As law enforcement agencies become even more cyber-savvy, so do the distributors and consumers of child sexual abuse material (CSAM). Although most CSAM is hosted on image sharing sites, it has been claimed that 10% of the sites hosted on the dark net are dedicated to hosting CSAM. Research by the Global Commission on Internet Governance also found that CSAM was the most popular type of content on the dark net.
In response law enforcement, industry, non-profits and government across the world are sharing intelligence and techniques for combating CSAM on the dark web.
The organization bringing together this global joint taskforce is INHOPE (International Association of National Internet Hotlines). Through its network of 45 hotlines in 40 countries, INHOPE takes down CSAM from the internet with the aim of eradicating it completely. Crisp is proud to be a corporate partner of INHOPE.
What can the dark net reveal about CSAM image sharing?
INHOPE recently held a focus group on dark web crawling and how, by correlating the resulting information, organizations can reveal key intelligence for further investigation. One of our technical leads took part in the discussion, which centered around understanding the relationships between users and content on both the dark web and surface web. In particular, how a better understanding of these relationships can help law enforcement identify children featured in the material, unearth pedophile rings, locate those producing the material, and locate where this material is being hosted.
This focus group formed part of a wider discussion about the ways in which technology can power the fight against online CSAM. Other topics included current and future challenges of combating CSAM on the dark web, the criminalization of virtual CSAM, and investigating the commercial child sexual abuse landscape. By addressing these high-impact topics and through work already underway, INHOPE can move closer to its aim of eradicating CSAM completely.