Last year, nearly half a million instances of paedophile content were examined by hotlines worldwide
INHOPE, the international organisation combating child sexual exploitation, published its 2019 Annual Report. Last year, nearly 184,000 reports were entered into INHOPE’s database, which resulted in the examination of over 456,000 paedophile recordings. In Europe, most paedophile content was stored on Dutch, French and Slovakian servers.
The goal of INHOPE (International Association of Internet Hotlines) is to bring together hotlines into a global network to make online content that qualifies as child pornography unavailable and aid the work of investigating authorities in uncovering criminal acts tied to such recordings. Members receive reports on child pornography content and forward the examined links to the INHOPE database so all content would be forwarded to the investigating authority of the country in which the content is stored. The organisation recently published its 2019 Annual Report.
Last year, INHOPE received over twice as many reports than two years ago, amounting to nearly 184,000 reports. The individual reports might cover multiple recordings, therefore the number of images and videos, which amounted to 456,000 in 2019, significantly exceed the number of reports. According to the hotlines, most of these (70%) proved to be truly illegal content.
The report also shows that 91% of the images categorised as illegal featured girls, a proportion which increased compared to 2018 (when the ratio of girls was 80%). 92% of the recordings featured children under 13 years of age, this ratio has not changed in comparison with the previous year. Thanks to the INHOPE member hotlines, the service providers they notified and the investigating authorities, 73% of illegal content was removed by hosting providers within six days.
Content is still not stored on Hungarian servers
According to the statistics of INHOPE, the proportion of paedophile content stored on Hungarian servers is still negligible as on the global level, only 0.004% of content reported to INHOPE were stored on domestic servers (the same ratio within Europe is 0.01%). Similarly to the statistics from 2018, most illegal online content featuring child sexual exploitation was stored on Dutch (79%), French (10%) and Slovakian (4%) servers. An analysis of the data of all INHOPE member states shows that – just as in 2018 – most content of this nature is stored on servers in the USA and the Netherlands.
The number of domestic reports on child pornography has been steadily rising
The number of reports received by the Internet Hotline in 2019 on content featuring children’s sexual exploitation showed a significant, three-fold increase compared to the preceding year. 276 reports were logged, nearly one-third of which were presumably qualified as child pornography. These cases were forwarded by hotline analysts to the National Bureau of Investigation (NNI) for further regulatory action and through the umbrella organisation of complaints hotlines, the INHOPE network, to the hotlines of the relevant countries. Apart from the increasing awareness in domestic internet use, the exceptionally high number of reported child pornography content reported last year could be explained by the fact that the project of the Canadian Centre of Child Protection, the Arachnid automated application also forwarded a significant amount of content to hotlines throughout the world. The ratio of domestic reports on paedophile content continues to grow this year. As of the end of October 2020, 41% of reports received by the Internet Hotline presumably belonged to this category (in 2019, the same ratio was 33%).
On the cooperation of INHOPE and the Internet Hotline
INHOPE (International Association of Internet Hotlines) is an international association of hotlines combating child sexual exploitation, uniting 47 hotlines from 43 countries. The Internet Hotline service operated by the National Media and Infocommunications Authority as a public service joined INHOPE in 2012. Thanks to its membership, the Internet Hotline can rapidly initiate the removal of paedophile content which is accessible in Hungary yet stored on foreign servers and receive notifications from other hotlines through INHOPE’s database established for this purpose on child pornography recordings found on Hungarian servers.
In addition to paedophile content reports, the Internet Hotline is ready to receive notifications in eight further categories: data phishing, harassment, content disclosed without consent, content promoting drug use or terrorism, content involving racism or violence, or other content threatening minors. The process is not handled as an administrative procedure; the IH sends letters to content or hosting providers, requesting them to remove infringing content. Since 2011, the Hotline has taken action in relation to over 6800 reports. The Internet Hotline does not collect any information about people filing reports, anyone can ask for help, even anonymously.
Hungarian internet users may file reports through the Internet Hotline’s online interface (nmhh.hu/internethotline/) or via the email@example.com e-mail address.