Posts tagged celebration
On Wednesday the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) marked 15 years of combating child abuse material on the internet – and to set the ball rolling on plans for future expansion into Europe and beyond.
The landmark anniversary was highlighted by the presence of large numbers of politicians, industry bodies and campaigners. There were speeches from leading lights in media regulation, including founder member Peter Dawe, and new CEO Susie Hargreaves.
Several speakers pointed out that the IWF owed its existence, initially, less to a desire to protect children, as to a need to prevent leaders of the nascent internet industry from going to prison.
Online Child Safety Consultant, John Carr OBE suggested that the real impetus behind the IWF lay with two individuals: Inspector French, Head of the Met’s Obscene Publications Squad, who wrote to ISP owners back in the early 90’s warning them that he didn’t know what crime they were technically guilty of – but if they didn’t put their house in order in respect of child abuse material, he’d find a charge to fit; and Government Minister Ian Taylor, who told the industry that if no such crime existed, he would soon have one on the statute books.
A prime mover in setting up the IWF in 1996 was Peter Dawe. Unable to attend Wednesday’s event, he sent a video greeting from the Far East, congratulating the IWF on its progress – and suggesting that the time had come for it to spread its wings and to start to deal with other issues, including copyright infringement.
This suggestion was roundly rejected by the IWF, and by their CEO Susie Hargreaves, who spoke of the need for the IWF to expand its role to take account of changing funding realities. At present the IWF is largely dependent on the EU for funding – and that will change after 2014.
Speaking privately after the event, Ms Hargreaves explained how the IWF was regularly cited as a world leader in the field of child protection. She told us: “we are looking not to export its model directly to other countries – but to consolidate our position as best practice example, and to provide advice, consultancy and support to other organisations across the world”.
Given that there are major overlaps between initiatives in various EU countries, and the EU is looking to rationalise its budget in this area, the scope for cross-border joint initiatives is growing.
In respect of the IWF, Ms Hargreaves said: “I do not think it appropriate to celebrate the existence of the IWF: in an ideal world it would not need to exist. Rather, we should be celebrating its success in combating child abuse”.
In its 15th year, the IWF can claim over 100 funding members – as opposed to five when it first began. It has assessed more than 370,000 url’s – and worked with industry to remove 87,000 url’s hosting images of child sexual abuse.
This is a potentially new and intersting direction for the IWF, which has reached the point where it is almost a victim of its own success.
The level of hosting of child abuse material within the UK (under 1%) is quite possibly the lowest of any country in the world: and the number of abuse url’s active at any one time is close to an all time low. The latter is somewhat belied by the fact that response times are a lot faster than they have been historically – so policing the internet for child abuse material and blocking it has become something of a cat and mouse game.
Many sites go up, are reported, and blocked within 24 hours – whereupon they simply resurface elsewhere. So whilst the surface picture is one of reducing concern, the IWF still has a mountain to climb.
All the same, the route preferred by many paedophiles – using VPN and the like to exchange material directly – is outwith the IWF remit – and dealt with by CEOP.
Within the UK there is persistent pressure for the IWF to spread its net wider, taking in terrorism (one of Jacqui Smith’s ideas) or even patrolling for copyright breaches (more recent). This they have steadfastly resisted as this would almost certainly impede their current wide legitimacy and also open the IWF to a lot more legal challenges.
Most people support their work in combatting abuse material: the jury is out on matters like copyright theft.
The EU funds initiatives: but the money is increasingly thinly spread, with changes to the current funding model due in 2014.
The IWF is widely recognised as a world leader in what it does, and while different countries will always prefer different models (some have judicial oversight, some are run by the police) the background expertise IS worth transferring.
Expansion to Europe and beyond therefore ticks several boxes.
There is also the minor but important point that different regimes have different number on their block list. When it comes to child abuse, the logic behind a pooled/common list looks to be inevitable as both more inclusive and as a means to reduce overhead internationally. Most countries have lists in the low hundreds – apart from Australia which, by virtue of including all manner of adult and even lawful material on its block lists appears to be closer to 10,000 url’s.
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16 hours to go.
Yesterday seems like yonks ago now, but this is me in fast catch-up mode once again. The weekend was dedicated, as promised, to a sort of celebration cum get-together, cum farewell, cum whatever you want to make it.
And the day went well, if ever so slightly hectic. We started the night before, really, with the arrival of Faith and Arron and Edward and Hannah, who came and variously gave gifts (chocolate chilli puds from Faith) and sat on our sofa and ate chinese (edward and hannah).
By next morning i wasn’t much packed, but i did have a long list of stuff to do. Mostly detail, and mostly done by about 11 – including cooking almost every spare veggie in the fridge and then freezing the result. Part neatness on my side, part cunning: when i get out of hospital, i have some nice lemon chicory and a celeriac soup ready waiting for me.
Then rush, rush, rush. The TV crew turned up around mid-day, ostensibly to join the throng, but inevitably did a bit of filming. I didn’t mind – though the rule, from the off, was that this was meant to be celebration first, film event second – and that a long way second.
