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.
Note: The full Annual Report covering January to December 2014 will be made available Online @ www.hotline.ie/may2015