Internal Affairs Enhances Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System

The Digital Child Exploitation Filter is currently fully operational in New Zealand as well as Samoa and Tonga, and work is underway to extend it to the Cook Islands.


Devdiscourse News Desk | Wellington | Updated: 18-06-2024 12:04 IST | Created: 18-06-2024 12:04 IST
Internal Affairs Enhances Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System
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The Department of Internal Affairs (Department) is making a significant upgrade to its Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, announced Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.

“The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual abuse material provided by the Internet Watch Foundation, a UK-based not-for-profit organisation, into its existing filter,” stated Ms van Velden.

This enhancement will increase the number of blocked URLs from around 700 to up to 30,000 on any given day. The IWF filter is updated daily using both human analysis and artificial intelligence to identify webpages confirmed to host this illegal material. The Department is currently implementing the filter and expects to have it fully incorporated this year.

“This is a major step in preventing children from being retraumatised by having records of their abuse shared online, as well as preventing New Zealanders from viewing this material, including unintentional access by children,” added Ms van Velden.

The Digital Child Exploitation Filter is currently fully operational in New Zealand as well as Samoa and Tonga, and work is underway to extend it to the Cook Islands.

The filter specifically blocks criminal content confirmed to contain children. Other adult content, which is legal in New Zealand, will not be blocked.

“This criminal material has no place in New Zealand. It is abhorrent. I am pleased that the Department is taking steps to upgrade the filtering system to prevent more children from being harmed,” said Ms van Velden.

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