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Tuesday, 8 January, 2002, 21:15 GMT
Porn watchdog chief stands down
Girls sitting by PC
The IWF helps protect children on the net
By BBC News Online's Jane Wakefield

The head of the UK's Internet Watch Foundation, David Kerr, is to stand down as chief executive after five years in the job.

The IWF is the UK's only internet pornography watchdog and has played an important role in many of the police investigations into online porn rings, including the recent Operation Landmark, the biggest online raid to date, which resulted in 130 arrests across the globe.

Kerr will leave in March in order to spend more time with his family.

"It is a pretty intensive job and I feel that five years is long enough," he explains.

'Shining example'

The IWF was set up by the Internet Service Providers' industry in 1996 in response to the growing problem of child pornography on the internet and has spawned many copycat organisations across the world.

It receives about 300 reports of illegal sites and newsgroups every week and all information is passed directly to the police.

David Kerr
David Kerr is proud of his achievements
Kerr is proud of the job he has done and thinks the IWF has been a shining example of how the internet industry can regulate itself with limited government intervention.

"The work we started has fed into government thinking and culminated in the Home Office taskforce and the Wise Up To The Net campaign.

"It has also led to recognition in government of the need for specialist police resources for the net and illustrated the value worldwide of self-regulation bodies," he says.

In a word of advice to his successor, Kerr claims it is time the organisation moves on. "For the next phase, the shift needs to be taken away from simply removing illegal content to a wider involvement in child safety on the net."

See also:

03 Dec 01 | England
Net paedophile threat highlighted
15 Jun 01 | Sci/Tech
Internet pioneer honoured
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