The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), a self-regulating body of Internet service providers, has restructured and extended its remit in its fight against criminal content on the Internet.
The IWF's new role will include increasing the co-operation between European hotlines put in place for reporting and dealing with online criminal content, and participating in the creation of an international labelling and filtering scheme to protect children on the Net through the Internet Content Rating Association.
The IWF will also seek to stamp out racisim on the Internet using its self-regulatory approach. This comes as a result of a request last year by the Home Office for the IWF to expand its authority in this area.
"The IWF is a vital link between the industry, the police and the public in addressing the very real concerns on this issue, and the issue of racially inflammatory material," commented Lord Bassam, Home Office Minister.
"The government, with the help of the IWF, will continue to support freedom of expression. More importantly, it will continue to protect the public, especially the vulnerable," he added.
This statement was supported by the government's newly appointed E-Envoy, Allex Allen.
"The work of the IWF is essential if we are to encourage people to trust the technology - and trust is an essential pillar of ecommerce," he said.
The IWF claims that since its inception, it has been successful in removing 10,000 items related to child pornography.
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