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Internet crimes

Given the global reach of the Internet, the posting of child abuse material online constitutes an international crime and demands concerted collaboration worldwide.

At INTERPOL, we work very closely with many partners to increase awareness, enforce laws and to prevent crime in this area. We also work with organizations such as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) to improve safety and security online.

We run many initiatives,including the development of a victim identification network and the coordination of international operations. Key to identifying victims is the International Child Sexual Exploitation database.

A key project involves the monitoring of websites to develop the "worst of" list of sites that are illegal in all countries. We then work with Internet Access Service Providers (ASPs) to block access to sites containing child abuse material.

Identifying videos of abuse

To aid law enforcement in fighting crimes against children, a new forensic technology has been developed to assist in finding and removing the most explicit videos of child sexual exploitation from the Internet.

Created by online security technology provider Friend MTS and donated to the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, the technology generates a unique digital signature, like a fingerprint, of child sexual abuse videos, which can then be compared with other videos to detect matching ‘fingerprints’.

Once a video is given a ‘fingerprint’, police and Internet service providers can quickly and easily identify full or partial copies of the video wherever they are hosted online. This enables online providers to filter and block known child sexual abuse material, and helps police to investigate cases of online child abuse more efficiently.   

Baseline

The Baseline system allows partners in the public and private sectors to recognize, report and remove child sexual abuse material from their networks.

They can do this by checking images and videos on their networks against the Baseline list of ‘digital signatures’, which is calculated from some of the worst child abuse images and videos recorded in INTERPOL’s International Child Sexual Exploitation database.

In the case of a match, the network operators alert the police and can remove the material, thereby limiting its circulation.

The Baseline list is made up of ‘hash codes’, and does not include the images and videos themselves.  A digital signature is only added to the Baseline list following agreement by three different members of  INTERPOL’s specialist network of investigators as meeting strict criteria in terms of the severity of the image content, for example those believed to feature children aged 13 and under. The strict criteria ensure that the Baseline list refers only to images and videos which would be considered as illegal in any country.

News
30 March 2016

Internationally wanted paedophile behind bars thanks to swift police action by Cambodia and Belgium via INTERPOL


15 December 2015

Online child sex abuser forums targeted in INTERPOL-coordinated operation


18 November 2015

Rescuing online child sexual abuse victims spotlighted at INTERPOL meeting


16 November 2015

INTERPOL backs #WePROTECT summit call for model national response in combating child abuse


05 November 2015

INTERPOL General Assembly approves blueprint for Organization’s future


04 November 2015

Rwandan programme to tackle gender-based violence spotlighted at INTERPOL General Assembly


23 September 2015

INTERPOL and FBI to forge closer ties against terrorism and cybercrime


16 September 2015

INTERPOL brings together experts to share best practice in combating ‘sextortion’


25 June 2015

Official visit to INTERPOL by Frances Fitzgerald, Ireland’s Minister for Justice and Equality


14 April 2015

Global efforts to identify child abuse victims via INTERPOL boosted with Microsoft technology


20 February 2015

Togo police arrest suspected child rapist accused of kidnapping two girls from Benin


11 December 2014

INTERPOL role in combating online child abuse recognized by #WeProtect Global Summit


10 December 2014

Stronger cooperation key to success in online child abuse investigations, says INTERPOL Chief


23 June 2014

INTERPOL officer recognized for efforts to protect children’s rights with international award


18 June 2014

Child abuse ring identified through international collaboration via INTERPOL


10 April 2014

Human trafficking an open wound on society, Pope Francis tells conference


09 April 2014

INTERPOL Chief tells human trafficking conference ‘we are allies in global fight to protect human life and dignity’


04 April 2014

Children rescued from trafficking and exploitation in Côte d’Ivoire operation supported by INTERPOL


INTERPOL's International Child Sexual Exploitation (ICSE) database

8 steps to identifying victims of child sexual abuse

Research paper

Child abuse material and the Internet: Cyberpsychology of online child related sex offending
by Aiken, M., Moran, M., & Berry, M. J. (2011)