Information regarding the IWF Blacklist

Philip Chillag made this Freedom of Information request to Royal Mail Group Limited
This authority is not subject to FOI law, so is not legally obliged to respond (details).
This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was successful.

Philip Chillag

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing to you to request information regarding the Internet Watch Foundation list of URLs with child sexual abuse content, as described at, which I will refer to as 'the blacklist'. Specifically, I request the following information:

1) How often does Royal Mail receive an updated version of the blacklist?

2) How is the blacklist delivered to Royal Mail - that is, by electronic transfer, delivery by physical media such as CD, or in some other form?

3) Is the blacklist encrypted while in transportation (including if by electronic transfer), and if so which protocols are used for the encryption

4) How many Royal Mail employees have access to the content of the blacklist, and what are the job titles of those who have access?

5) What security screening and background checks are those employees subject to before being allowed to the blacklist.

6) Any documents or information related to obligations or restrictions placed on Royal Mail by the IWF to be eligible to receive the list.

7) How is the list used and implemented by Royal Mail?

This information is being requested under the Freedom of Information Act, and as such I expect a reply within 20 working days.

Yours faithfully,

Philip Chillag

Royal Mail Group Limited

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Dear Mr Chillag

Thank you for your request for information received on 11/05/2009, which
we are considering under the Freedom of Information Act. Under the Act
you should expect a reply from us to be sent by 09/06/2009, which is
twenty working days from receipt of your request.

If for any reason we are unable to provide you with a full response within
that time, we will contact you explaining the reasons for this and giving
a revised date by which we will reply.

If in the mean time you have any questions or would like to contact us
about your request, please contact us by telephone 01252 806513 or
alternatively email or write to us at the address below. Please be
assured that we are giving this our attention and will get back to you

Yours sincerely

John Cere
[1][Royal Mail Group request email]
Freedom of Information Unit

Royal Mail is a trading name of Royal Mail Group Ltd. Registered in
England and Wales.
Registered number 4138203. Registered office at 148 Old Street, LONDON


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1. mailto:[Royal Mail Group request email]

Royal Mail Group Limited

Dear Mr Chillag,

I am writing in response to your email dated 10th May 2009 relating to the
Internet Watch Foundation. You asked how often Royal Mail receives an
updated version of the IWF ‘blacklist’ and how this is received. Royal
Mail Group uses commercial filtering software which contains the IWF list.
Filter updates are received daily from the vendor by electronic transfer.
You asked whether the data is encrypted when transferred or transported,
however, the transfer of the information is the responsibility of the
vendor until it is received by Royal Mail Group. Therefore, I am unable to
comment on the security applied to data before it is received.

You also asked how many employees have access to the content of the list
and what screening or checks they are subject to. However, the IWF content
is embedded into the filtering software used by Royal Mail Group and
employees do not have access to it. The list is automatically added to
internet filtering software by the software vendor.

You asked for any information relating to restrictions or obligations
placed on Royal Mail by the IWF to receive the list. Again, Royal Mail
does not have direct access to the list. Details of the benefits we
receive can be found on the IWF’s website. I have attached a link to the
relevant section of the site for your reference:

It is worth noting that Royal Mail, one of an extensive number of
organisations belonging to the IWF, is a very large company with a large
workforce and we are, of course, supportive of initiatives to ensure proper
use of the internet.

I hope this suitably answers each of your questions. However, if you have
any further specific questions please do contact me. If for any reason
you're not satisfied with this response, you do have a right to request a
review. If you wish to do so please set out in writing your grounds of
appeal and send to the Head of Information Compliance, Royal Mail Group,
100 Victoria Embankment, London, EC4Y 0HQ. An internal panel will then
review the decision, and you will be advised of the outcome.

If, having requested an internal review by Royal Mail, you are still not
satisfied with our response you also have a right of appeal to the
Information Commissioner at:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Telephone: 01625 545 700

Yours sincerely

Colin Young
Freedom of Information Manager
[Royal Mail Group request email]

Royal Mail is a trading name of Royal Mail Group Ltd. Registered in England
and Wales.
Registered number 4138203. Registered office at 148 Old Street, LONDON EC1V

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