Twenty years fighting child sexual abuse online

The eSafety Commissioner is marking 20 years of fighting online child sexual abuse material through INHOPE – a network of 48 hotlines around the world dedicated to rapidly removing child sexual abuse material from the internet.

“The Australian Government is one of INHOPE’s first members and we are proud to be continuing these efforts at eSafety today, 20 years on,” says Julie Inman Grant, eSafety Commissioner.

“Being a member of INHOPE allows us to overcome jurisdictional challenges and work directly with organisations and law enforcement agencies in the countries where this abominable material is being hosted and spread across the world,” says Inman Grant.

This Financial Year, eSafety’s Cyber Report team are on track to complete 12,000 investigations into child sexual abuse material, an increase of 50% on the previous year.

Globally, there are more than a million reports of child sexual abuse material to INHOPE members each year.

“Sadly, we know this figure is just the tip of the iceberg. The internet is a breeding ground for hosting and sharing this material, and it’s increasingly used by predators to access children and solicit sexual images and videos from them,” says Inman Grant.

“We encourage anyone who sees child sexual abuse material online to report it to eSafety, so we can have it removed and help law enforcement agencies rescue the victims.”

“Our regulatory framework over the past two decades has made Australia an inhospitable place to host this kind of content, which is why being part of a broader global effort against this scourge is so important,” she says.

As part of this effort, eSafety and other INHOPE members are participating in the Project Arachnid pilot, a Canadian-led tech initiative that autonomously detects child sexual abuse at a much faster rate than human analysts.
 
“To get ahead of this issue we need to continue working with our international partners to find new ways to disrupt the production and dissemination of this criminal content,” says Inman Grant.

Members of the public can report online child sexual abuse material to esafety.gov.au/report.

 

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