Takedown procedures

Definition

  • Procedures to enable the timely decommissioning/removal of child sexual abuse material when a company confirms its presence on its service. Reports can be made by customers, members of the public, law enforcement agencies or hotline organisations.
  • When child sexual abuse material is hosted in another country but has not been removed at source, Internet Service Providers use available technical means such as blocking or filtering to prevent access to that material.

Why is this needed?

  • Allowing child sexual abuse material to remain readily discoverable online will increase offending rates, as it will give others further opportunity to view the illegal material and each and every viewing is a violation of the law.
  • The child in the image is re-victimised every time the material is viewed.
  • Removing the material by the operators of online services reduces the volume of child sexual abuse material on the Internet.
  • Blocking access to child sexual abuse material hosted out of country will disrupt offenders’ access to it, but it is not a long-term solution for the eradication of the material from the Internet. It therefore must be combined with the removal at source. Such an approach ensures that every country is taking responsibility for the removal of this content when it is found to be hosted in-country.
  • Statutory regulation is one but not the only mechanism to tackle child sexual abuse material on the Internet. Self-regulation can achieve similar outcomes when ISPs and others in industry cooperate to remove child sexual abuse material from their services and prevent its further dissemination.

Good practice

  • A set of internationally agreed best practices from INHOPE should be followed to ensure robust processes are in place for the timely removal of content or to block access to child sexual abuse material.
  • A robust IT infrastructure must be in place to enable the secure receipt of information by industry providers. Where possible, the processes should be automated to reduce the number of individuals exposed to the material.