorities deal with the problem in a way that has little to no effect on the rest of the legal internet. Limiting users rights is not be the answer, but a greater offensive against known sites (some of which left online 5 years after being reported - IWF) would benefit the whole of the internet.

View: Internet Watch Foundation

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