Hotline Development Guide
An Internet hotline is a dedicated online reporting mechanism to report internet material suspected to be illegal, including child sexual abuse material.
In 2013, GSMA published the production of the first Guide to Setting Up an Internet Hotline. This was developed in the framework of the GSMA Mobile Alliance Against Child Sexual Abuse Content, in cooperation with INHOPE and with expert contributions from many organisations that operate or work with Internet Hotlines on a daily basis. Navigate here for information on contributors.
At the core of this guide is a global community of organisations covering all sectors that are dedicated to building capacity to tackle online sexual exploitation and abuse of children.
In 2015, in order to bring the guide to an even wider audience and provide a platform for new and expanded information regarding hotline development and hotline operations, INHOPE joined forced with UNICEF and GSMA to develop this online guide.
As a visitor and user of this site, you can do many things. First and foremost, you help set up an Internet hotline in your country, or learn how to support a project in your country.
The guide aims to share the experience of the INHOPE Foundation supporting Internet hotline development around the world. Crucially, it also aims to reflect the collective expertise of the global INHOPE network of hotlines and partner organisations across the sectors.
Become a member hotline
As a member of INHOPE you can demonstrate that your organisation takes corporate social responsibility very seriously, becoming an integral part in tackling CSAM and ultimately creating an online environment where everyone (but especially children) can use the internet for positive purposes.
To apply for INHOPE Membership. We firstly recommend you reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
INHOPE hotlines provide the public with a way to anonymously report illegal content online with a focus on CSAM. Reports are reviewed by content analysts who classify the illegality of the material. If classified as illegal, the URL containing CSAM is shared with the national Law Enforcement Agency (LEA) for victim identification purpose. Simultaneously, the hotline analyst issues a Notice and Takedown order (NTD) to the relevant Hosting Provider (HP) so that the material is removed from the internet.
Any sexual activity with a minor constitutes child sexual abuse because a child cannot give consent to sex. This includes physical acts, whether through force, coercion, grooming, or implied force. This applies to sexual activity between an adult and a minor and might also include sexual activity between a significantly older and a younger child.
Read more chapter-2-the-issue.pdf
Hotlines are often part of a larger organisation that undertakes other work related to protecting children online in some way, whether that be a helpline, child advocacy institution, industry association, regulatory authority, or other type of organisation. The hotline operates all aspects of running the hotline itself, taking ownership of removing online CSAM, employing its own analysts who are trained by INHOPE and INTERPOL, and establishing collaboration with national hosting providers and law enforcement agency.
To ensure scalability and sustainability, it is strongly advisable to focus on the creation of a hotline as a service integrated into the operations of an existing organisation, whether it be a civil society organisation, an industry-led initiative, or a government agency.
Read more chapter-4-who-operates-a-hotline.pdf.
Overall, this means conducting an analysis of the national legislation, the socio-cultural context, and existing efforts to combat the problem in your country. Specifically, you will need to: 1. Identify the legal basis – will it be possible to set up a hotline? 2. Build the ‘business case’ – is there existing research or data on the issue in your country? 3. Initiate multi-stakeholder dialogue 4. Organise a learning visit to an experienced hotline in another country 5. Define the role and remit of the hotline.
Read more chapter-5-practical-aspects-of-creating-a-hotline.pdf
Once the legal, political, and operational framework of a new hotline is agreed upon by all national stakeholders, the logistics of hotline development, including hardware, software and physical location are relatively straight-forward.
Learn about the process chapter-6-logistics.pdf
Access quick glance and technical questions and answers - faq-and-tech-faq.pdf
In this timeline both parties (INHOPE and your organisation) can see what is expected from them and when (meeting, documents, forms).
Access the timeline - hotline-creation-timeline.pdf