Bristol company slammed for hosting website popular with pedophiles
A Bristol-based web hosting company provides services to an image-sharing website popular with pedophiles, according to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) anti-online abuse charity.
Zare, which provides services to help websites stay online, counted photo-sharing site Imgspice among its clients last month.
Imgspice is said to be “infamous” for hosting child pornography – more than 2,500 incidents of confirmed child pornography were found on the site last year, according to the IWF.
After being contacted by the IWF about Imgspice’s business, Zare severed ties with the website, but the IWF argued that internet hosting companies need to do better to control their customers.
In a statement, Zare’s parent company, Hydra Communications told the BBC: ‘The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) came to our attention on June 1, after which the service and account were immediately terminated.’
“Hydra Communications fully supports the IWF and we will continue to provide our full cooperation, working with the charity, industry at large and the police for a safer Internet.”
Imgspice is a repeat offender when it comes to hosting child pornography.
This year, investigators have already found 1,500 web pages containing sexual abuse of children, mostly girls aged 11 to 13, on the Seychelles-based website.
If a downloader’s content is popular enough on the site, advertising money can be rewarded for the user, allowing pedophiles to profit from their abuse.
“At the root of it all, someone, somewhere is profiting financially from rape and child sexual abuse,” said IWF Executive Director Susie Hargreaves.
“That’s what is at the heart of it all.
“If you have a business that hosts content, you need to make sure that you don’t facilitate the dissemination of images and videos of this abuse.
‘It’s that simple.
“Businesses need to be a lot more proactive in keeping their servers away from this hardware. “
By providing his services to Imgspice of hosting a website’s files and delivering them to users online, Zare has come under fire for facilitating the for-profit abuse pipeline.
Imgspice is said to be “notorious” for its use by predators, according to the IWF.
While Imgspice has not denied the volume of abusive content from children on the site, the company said the volume of abusive content could have come from a jealous rival trying to damage its reputation.
The UK has already been found to host 0.1% of global child sexual abuse material.
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