Investigating the dynamics of illegal online activity
- SafeLine, the Greek hotline
In order to shed light on the operations of SafeLine and its seventeen years of successful operation as a member of INHOPE, the Greek Safer Internet Centre (SIC) has published a research paper about the power of reporting illegal activity online, the dark web and the related legislation.
In this paper, the operations of SafeLine are introduced, along with an analysis of received reports, in order to reveal hidden trends over the seventeen years of activities. Furthermore, a comparison between the reports of SafeLine and those of the other 48 member hotlines of INHOPE, operating in 43 different countries spanning six continents worldwide, is presented.
Another main contribution of our research is a correlation analysis between SafeLine's reports and dark web data. Specifically, SafeLine's reports are compared against the ALTAS dataset of the Voyager system of Web-IQ, drilled from the dark web, revealing a correlation of more than 50 per cent between the reports received by SafeLine and the domains of illegal sites discussed in the dark web.
Last but not least, the report contains an analysis of the legislative framework regarding child sexual abuse material (CSAM) in all countries covered by the INHOPE network, revealing similarities as well as differences in what is considered illegal, the ways CSAM is tackled, and the penalty limits prescribed in various countries.
This article was initially published on the INHOPE website and is reproduced here with permission.
Find out more information about the work of the Greek Safer Internet Centre (SIC) generally, including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services, or find similar information for Safer Internet Centres throughout Europe.
Strong and resilient, INHOPE member hotlines have continued the fight against child sexual abuse material (CSAM) online during the Coronavirus pandemic. Like many other sectors however, COVID 19 has had a significant impact on the work of hotlines. To classify illegal material and send the URLs to law enforcement or a hosting provider, hotlines have agreements with national authorities to allow them to review CSAM reports. To do this in a safe and secure manner, each hotline must have a secure area, available only to authorised staff. Illegal material can then only be reviewed through a computer with specific technical and physical security protocols in place. So, what do you do when you can't easily access hotline buildings due to a worldwide pandemic?