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    IWF CAID Taskforce

    We’re collaborating with the UK Government’s Child Abuse Image Database – CAID – to support law enforcement and help the tech sector find and remove copies of known child sexual abuse images online.

    IWF is the only non-law enforcement body in the world with access to the Child Abuse Image Database (CAID) as part of a collaboration to support law enforcement, and stop the upload, sharing and storage of known child sexual abuse images online.

    This work, in turn, benefits sexually abused children all over the world.

    In 2022, our six highly trained graders were increased to 14, plus two quality assurance staff. They have assessed, graded and hashed nearly two million images from the database.

    When we hash an image, we create a ‘digital fingerprint’. As standard, we hash all images using multiple algorithms, and due to our ability to store the imagery, we can retroactively add new algorithms as they are developed, keeping pace with the technology as it advances.

    We take pride in the quality of our work and the expertise of our staff. And we’ve gone over and above in the grading of these images so that we’re enriching each image and hash with additional metadata.

    This means we’re tagging the image with extra descriptions such as the estimated age of the victim and the type of sexual abuse that was taking place.

    By tagging them with this extra information, it makes them compatible with other legal jurisdictions around the globe, which is additionally uploaded back into CAID. By doing this work, it also makes it easier for technology companies to deploy these hashes through their services in different territories. This work means we have more chance of copies of that image being found and removed, and that image getting stopped from being uploaded, downloaded, or shared in the first place.

    As a result, we’re supporting the efforts of law enforcement in the UK, and global industry can better protect their customers, and better protect children whose abuse images are shared online. This gives peace of mind to victims who often live with the knowledge that footage of their abuse could be shared by criminals around the world.

    This work has been funded by Thorn and the UK Government’s Home Office and started in 2020.

    It was made technically possible by building IntelliGrade. The capabilities of IntelliGrade, alongside our training, allows us to make sure that the quality of our assessments is the focus of our work.

    Using IntelliGrade means that we can create hashes of more victims’ images than ever before; not only assessing images from CAID, but also wherever the IWF analysts find a criminal image, either through responding to public reports or our proactive work.