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once. If he doesn’t remove his shit, then he’ll gets warned again. Still not removing? Ok, let’s call in the police. This works.”248 Wouldn’t every criminal like a warning first?

Internet Watch Foundation

In 1996, Internet Service Providers in Great Britain launched the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), another self-regulatory approach. The Internet Watch Foundation aims to “enhance the enormous potential of the Internet to inform, educate, entertain and conduct business.” They recognize that illegal and offensive material on the Internet will harm their financial self-interest in the growth of the Internet. They launched the Internet Watch Foundation to hinder “the use of the Internet to transmit illegal material, particularly child pornography,” and encourage “the classification of legal material on the net in order to enable users to customize the nature of their experience of the Net to their own requirements.”249 Their goal is to tame and organize the Internet for maximum public acceptability and Internet Service Provider profits.

The Internet Watch Foundation’s first annual report was released in March 1998. In the first year the IWF received 781 complaints about 4,300 items on the Internet, resulting in the removal of 2,000 images from UK servers. Ninety-five percent of those images were of child sexual abuse (child pornography). IWF monitors 40 Usenet newsgroups out of the total 27,000 newsgroups on the Internet. The report said that only 6 percent of the child pornography originated from British Internet sites, while 63 percent came from the United States and 19 percent came from Japan. Two hundred reports of child pornography on web sites outside the UK were referred to the relevant country’s authorities. 250

In their second annual report, in February 1999, they reported that in 1998 they received 2,407 reports of illegal or offensive material. They judged 447 of these cases to be potentially illegal material. Of that number, 124 were cases on which they had previously taken action. The number of items referred to in all reported cases was 14,580. Action was taken on 10,548 items; 541 were reported to the Metropolitan Police because the items originated in the UK; 9,176 items were referred to the child pornography unit of the National Criminal Intelligence Service because they were located on servers outside the UK; and 9,498 items were referred to the Internet Service Providers. Of 464 referrals for potentially illegal materials, 430 were child pornography, 22 were adult pornography, and one was a financial scam. Of the 6,214 items on which they took action, 5,665 were found on Usenet newsgroups, 527 on web sites, 4 in chat rooms, 4 in email messages, and 14 were from offline sources. Only approximately 12 percent of the potentially illegal material originated in the UK. Almost one half of the material originated in the United States, 11 percent from Japan, and 14 percent from Europe. 251

The Internet Watch Foundation is working to create a rating system and a filter for Internet sites to protect children from viewing pornography.252 This rating system is not aimed at ending sexual exploitation or slowing the online sex industry, of course. It is only attempting to organize the content of the Internet so parents can prevent children from viewing pornography, but still make pornography and sex shows readily available to buyers.

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