Friends turned up from school. Neighbours came and went. The boy was made totally happy by the procession of other children through his house – and was in and out of the garden alternately luring them on to his trampoline and showing off his chickens.
I wish it had been longer, wish more had been able to come, because it did much of what i intended it to do. It was fun: a space to meet and greet people i have known a long time – and even if my daughter’s principal contribution to the fete was to invite half a dozen friends of her own and stay up til five in the morning talking, that, too, was good.
A few presents too (and thanks will follow). That said, with the tests still to come and that uncertainty hanging over me, i felt it was not a good idea to tempt fate by actually opening them. They are with me now in Brighton, waiting post-op to be opened.
Then, by mid to late evening, the flow gradually dried up, leaving myself and andrea to contemplate maps and timetables. Various options were tossed around. But the bottom line was that i absolutely HAD to be in Brighton for my scan by 11 on Monday morning – else the op would be off.
Briefly toyed with the idea of setting off at 5 am: not a good idea. We’d hit our first major pinch point (the M25 going in to London) at around 7 am – and our second (the M23 leaving London) at around 9 am.
Almost certainly OK. Almost certainly safe, but not a risk i was prepared to take. So we drove down that evening. Left the house at about 10 and, with a half hour stop over for coffee and another MacDonalds (to which Andrea is rapidly becoming addicted) we still made the Hickstead Travelodge by 1 am.
A night’s sleep (i won’t call it “good”). Then up and onward to Brighton.
What do other trans women do about the d-word? And what are they expecting, if they have kids, come Father’s Day.
Intriguing one. A friend recently opined that she thought my daughter’s continuing use of “dad” was disrespectful. I said I felt otherwise: that I regarded father as a biological role – and so didn’t mind being identified as such (though it does cause grammatical havoc, with sentences like “My dad, she…”).
Besides, I do knkow a lesbian couple who have adopted and have tended to split, with one parent being mum, t’other dad.
However, I do like getting cards on the various commerce-fests dedicated to celebrating mums and dads and birthdays and the like. And there really is next to nothing out there appropriate.
Andrea has been researching and she says she managed to find a card for a gay dad – which is some progress: but the greetings card industry doesn’t yet appear to have woken up to trans dads.
So-o. What would you recommend (apart from the ubiquitous blank card)? Is it proper for a trans woman to receive a father’s day card anyway? And if you were given the task of designing such a thing… what would you do? What sort of (catch) lines would you adopt?
I know. I raised the spectacle of the “last meal” with my reference a few posts back to Jacques Brel’s “le dernier repas”.
And I really DON’T mean it quite like that. I like his song, because I like the idea of gathering one’s friends and relatives together and insulting people “one last time”. Although maybe without the insult.
It would just be a good excuse for a get-together in fairly calm fashion and for people to drop by and well-wish, or whatever one does.
So, two out-takes from the above. The first is that I am planning – unless the psych now sticks an oar in – to have a gentle weekend get-together on 9/10 July. Mostly 10 July, to be honest, but with leeway for anyone who wishes to travel a long way or is doing other stuff on the Sunday to drop round on the Saturday and share a cuppa (or a glass of wine), reminisce, denounce the political elites and generally have a laid back sort of day or two.
So, mostly things happening on Sunday, but… its open house, rather than full-blown party: so if you’d like to come, just start putting that date/those dates in your diary.
Oh. And it also means that people travelling a way are welcome to crash overnight on the Saturday/Sunday.
And the second out-take? Well, what would YOU make your last meal. And I know it isn’t my last meal. Rather, it’s a kind of free meal. Because once into the clinic on the Monday, I will be starving from early afternoon on. No. seriously. I arrive and get given NO food. I may sit and drool over the seriously lovely private care menus: but I may not eat (and I don’t think I get to eat again properly for another two or three days).
Thus, Sunday is a free hit, calorifically. I can binge on caviar and fudge, if such took my fancy (though it doesn’t). In the end, I probably won’t binge at all. I am so out of the habit of over-eating that it would take some effort to do so and make me feel quite ill – and the last thing I want is to turn up at the clinic either hung-over or with stomach cramps.
Still, perhaps I could opt for the light and dark. Chicken in a super-creamy sauce? And a dark choccie pud to follow? Hmmm. If there’s chilli in the pud, quite probably.
Or perhaps just the populist route: I could order a double kebab and chips. Except then I would alienate the anaesthetist!
Decisions, decisions – and an interesting dilemma that I’d be amused to hear back from others on. What would you do if you had a free meal?
I like parties.
Any excuse. Or almost.
So-o…is it “done” to celebrate the grs itself? I suspect the answer most will come back with is: whatever floats your boat.
And, right now, my feeling is, if i have a definite date, i’d very much like to party the day before i go into hospital.
Not after: at least, not for a while. Even if the op itself is as straightforward as i have been informed, i suspect i won’t be doing much dancing for a while after.
Definitely no zumba!
But the weekend before? Definitely tempting.
A leave-taking: a goodbye to the old…and a looking forward to the new.