ISPs rely on fast international notifications from authorised sources to act swiftly against child sexual abuse images being distributed on the Internet. For 14 years the EU has part-financed Hotlines and essentially financed INHOPE – the worldwide clearing house for exchange of reports between Hotlines.
The Programme that financed Safer Internet ceases to exist shortly. Actions within a new programme “The Connecting Europe Facility” were intended to cover child protection issues. But the CEF budget has been slashed and it is now unclear whether INHOPE and hotline funding will continue. If INHOPE ceases to exist, the rapid notification exchange system on which ISPs rely to obtain notifications from other jurisdictions will completely break down. This is bad news for the protection of the most vulnerable of children whose images of abuse are being traded online. ISPs want to remove these images from the Internet and we want to help law enforcement with the evidence from our servers that can help them bring the culprits to justice.
We call upon the EU Council of Ministers and all European Parliamentarians to ensure that this essential service will receive funding and continue into the future. If you want to maintain the battle against child pornography being circulated on the Internet – please contact your MEP and ask them to ensure this essential service is continued.
Read the joint statement from INHOPE, Child Advocacy NGOs and Online Safety Organisations here