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Access blocking

Domains and URLs

All the internet sites on the “Worst of”-list are domains and not URLs (Uniform Resource Locator) or complete “internet addresses”. A URL is a more precise address than a domain name, as it defines the placement of an individual document or file on a domain.

The main reasons that domains have been chosen to be added to the list, rather than the absolute address, are the following.

  • Most domains containing child sexual abuse material are established and used exclusively for this purpose and do not have any legal content.
  • Blocking on domain level remains unaffected if the physical material is moved to other hosting companies, other countries or is deleted from its original location. Readdressing is dependent on the domain name and is unaffected by the relocation of the actual material.
  • Blocking on domain level is unaffected if the material is moved between individual pages and addresses on the same domain.
  • Domains containing images of children being sexually abused are as a whole considered illegal until the child sexual abuse material has been removed. The responsibility of the content stored, provided and distributed on the domain resides with the domain owner, regardless of who placed it there.
  • Blocking on domain level will also deny access to pages containing child sexual abuse material residing on the same domain or sub domain, unknown to the police or other entity.
  • Access blocking on domain level makes it possible to use secure, low level and cheap readdressing methods for the Internet access providers.

The INTERPOL General Secretariat will have an offline version of the domain, a trace of its exact location on the Internet when seized, a lookup on the alleged owner of the domain and information stating where on the domain the illegal material was found. Police authorities in any country can get access to this evidence material through police channels on request.

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