INHOPE

Our journey with End Violence Against Children

Our journey with End Violence Against Children
The challenges related to the prevention and/or response to online CSEA

The Issue

The world we live in

In an era of rapid digital evolution with dramatic increase in internet use and accessibility to anonymity, there is a dire need for a global solution, while ensuring police have the best and most complete intelligence possible to rescue child victims.

INHOPE began as a Europe-wide organisation, but the internet does not work within national or continental boundaries so neither can we.

The longevity of the solution

When the initial version of ICCAM was developed in 2014, the hotline world looked different: pro-active crawling didn't exist, hotlines were less advanced, the number of public reports was lower and only URLs of web pages were taken into account.

Reports include more information that create numerous challenges and additional work for hotline analysts. There is a strong need for better interoperability of ICCAM with external systems and the ReportBox upgrade proposed in this project.

The size of the problem

There is so much CSAM circulating on the internet that the point where it becomes impossible for hotline analysts and police investigators to review all the reports they receive has been passed.

Analysts need sophisticated tools to support them in doing their daily work more efficiently and effectively. This is especially true if, as a result of the development of the ReportBox Upgrade and the ICCAM API, the number of reports handled will dramatically increase.

ESCAPE Project

ESCAPE Project

The ESCAPE project (Funded by End Violence Against Children) represents INHOPE's vision to put an eco-system in place ensuring that every industry stakeholder and each member of the public around the globe has the option and awareness to report child sexual abuse material (CSAM) encountered online.

The outcomes of the project:

  • National organisations will be equipped with knowledge and skills to operate a CSAM hotline.
  • Frontline workers - hotline analysts, law enforcement and hosting providers - will be given the skills, tools and appropriate support to collaboratively remove CSAM from the internet and identify victims.
  • Hosting providers (private sector), hotlines and national Law Enforcement Agencies will follow clearly defined collaboration procedures leading to swift removal of nationally hosted CSAM.
  • Children and adolescents will be made aware of the CSAM hotline.
  • Hotlines will become key players in the fight against online CSAM by national stakeholders
  • Hotline staff will be provided with the tools to develop communication strategies.
  • Hotline analysts in newly established hotlines will contribute to the swift processing of CSAM reports through the use of ReportBox.
  • Hotline analysts of the INHOPE network will use automated tools connecting their IT platforms that improve efficiencies and reduce exposure to known CSAM reports.
  • Law enforcement agents will be provided access to more complete intelligence of CSAM reports from the INHOPE Network.
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1 Technical Solutions to CSAM

There are currently several systems in place that each play an important role in fighting online CSAM and identifying victims

ICCAM, a well-established technology platform that has been in use for years by hotlines all around the world to exchange reports and ensure a speedy take down of CSAM

2 Technical Solutions to CSAM

AviaTor, a recent initiative funded by the EC, specifically designed to help law enforcement agencies to prioritise and process the vast amount of industry (NCMEC) reports they receive.

Report Box, providing hotlines with a free off the shelf cloud-based infrastructure to operate a hotline, including automated reporting forms on their website. All handling of reports is done in Report Box through its website in a secure and encrypted environment.

3 Technical Solutions to CSAM

ICSE, run by INTERPOL, the central database used for victim identification. This database is being used by more than 60 national police forces around the world.

Creating the ESCAPE eco-system

INHOPE has a vision of a global system

To create the ESCAPE eco-system there will be developments to the following:

  • ReportBox Upgrade to implement interoperability with ICCAM through the new ICCAM API.
  • ICCAM API to implement full interoperability with ReportBox, the ICSE database, AviaTor and hotline specific reporting systems.
  • AI Classifier to sort new and unknown imagery that needs classification by a hotline analyst based on the likelihood that it contains CSAM.

INHOPE is in a unique position to change this. The ICCAM platform is located at the INTERPOL HQ in Lyon. INTERPOL and INHOPE partner in training hotline analysts to correctly classify CSAM reports. All baseline CSAM inserted into ICCAM is exchanged with INTERPOL’s ICSE database for victim identification purposes. INHOPE is also a partner in the AviaTor project and responsible for the communication and dissemination of this project. And of course, INHOPE runs the ICCAM and ReportBox platforms.