[12 May] Circuit: The Fight Against Online Child Sexual Abuse Material
Do The Right Thing
This edition of ‘Circuit’ our monthly newsletter about Children and the Internet focuses on our hotline partner Internet Watch Foundation’s recently released Annual Report 2016. It is an illuminating run down of statistics & trends that gives much-needed perspective to the fight against online child sexual abuse material.
In related news, read about the recent government order asking ISPs in India to adopt the IWF URL Blocking list. And we have an update on one of the biggest ongoing investigation of online child sexual material.
We recommend you check out the resources designed to help individuals exposed to child sexual abuse imagery. If you are still curious, there is an article explaining the ‘blue whale’ scare. Followed by a powerful podcast that shows how electronic surveillance is being to track and control women in domestic abuse situations.
Statistics & Trends from The IWF Annual Report 2016
In 2016, IWF processed 105,420 reports and worked to remove 57,335 webpages containing child sexual abuse material.
– 53% of the URLs assessed by IWF showed sexual abuse of children aged between 0-10 years.
– Image hosting sites and cyberlockers (third party online file-sharing and file storing services such as Dropbox, Google Drive etc) are the most abused sites for child sexual abuse materials.
Click the link above to read more statistics & trends.
Also, we recently had the opportunity to speak with the IWF analyst who assesses the reports from the India portal. For all intents and purposes, she must remain anonymous. Click here to read our brief conversation with her gave us an insight into the work life of professionals who are at the front-lines of the fight against online Child Sexual Abuse Imagery.
On 20th April 2016, the Government directed the Indian Internet Service Providers to institute the blocking and distribution of child sexual abuse content. The Government Order instructs relevant ISPs to adopt Aarambh India’s hotline partner Internet Watch Foundation’s blocking list which contains URL’s containing child sexual abuse material.
The Government Order was the outcome of the presentation made to the Supreme Court by a committee consisting of representatives from the corporate and relevant government bodies which was set up by the court and given a deadline to come up with a solution to the issue of online Child Sexual Abuse Material.
Click the above link for a detailed explanation of the government order and the IWF press release on the same.
Working in close proximity to child sexual abuse material can be a traumatic experience with mental health repercussions. The Shift Wellness website has a pool to resources targeting various stakeholders (mental health professionals, law enforcement, family & friends etc) designed to help them cope with the situation. (source: Tulir)
In one of biggest cases of child sexual abuse material, Steven W. Chase, 58, of Naples, Florida, who created a website called Playpen in August 2014 on the dark web has been sentenced to 30 years in prison. Members of Playpen would upload and view postings of young victims. In addition to taking down the website, the ongoing investigation has resulted in:
– 25 producers of child pornography prosecuted
– 51 hands-on abusers prosecuted
– 548 international arrests,
-296 sexually abused children identified or rescued.
Some time last week, real life came uncomfortably close to the plot of Japanese manga but then, not really. There was panic on the internet and across newspapers concerning ‘Blue Whale’ – a game in which children were allegedly being pressured to commit suicide. Ultimately it was all traced to a 6 month old report in an independent Russian Newspaper which may or may not be objectively true. However, all the ensuing furor did put the spotlight on online self-harm groups (which do exist). Experts have suggested that, in any case, child safety, child protection and the emotional and physical well-being of children, best begin at the home and the community. And that nothing can ever substitute good old meaningful conversations with children.
There has been a lot of conversation around nations and corporates using surveillance to track and control citizens and consumers. However, with the surfeit of cheap spyware being available freely across the internet, the danger of surveillance comes the way of all danger in gender violence – inside our homes and under our nose.
Thanks for reading. See you next month!
Subscribe to the Aarambh India newsletters at this link.