The annual report of the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) has issued its annual report in which it cites illegal activities of hiding images of child abuse within websites which have the appearance of being ordinary web shops. The images are hidden within a specific section of the site even though the site looks legitimate at first glance. The Chief Executive of the IWF, Susie Hargreaves, said that this tactic certainly poses challenges for those with the responsibility of policing such material and, in many cases, the IWF had been alerted about some collections by members of the public who had come across them only by accident.
The annual report went on to say that the IF had been involved in 600 cases of this concealment technique although it had always been on sites from outside of the United Kingdom. The sites are able to sign up to banking and other commercial services which would normally be refused on the basis of peddling images of abuse.
Overall in 2011, the number of sites selling child abuse images was believed to have declined and those trying to make money out of selling images of abuse was certainly in decline.