Nominet launches £200,000 online child safety fund

The money will be used to help child protection organisations stay one step ahead of threats to the safety of children online.

Joe Lepper | 6th Dec 19

Tech firm Nominet has launched a £200,000 fund to help protect children online

The Countering Online Harm Fund is being shared equally by the charity Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) and the National Crime Agency’s Child Exploitation Online Protection group.

The aim of the fund is to invest in tech innovation to help the two organisations pre-empt emerging online threats to children.

“Organisations established to protect children face a continuous challenge to keep pace with the actions of perpetrators,” said Nominet Chief Executive Russell Haworth.

“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.”

Cutting edge technology

IWF Chief Executive Susie Hargreaves added: “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.”

In March, it emerged that more than 5,000 online grooming offences have been recorded by police in the previous 18 months.

Instagram is one of the areas where police are seeing more activity by online predators.

The Countering Online Harm Fund is one of the latest charitable donations made by Nominet this year.

It is donating £1 for every domain it registers this month to the Samaritans. Last month it offered £500,000 in grants to youth and health charities to improve online support for those with mental health issues.