On 14th May 2015 ISPAI Hotline.ie Service launched its Annual Report covering January to December 2014 – an Analysis of Online Illegal Content – during a press event hosted in Dublin, at the Irish Architectural Archive.
In her opening addressed Frances Fitzgerald T.D., Minister for Justice and Equality emphasised that “Hotline.ie contributes to the empowerment of citizens by providing a means to report illegal material and in particular Child Sexual Abuse Material on the Internet and to have it dealt with appropriately in cooperation with the Gardaí.”
2014 was a very busy year for Hotline.ie as it dealt with the greatest number of reports received in one year since its establishment (1999), marking a massive jump of 97% above the average of the previous seven years.
“Had we not made an sizeable investment starting in mid-2013 to redevelop our Hotline.ie systems to better automate the workflow, we would have been totally overwhelmed by this unexpected increase in reporting. We are proud to be part of this solution to tackle Online CSAM and we are glad that the public trusts the Service enough to report suspected illegal content. More reports result in more new images / videos being taken down at source and brought to the attention of Law Enforcement for police investigation”, commented Paul Durrant Chief Executive of ISPAI and Hotline.ie Manager.
Of the 4,863 reports received and processed in 2014, 335 cases were confirmed by Hotline Analysts as CSAM, which marks an increase of 148% over 2013. Only 9 CSAM cases were traced to Ireland, 222 were traced and forwarded to the INHOPE Internet Hotline in the appropriate jurisdictions for action and 21 were traced to countries outside the INHOPE network and dealt with via Law Enforcement channels.
“Recognition of the value of cross-agency cooperation has been further demonstrated with the creation of the INHOPE / INTERPOL BIK-NET IC-CAM project. Although still in the pilot phase, the initial results are very promising with clear gains in victim identification work combined with the reduction of duplication of effort and enhanced communications supported by joint training” commented Michael Moran – Assistant Director, Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation, INTERPOL.
Other forms of illegal content identified by Hotline.ie in 2014 were 20 cases of financial nature, 1 case of Child Grooming activities and 2 cases promotion violence against individual.
The collective national and international efforts to tackle the Online distribution of CSAM are forcing paedophiles to constantly find new ways to avoid detection. One of the findings that confirms and supports this observation is the unprecedented number of .onion reports. The data shows the “journey” starting either in a chatroom, forum or link site. These services are misused as gateways to .onion resources or cyberlockers containing CSAM images and/or videos.
CSAM – Child Sexual Abuse Material legally known as Child Pornography
ISPAI – Internet Service Providers Association of Ireland is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee of its members. One of its aims is to provide one voice for the Irish ISP Industry at national, EU and International level. Furthermore, since November 1999, ISPAI runs the Hotline.ie Service under agreement with the Department of Justice and Equality, An Garda Síochána and oversight from the Office for Internet Safety. Further information available on www.ispai.ie
ISPAI Hotline.ie Service is part-funded by ISPAI and is also in receipt of grant support from the European Commission. For further details visit www.hotline.ie
INHOPE – The International Network of Internet Hotlines – to ensure international reach and fast response to CSAM hosted outside Irish jurisdiction, ISPAI is a founding member of INHOPE which has grown, over the years, to a network of 51 Internet Hotlines in 45 countries worldwide.
IC-CAM pilot – ISPAI Hotline.ie was one of the 12 Internet Hotlines piloting IC-CAM, a system being developed by INHOPE in partnership with INTERPOL, which captures “hash values” of CSAM newly identified by Hotlines. These “hashes” can then be added to the Interpol Child Exploitation Database to assist in Law Enforcement investigations around the world.
Cyberlocker a file hosting service, cloud storage service or online file storage provider. Cyberlockers are Internet hosting services specifically designed to host users’ files.
.onion is a pseudo-top-level domain designating an anonymous hidden service reachable via the Tor network often referred to as the “Dark Net”.
Note: The full Annual Report covering January to December 2014 will be made available Online @ www.hotline.ie/may2015