What is a Memorandum of Understanding?
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is an official agreement between a potential hotline and a Law Enforcement Agency (LEA) that allows a hotline to analyse reports of online child sexual abuse material (CSAM) made by the public. This is specifically an example in the case of INHOPE because there are different types of MOUs. This agreement allows the applying hotline to analyse online CSAM and send it to LEA and to industry for rapid removal.
Each of INHOPE’s hotlines should have a collaborative relationship with the national law enforcement agency to legally process CSAM received from public reports. This formalised agreement is key to being able to assess reports of CSAM and must outline the essential elements of the parties’ collaboration such as designated roles, who retains primary responsibility for investigation in this area and what is the duration of the MOU.
What is the purpose of an MOU?
To support professionals who may be requested by authorities to address indecent photographs/ pseudo photographs.
Advise professionals that are reporting indecent images of children in media in order to create the right balance between protecting children and effective investigation of offences.
Define the major factors that law enforcement and prosecution consider to be relevant to a decision on how to proceed in a particular case.
INHOPE hotlines receive reports on different types of content related to illegal material. The national laws that govern these reporting types differ per jurisdiction, so does the treatment of and the action that can be taken on a single type of content. Typically this is the most challenging and time-consuming aspect of establishing a hotline. Therefore, it is imperative for potential hotlines to build their relationship with LEA from the start. Potential hotlines can overcome these difficult obstacles with the support of INHOPE will set up collaboration agreements or memoranda of understanding with important stakeholders and implement the INHOPE quality standards.
If you're from a country that doesn't currently have a hotline, and you think you might be eligible, learn more here.
If you're interested in setting up a hotline get in touch with our Partnerships and INHOPE Network Expansion Lead, Samantha Woolfe or sign up for our expansion seminar.'