Nominet establishes Countering Online Harm Fund to help tackle child exploitation

5th December 2019


NCA-CEOP and IWF funded to help rapid response to emerging threats

Today Nominet announces its Countering Online Harm Fund for tech-innovation. The fund will offer child protection networks additional resources to respond to the ever-changing threats that can devastate children’s lives.

As part of Nominet’s public benefit programme, the fund will grant £200,000 this year to support the best-placed organisations – the National Crime Agency’s Child Exploitation Online Protection group (NCA-CEOP) and the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). It is designed to ensure simple and rapid access to the funds – £100,000 each – giving them the freedom and flexibility to plan ahead and pre-empt emerging threats.

Russell Haworth, Nominet CEO, said: “Organisations established to protect children face a continuous challenge to keep pace with the actions of perpetrators.  This funding will mean they can fast-track research and ideas that could prove vital in identifying and tackling emerging threats before they become widespread.”

Eleanor Bradley, MD of Registry Solutions and Public Benefit at Nominet says: “Our Countering Online Harm Fund is designed to help our partners build and develop tech solutions and draw on external expertise without red tape slowing progress. They’ll be able to draw down on this money when necessary, to support research, initiatives and digital development programmes that enable them to help counter online harm.

“This is about freeing up partners to use their experience and judgement to think further ahead and identify how technology can help them in the race against those who are intent on causing harm online.”

NCA threat leadership director Rob Jones said: “Child sexual abuse is among the most significant threats affecting vulnerable young people in the UK and overseas. The NCA is seeing an increase in the severity, scale and complexity of CSA offending, and a direct link between offenders viewing images and going on to commit contact abuse. This Nominet fund will play a crucial role in helping us continue to target online predators and protect their intended victims.”

IWF CEO Susie Hargreaves OBE, said: “We’re at the forefront of tackling online images and videos of children being sexually abused. Every five minutes our highly trained analysts find such an image and get it removed from the internet. But we also develop and use cutting edge technology to stay one step ahead; if abusers innovate, we need to innovate faster.

“This fund is vital to help us build a safer internet for everyone, but especially children. It will help us in ways that we’ve not been afforded until now – it’s a fantastic initiative and one that could make a vital difference to the lives of many, many children.”

Nominet operates at the heart of the UK internet infrastructure, responsible or the .UK domain for over 20 years. It works with government and law enforcement agencies to help protect internet users from criminality online, and as a profit with a purpose company, supports public benefit initiatives that contribute to a vibrant digital future. It has donated over £47 million to tech for good causes since 2008, benefitting more than 10 million people.

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For more information please contact:

Nominet Press Office, Brands2Life, +44 (0)20 7592 1200, [email protected]

About Nominet

Nominet is driven by a commitment to use technology to improve connectivity, security and inclusivity online. For over 20 years, Nominet has run the .UK internet infrastructure, developing an expertise in the Domain Name System (DNS) that now underpins sophisticated threat monitoring, detection, prevention, and analytics that is used by governments and enterprises to mitigate cyber threats.  www.nominet.uk.

About Nominet’s Public Benefit programme

Our public benefit programme aims to improve the lives of one million people, providing support and opportunities to tackle some of the most important digital issues facing young people in the UK today.

We believe in a UK that is connected, inclusive and secure. Our public benefit strategy drives this ambition, formalising our social impact with a focus on initiatives that promote greater connectivity, inclusivity and security. We work to create lasting improvements by targeting a range of emerging issues born out of our digital age, such as online safety and digital inclusion. We also address long-standing social challenges in which technology can play a pivotal role. https://www.nominet.uk/tech-for-good/public-benefit/

About Internet Watch Foundation (IWF)

We make the internet a safer place. We help victims of child sexual abuse worldwide by identifying and removing online images and videos of their abuse. We search for child sexual abuse images and videos and offer a place for the public to report them anonymously. We then have them removed. We’re a not for profit organisation and are supported by the global internet industry and the European Commission.

For more information please visit www.iwf.org.uk.

The IWF is part of the UK Safer Internet Centre, working with Childnet International and the South West Grid for Learning to promote the safe and responsible use of technology.

The IWF works globally to stop child sexual abuse imagery on the internet. If you ever stumble across a sexual image or video of someone you think is under 18, please report to the IWF. Reporting can be done anonymously and confidentially – we don’t need your details, just your help.

About National Crime Agency Child Exploitation Online Protection (NCA-CEOP)

The National Crime Agency leads the UK’s fight to cut serious and organised crime, protecting the public by targeting and pursuing those criminals who pose the greatest risk to the UK. https://www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/  https://www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre/