CAMBRIDGE, England — The number of child porn websites globally is down almost 10 percent, according to the annual report from the UK-based Internet Watch Foundation.
While this is good news, the proliferation of such sites, unfortunately, still continues and the statics remain disturbing. The IWF study said 74 percent of child sexual abuse websites are commercial and sell images of children, while 69 percent of the child abuse images found online featured children thought to be 10 or younger.
"These websites, although reducing in number, represent an extremely serious problem," said IWF Chief Executive Peter Robbins in a statement.
The organization added that through its joint efforts with law enforcement, it has brought greater pressure bearing down on the commercial sites, often shutting them down within several hours of discovery, reports the UK's PCAdvisor.
But child protection groups worldwide offer a cautionary note, such as the Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection, whose Technology and Forensic Research Director Tim Henning told AVN.com the organization has arrived at findings similar to the IWF.
"ASACP has also noticed a statistically significant drop in the numbers of new, unique commercial child pornography websites over the past year to year-and-a-half. Due to my involvement with the Financial Coalition Against Child Pornography headed up by NCMEC, I know that this is true of the NCMEC hotline as well," Henning said. "The FCACP attributes this to the pressure that has been brought to bear by the financial members of the coalition in that it is far more difficult now for these websites to find immediate and viable billing options."
So, while the global report is certainly good news, it does not mean efforts to curb child porn should slow down in any way.
"I am thrilled that efforts of the FCACP, as well as international law enforcement, are making a dent in this horrific crime against the innocent," the ASACP's Henning told AVN.com. "However, there is much more work to be done in order to further reduce and hopefully eradicate this scourge from the Internet."