The ISPAI Hotline.ie Service was launched in November 1999 to provide an anonymous reporting service to members of the public who accidentally uncover illegal content on the Internet, particularly Child Sexual Abuse Material or activities relating to the sexual exploitation of children.
The establishment of the Hotline.ie Service within an industry self-regulatory framework was one of the key recommendations of the Government’s Working Group on the Illegal and Harmful Use of the Internet, in 1998.
Hotline.ie is supported and part-funded by the Internet Service Providers’ Association of Ireland whose members are determined to take measures to counter the use of their Internet facilities for such illegal purposes. The Hotline.ie Service receives part-funding from the European Commission through the Connecting Europe Facility Telecom – Safer Internet – Programme.
The Internet Service Providers’ Association of Ireland releases an annual report of Hotline.ie activities, which provides summary statistics of the reports received, the assessments and actions taken. These detailed annual reports may be found on the Hotline.ie website under “Publications Section”.
The operations and procedures of Hotline.ie are overseen by the Office for Internet Safety (OIS) within the government Department of Justice and Equality. The OIS has worked closely with Hotline.ie and continues to support and encourage its activities so that its important role in contributing to Internet safety can be successfully realised.
To provide a fast response to illegal material that is hosted outside the Irish jurisdiction, Hotline.ie is a founding member of the International Association of Internet Hotlines (INHOPE) which has grown, over the years, to a network of 45 Internet Hotlines in 39 countries across the globe. The ISPAI Hotline.ie Service has been authorised by the Government under agreed protocols and approved procedures to carry out this vital service for the protection of the public.
If and when Hotline.ie assesses reported material to be probably illegal under Irish law, the location of the illegal material is then traced. If found to be hosted or distributed from Ireland, An Garda Siochana and the relevant ISPAI member are notified, so the material can be removed from public Internet access and law enforcement investigation may be initiated. If it is found to be from a source outside Ireland, details of the illegal content are forwarded to the INHOPE Hotline in the appropriate country so similar action can be taken. Where the source country does not have an INHOPE member Hotline the report is sent to An Garda Siochana for transmission through police channels.
The ISPAI is keen that the Hotline.ie Service should be known as widely as possible by Internet users resident in Ireland, this is why Irish based organisations are encouraged to publicise the service. Therefore, the Internet Service Providers’ Association of Ireland grants permission to others to include the Hotline.ie logo, with a link to www.hotline.ie website, on any Internet safety pages or similar references they may include in their website.
To assist this, the Hotline logo is available for download here.
Recommendations on Hotline.ie logo usage are available here.
NOTE!!! The ISPAI retains copyright of the Hotline.ie logo and reserves the right to refuse or revoke permission for its use by other persons or entities, where the Association believes the logo is being used in an context inappropriate to the promotion of a safer Internet environment or is used to link to content other than the hotline.ie website itself.