Meldpunt Kinderporno has launched a new telephone number or a hotline number. This number is made available to be used by anyone who comes across online child abuse and pornography of minors in various chat services, for example, Facebook Messenger, Signal, Telegram or WhatsApp for reporting it directly to the Expertise Bureau Online Child Abuse (EOKM). It is the same organization that Meldpunt Kinderporno is part. Apart from this, people can also forward the pornographic images or media to this number. The SIDN fund finances this initiative.
Here is the press release of Meldpunt Kinderporno:
Minister Grapperhaus: Hosting Companies Gets Ultimatum
Online child abuse and child pornography, both are a pretty critical problem. The worst part is that Netherlands host nearly half of these innocence killing activities worldwide. Minister Ferd Grapperhaus of the Ministry of Justice and Security has kept a close watch on this. He has commissioned the TU Delft for developing a tool that scans servers continuously for child pornography and online child abuse. Additionally, it would simultaneously remove these materials and media. With this being said, 67 million images had been checked, and over 10,000 photos had been successfully removed in the first half of this year.
As per the Minister Grapperhaus, it is a first step in the correct pathway. He states that, however, there are still more than enough “lax and wrong ICT companies” that do not proceed with the removal faster enough following a report of child pornography. In the mid-June, the minister has already provided these companies with an ultimatum that if they did not have their affairs in order by September and reappear in the measurement of TU Delft, he would announce all of their names.
“Hosters must be aware that they have a social responsibility to protect children online against abuse,” the minister told the Lower House at the beginning of July. “It is their last chance to clean up their house.”
The Anonymity of the Reporters of Child Pornography and Online Child Abuse Will Be Kept Confidential
Child pornography and online child abuse are not solely restricted to the protected internet or the dark web. Lately, it has been circulating widely on the various social media chat applications like the telegram, WhatsApp, Signal and Facebook Messenger. Off recently, the EOKM has been continuously receiving reports on child pornography that have widely been shared amongst the students. This is the reason why the organization EOKM with the aid of the Internet Domain Registration Foundation Netherlands (SIDN) has opened a unique hotline number. In the events where a person spots child pornographic materials are forwarded through the chat apps, or they themselves have received such things, they can forward the media to the Meldpunt Kinderporno number.
People can report child pornography anonymously at the new Hotline. “We don’t need to know who reported it,” Arda Gerkens, director of EOKM, tells NU.nl. The EOKM does not store any personal data of the person reporting it. In response to the report, the Hotline may, however, contact us once to ask questions. “Sometimes the region in which the reporter is located can be interesting if we encounter specific images more often,” Gerkens continues. “For example, we can inform schools in that area. This is only possible if the reporter agrees to this himself.”
If it is found out that online child abuse has taken place, the Hotline number will immediately share the material with the police. Additionally, the Hotline number adds the images and media to its own database, which would prevent the photos from being shared and used on the internet.
Online Child Abuse & Child Pornography Threshold Needs Decrement
The EOKM also developed a way to answer the forwarded child pornography in the group. “You can let the chat group know that you do not think sharing child pornography is OK at all because of gifs made by us,” says Gerkens.
The reporters could by this time send an attachment to the Meldpunt Kinderporno site in the past. Nevertheless, these photos that they received were not saved and analyzed. At the maximum, the reporters received some advice. But now, this needs to be changed with the new number implementation, which will deliberately cause a decrement in the threshold for reporting. Along with this, the reporters will also receive a response after the material has been received.
“Shortly after reporting, you will receive an automatic response, after which you can remove the material from your device. Otherwise, we run the risk that it did not reach us,” says Gerkens.
Meldpunt Kinderporno site states: “Possession or sharing of photos of sexual abuse of minors is a criminal offence. Do you want to report child pornography or online child abuse to Meldpunt Kinderporno? This can be done via the number 06-42834635. As soon as you add this number to your contact list, you can reach the Hotline via WhatsApp or other chat application.”
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