Illegal material uncovered on 16M web pages

Security experts have waned of a surge in the number of global websites hosting terrorist, extremist and illegal content.

According to Internet Security Systems (ISS), the number of websites making such content available has risen 42 percent from 132,000 in November 2004 to over 188,000 a year later. This corresponds to over 16 million individual internet pages, which contain illegal material.

The data, which comes from ISS' data processing center in Germany, is based on analysis of material from 1,000 PCs. Every page is classified into one of 60 subject categories covering everything from normal web use, such as home banking, online shopping, music and sports, to more dubious categories such as weapons, spyware distribution sites, extremist pages, etc. Every page's classification is entered into ISS' web content filtering database.

At present, over 5 billion internet pages and images from over 60 million individual websites have been logged. ISS then enters this content including images, graphics and text into a filter database. According to the security firm, with 60 million entries, this data helps to formulate the most up-to-date and functional internet filter list in the world.

The internet content that ISS includes in its "extremism" and "illegal activities" categories are topics such as instructions on how to make weapons and bombs, hardcore pornography, satanism, occultism, suicide forums or pages about human cannibalism. Incitement to carry out illegal activities like murder or arson also attributed to these categories.

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