New release! IWF launches podcast on the effects end-to-end encryption could have in the fight against child sexual abuse imagery

30 Jun 2023 UK SIC

The introduction of end-to-end encryption to messaging apps could increase the amount of child sexual abuse images and videos circulating online, warns the Internet Watch Foundation in a new podcast.

The podcast episode titled Nowhere to Hide? warns of the dangers this technology poses as it would make it more difficult for organisations like the Internet Watch Foundation to find and remove criminal child sexual abuse content, enabling offenders’ activities to go undetected online.  

These risks could be minimised by implementing appropriate safeguards when deploying this technology, so platforms can simultaneously prevent their services from being abused by offenders to upload and share child sexual abuse imagery online, while also protecting user privacy.

The podcast is part of the In Conversation With series, exploring the technological and political issues surrounding the global spread of child sexual abuse material. 

Dan Sexton, Chief Technical Officer at the IWF, said: “It is very concerning for the IWF. Our mission, our vision, is a safer internet for all, and that the internet is free of child sexual abuse material.

“A big part of how we achieve that mission is providing data on known images and videos to industry so they can detect and block that content, prevent it from being uploaded, saved, shared, distributed and, right now, no one is doing that in end-to-end encrypted messaging services. And that is deeply concerning for us.”

Read the full article here and listen to the episode at

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