Watchdog International opens UK office to spread message and technology about blocking abuse images

Watchdog International has opened its first office in Europe to help drive the blocking of obscene images.

The office will be run by Peter Milford who has been appointed country manager. He previously worked for the medium-sized ISP NewNet and provided regulatory and compliance advice and guidance for all legal notifications and responses.

He also has extensive experience in education and in managing large-scale trans-national projects, including institutions in a number of European countries.

Watchdog International's research into the deployment of filtering services suggests that fewer than 45 ISPs in the UK have to date implemented a system that blocks access to illegal child sexual abuse image material. Over 400 ISPs do not currently have such a system in place.

It also claimed that of the 150 ISPs specialising in providing internet services to business, just seven per cent currently implement filtering to prevent access to illegal content in the workplace.

Milford said: “To date the UK internet industry has had an excellent track record of fighting illegal content on the internet, exemplified by the establishment of the Internet Watch Foundation. We must now learn lessons from the excellent work that New Zealand has undertaken to combat the distribution of child sexual abuse images on the internet.

“The New Zealand implementation does not distinguish between business or residential connections as participating ISPs filter all connections.”

The new office will manage the UK promotion of Watchdog International's NetClean WhiteBox, a one-size-fits-all internet blocking and filtering service. It claimed that it offers an effective solution for the more than 400 UK broadband suppliers who feel there are barriers to implementing technical solutions to block access to websites known to contain child sexual abuse images.

Watchdog International managing director, Peter Mancer, said: “Child protection is at the centre of everything Watchdog International does but until now there has been no one-size-fits-all technical method of blocking images of child sexual abuse.

“By making Peter Milford UK country manager we can use both his experience with UK ISPs and his knowledge of local and European internet regulation to promote the NetClean WhiteBox and its benefits to UK internet users.”

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