A Deep Dive into ICCAM
In the current digital environment of processing child sexual abuse material (CSAM) at scale, you need a secure platform that effectively collects, exchanges, and classifies reports. ICCAM is the solution for supporting the removal of online CSAM and ensuring that reports between different jurisdictions are exchanged securely. It is a fundamental tool in reducing the prevalence of CSAM online and tackling the sexual abuse and exploitation of children worldwide.
The ICCAM platform is utilised by INHOPE member hotlines to streamline report processing, increase productivity and efficiency, while at the same time minimising the amount of CSAM that analysts are exposed to. It improves the effectiveness of Hotline analysts by offering the following features:
Reduction in exposure: Previously assessed content does not need to be reviewed repeatedly by analysts (digital first responders). If the same image is reported at any time in the future, it is automatically flagged as previously assessed content. If functionality within ICCAM did not exist, a high proportion of content would need to be repeatedly reassessed. An analyst’s job has an emotional and psychological impact because of the images analysed and identified. This technological solution maximises efficiency while minimising unnecessary exposure.
Automated tracing: ICCAM automatically identifies the hosting location of content appearing in an input URL. This includes the IP address, hosting provider details, registrar and registrant information.
Automatic CDN lookup: A content delivery network is a distributed network of servers that help with content distribution. Up to now, analysts have needed to contact CDN providers directly via email per individual case to identify where content is hosted. Going forward, automation of this process is about to be implemented which will speed up the process where the user will have an automatic lookup option in ICCAM.
What is the technical capacity of ICCAM?
ICCAM has the capacity to detect and download thousands of individual content items hosted on suspect URLs on an on-demand basis. This is possible due to the improvements in both the software design and the technical capacity of the ICCAM hardware which is hosted in the Interpol Headquarters in Lyon. This was made possible by support & assistance from our partners – The European Commission. An indicator of this capacity is that during the eight-month period from January to August 2021 700,000 unique content URLs were handled by the ICCAM platform.
What is the upcoming Project Release for ICCAM?
ICCAM has had several modifications since its launch to better support hotlines combatting online CSAM. Going forward, a major development is the creation of a new ICCAM API which will allow for a vastly improved capability to exchange data with partner organisations in a standardised format. Hotlines can decide to use external systems but can still connect data in a standardised way through the ICCAM API.
As hotlines have reports with differing severity and volumes - we are investing in upgrading ICCAM to meet the needs of the network. An important feature going forward will be the automated review of reported content URLs (that has been classified as CSAM) have been removed online. This solution will eliminate this manual and time-consuming for hotlines. It will have a major impact on the performance of both the platform and the analysts using it on a daily basis.
In the next five years, what do you envision for ICCAM’s capabilities?
In addition to improving the standard of exchange, we will also focus on the capability of importing different types of hash lists. All new functionality is planned with the future mindset that ICCAM will grow to be more interconnected. All new developments will address the following areas:
- Increase the workflow and efficiency of processing reports
- Automation of manual processes
- Improvement of Notice and Takedown performance
Continued investment in ICCAM development is strategically vital to INHOPE and the world that we serve. If you’d like to learn more about how you can support the development of ICCAM through becoming an Annual Funding Partner, click here.
The ICCAM platform is utilised by INHOPE member hotlines and streamlines report processing, increases their productivity, efficiency, and minimises the exposure and impact of illegal content.'