In the spotlight: Safer Internet Centres Germany and Luxembourg

As part of the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) Quality Assurance Programme (QAP), the Insafe-INHOPE Coordination Teams are jointly conducting a set of ten country visits to national Safer Internet Centres (SICs) to better understand what is happening in the Member States: monitoring emerging issues and challenges, identifying good practices to be shared, and harvesting the results of the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) policy. Due to the circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, a cluster visit planned for the German and Luxembourgish Safer Internet Centres had to be converted to an online meeting that took place between 3-5 August 2020 and brought together a group of diverse stakeholders and Safer Internet Centre consortium partners.

Date 2021-03-24 Author BIK Team Section awareness, helplines, hotlines Audience media specialist, organisations and industry, research, policy and decision makers
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The meeting kicked-off with a stakeholder roundtable which aimed to hear from national stakeholders and strategic partners about their current activities and collaboration with the national Safer Internet Centre. For Safer Internet Centre Germany, the following partners were present:

  • Represented in this meeting by Paul Niclas Zwick, the Ministry for Family Affairs cooperates with the German centre at a federal level. The nature of this cooperation is mainly in the form of awareness-raising content and best practice information exchange, as well as cooperation on Safer Internet Day (SID) events.
  • German Children’s Fund is a children’s rights organisation which carries out advocacy work in this field and produces media literacy resources. Kai Hanke, who represented the organisation during the national visit, described the cooperation between the Safer Internet Centre and the German Children’s Fund as less structured; both parties engage in information exchange and promotion of each other’s activities based on needs.
  • Public Policy Programme Manager Marie von Stauffenberg represented Facebook during the meeting and noted that Facebook and the centre are members of each other’s Advisory Boards. Against this background, they consult on publications and policy-related issues. Facebook also cooperated with the German Safer Internet Centre’s helpline during the COVID-19 lockdown by providing direct links and references to "NummergegenKummer" in its information hub, which was promoted in user feeds.

During the stakeholder roundtable, the following partners were present for the Luxembourgish Safer Internet Centre:

  • SCRIPT (Service de coordination de la recherche et de l’innovation pédagogiques et technologiques) is one of the driving forces of educational development in Luxembourg, responsible for an ever-increasing multitude of missions. SCRIPT was represented in this meeting by its director, Luc Weis, who noted that SCRIPT is one of the founding members of the Luxembourgish Safer Internet Centre, BEE SECURE. The framework of the cooperation between SCRIPT and BEE SECURE is mainly based on the national strategy entitled Digital4Education, implemented by the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth, which aims to enable students to develop the skills necessary for the appropriate and responsible use of ICT (information and communications technology) and to promote innovative pedagogical projects using digital technology in schools.
  • Represented in this meeting by the cyber security specialist and former BEE SECURE trainer Steve Muller, the Electronic Commerce and Information Security Directorate of the Ministry of Economy aims to create a modern and pragmatic environment that allows players active in electronic commerce and trusted service providers to operate in a context that is favourable to them. In this context, Steve Muller described the cooperation between the Luxembourgish Safer Internet Centre and the Directorate as a two-way information exchange, in which the Directorate provides security information on the public sector while BEE SECURE provides information on schools and digital skills education. Against this background, he noted that a new National Cybersecurity Strategy is currently under preparation by the Ministry.
  • Being the coordinating body and one of the consortium partners of BEE SECURE, Service National de la Jeunesse (SNJ) is more than a stakeholder in relation to the Luxembourgish centre. The Director of SNJ, George Metz, who participated in this meeting, is also a member of the Steering Committee (Comité de Pilotage). In this context, the partnership between BEE SECURE and SNJ is shaped based on a recent Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Family Affairs and Ministry of Education, which define the national strategy and ministry-level collaboration on digitalisation.
  • Represented in this meeting by Dominique Peters, the collaboration between BEE SECURE and the Public Prosecutor’s Office mainly involves prosecution of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) reported to the hotline.

The meeting continued with the overview of the Safer Internet Centre structures and various activities they carry out. In this context, it was noted that the German Safer Internet Centre consists of six partners representing three different strands: klicksafe, which serves as the awareness centre, is operated by the Media Authority for Rhineland-Palatine (Medienanstalt Rheinland-Pfalz) which also coordinates the German SIC in general, and the Media Authority for North Rhine Westphalia (Landesanstalt für Medien NRW). However, it is important to note that klicksafe operates in Germany in its entirety and not only within these two federal states. Furthermore, the helpline of the German SIC is operated by NummergegenKummer (NgK). In addition, two alert platforms are operated by three hotlines within the German SIC consortium: Jugendschutz.net and internet-beschwerdestelle.de, which is operated by Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle Multimedia-Diensteanbieter (FSM) and eco - Association of the Internet Industry (eco).

BEE SECURE, which serves as the Luxembourgish Safer Internet Centre, is a government initiative of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. It is provided by the Service National de la Jeunesse (SNJ), which coordinates the SIC as well as the youth participation and awareness activities, and Kanner-Jugendtelefon (KJT), which operates the helpline and hotline.

In addition to an extensive update on the various awareness-raising activities organised by the Safer Internet Centres, some discussion focused on the organisations of their respective youth panels. In Germany, klicksafe facilitates a youth panel (with members up to age 20) and a children’s panel (with members aged 9-12), in collaboration with four schools from two federal states. In addition, klicksafe also engages the Media Scouts, which are nationwide peer-to-peer projects in which young people act as qualified Media Scouts, advise pupils on their use of media, and answer their questions about smartphone use, social media networks, and the internet, among other topics. Similarly, the Luxembourgish Safer Internet Centre facilitates a kids panel (with members under 12 years old) and a youth panel (with members aged 12-18) who meet on demand to discuss new media and to share their views on information safety related issues and on emerging trends.

Further information about the German Safer Internet Centre and Luxembourgish Safer Internet Centre more generally can be found on the Better Internet for Kids (BIK) public portal, including links to their respective national websites and other contact information.

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