The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) is and independent self regulating body set up in 1996 to provide a secure and confidential way for the UK public and IT professionals to report criminal content online. They also work alongside the government, law enforcement and online industries to minimise the availability of this content.
It's main focuses are incitement to racial hatred content hosted in the UK, criminally obscene adult content hosted in the UK and child abuse images including non-photographic images hosted anywhere in the world.
As well as dealing with reports of the criminal content the IWF has a "notice and takedown" system which alerts Internet service providers to this content being hosted on their networks so it can be removed and provide a list of offending URLs to ISPs, mobile operators, search engines and content providers so as to interrupt and block access to the content.
They also work with the relevant bodies to deregister domain names used to distribute child abuse content.
In December 2008 there was controversial case involving the IWF and the Wikimedia Foundation. It was learned that at least six of the main ISPs in the UK had set monitoring and filtering mechanisms on websites run by the foundation because some of its sites were hosting an album cover by German rock band Scorpians.
The album titled Virgin Killer features a cover picture of an underage girl posing nude, with a lens crack covering her genitals but nothing covering her chest.