INHOPE | Recap: The CPORT Data Exchange Intelligence Forum
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Recap: The CPORT Data Exchange Intelligence Forum

The second Data Exchange and Intelligence Forum was held in Amsterdam on May 8th, 2024. As a part of project CPORT, the event brought together key stakeholders within the fight against Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) to share knowledge and discuss the facilitation of a direct line of data and information exchange.

Project CPORT aims to improve and optimise information exchange and intelligence flow between each stakeholder by providing law enforcement agencies (LEA) access to ICCAM. This is the second time the CPORT forum has been held. This year with the aim to explore and agree upon actionable steps for quantifiable improvements in the multi-sector exchange of data and information in the fight against CSAM online.

Over 50 representatives from key players such as INTERPOL, Europol, The European Commission, WeTransfer, WeProtect, and Microsoft attended the forum. Law enforcement officials from 15 EU countries joined the forum as well, together with hotline representatives from 8 countries.

Opening remarks

The event kicked off with INHOPE's Executive Director Denton Howard, who welcomed the audience, reminding them of the significance of coming together and working collaboratively to achieve the common goal of combatting CSAM. Denton then outlined the key question of the event: What can each of us do better to optimise the joint fight against CSAM?

INHOPE Connect

Dushica Naumovska, Chief Operating Officer at INHOPE presented INHOPE Connect, a future central platform through which hotlines, law enforcement, industry and other parties can connect to all the services INHOPE has to offer.

Users will be able to log into a unique INHOPE Connect environment for direct access to all tools and data available to them within their jurisdiction. Some of the resources available to users are the ICCAM Platform, the CPORT Portal, the Universal Classification Schema annotation module, a Hash Check Service, and many more. Users can customise their classifications and labels to allow or deny data sharing between sectors as well as within organisations. This will be a great development towards improving information and data exchange across key stakeholders.

Panel discussion “Uniting for change: Actionable steps towards the collaborative fight against CSAM”

During the multi-sectoral panel discussion, we listened to Lorelien Hoet (Government Affairs Director EU at Microsoft), Robbert Hoving (President of Offlimits), Rui Vieira, (Criminal Intelligence Officer at INTERPOL Crimes Against Children Unit) and L'ubica Debnárová (Policy Assistant in the Fight against Child Sexual Abuse team at the Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs in the European Commission). The panel was chaired by Grete Raidma, Project Manager at INHOPE. The panelists discussed multiple questions on the different challenges and solutions in the fight against CSAM.

Based on the report “The Strengths and Weaknesses of the Online Child Safety Ecosystem” by Stanford Internet Observatory Cyber Policy Center that came out in April 2024, one of the questions outlined the major issues all stakeholders are facing: the low-quality reports, lack of resources and legal constraints. These statements held true for most panellists, with legal constraints felt more on the industry end while lack of resources was a larger frustration for LEAs. Rui Vieira emphasized the issue of low-quality reports, explaining that while we are working towards more effective and innovative tools to allow report automation and prioritisation, these automation tools will not work if the quality of reports is low and does not contain the necessary data.

The panelists discussed possible solutions to these multi-sector issues. On the industry and policymaking side, legal certainty and measures are a solution that would help bolster efforts to address such harm. From law enforcement perspective, the creation of a standardised reporting template to be used by industry would prove beneficial in the consistency of report processing and should improve the quality of reports. Furthermore, investing in staff well-being and increasing human resources would help solve many of the issues LEAs face. Above all, the panellists acknowledged the importance of a unified response to fight CSAM, agreeing that all stakeholders should understand and be knowledgeable of the role each member plays to collaborate effectively.

The panellists remarked on the topic of emerging trends in the field of child sexual abuse online, particularly the threats and solutions that could be enhanced through data exchange. Robbert Hoving highlighted a major increase in self-generated content of CSAM, particularly from countries without hotlines. He explained how long-term research partnerships with organisations against sexual violence could provide explanations on the prevalence of such cases, shedding light on the cause behind children self-generating abuse content. The panellists highlighted the trend of artificial intelligence (AI) generated CSAM and the threat it poses due to its rapidly advancing quality. It is becoming more difficult for hotlines and LEAs to distinguish between real and AI-generated content, with actionable efforts against this content further complicated by different legislations on what classifies as "CSAM". Lorelien Hoet explained that Microsoft had just joined Thorn and All Tech Is Human to enact strong child safety commitments for generative AI. L'ubica Debnárová highlighted the European Commission proposal on Recast EU CSA Directive which broadens the definition of child sexual abuse material to ensure that the definition covers such technological developments in a technology-neutral and future-proof way.

The panel concluded with the panellists exploring ideas of improving their use and data exchange to enhance prevention efforts and identify potential barriers. Unanimously, the panellists agreed upon the importance of preventative education, better regulation, and reemphasizing the importance of collaborative efforts across the sectors.

Navigating the legal and regulatory challenges on cross sector information exchange

Kyoungsic Min, Privacy Council at Verasafe presented the legal and regulatory challenges on cross-sector information exchange. Kyoungsic explored the potential privacy issues that accompany cases of CSAM, highlighting the challenge in accessing relevant information for investigations and implementing prevention measures. Moreover, Kyoungsic emphasized the importance of confidence and active stakeholder involvement when dealing with issues related to CSAM.

Kyoungsic discussed the different certainties and uncertainties when addressing data privacy rights, highlighting that any data processing must be justified and fulfils three fundamental justification steps. He also outlined that detecting and identifying CSAM requires extremely delicate and detailed analysis, stressing the importance of balance in mandatory detection measures and the protection of children's rights.

The presentation concluded with Kyoungsic outlining practical implications, while also addressing the need to balance victim and suspects rights within a data privacy context.

Multi-sectoral breakout session

Esmeralda Schoenmakers, Communications Manager and Grete Raidma, Project Manager CPORT at INHOPE introduced an interactive session for the audience to participate in a multi-sector collaboration. The aim for this session was to outline stakeholder challenges and brainstorm Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) that have a measurable impact on mitigating said issues. The OKRs are then set for the next 6 months to improve cross sectoral information exchange on CSAM. The point of this session was to set measurable goals and let every attendee go home with at least one – feasible – action they are going to take towards those goals in the upcoming 6 months.

Information exchange highly depends on the building of relationships and trust. Therefore the power of networking is often mentioned as invaluable (“The most important conversations take place in front of the coffee machine”). In an effort to recreate this setting and streamline and record these conversations, the audience was divided into smaller groups of 6-8 people, with each group consisting of representatives from all sectors. They received an assignment to work on as a group.

The interactive session was a successful collaboration between the stakeholders, in which each group presented their highest priority OKRs. Taking all the OKRs each group presented, each audience member then had to vote for their top 3 OKRs. The highest voted OKRs were:

  1. Start labeling using the Universal Classification Schema (UCS) in order to create standardisation.
  2. From a legislative standpoint, improve awareness and map out the legal landscape.
  3. Create a global, shared database for CSAM material to improve and foster data and intelligence exchange.

An overview of this session will be provided to all the attendees, outlining the OKR’s that were discussed as well as the action points that came from this session. In 6 months there will be a follow-up survey asking all attendees how many of the action points were achieved and what additional steps have been taken. An overview of the results will be published by INHOPE.

Emerging trends & recent AI-solutions

John-John Brandis-Arntzen, Director of Marketing and Business Development at SafetoNet presented SafetoNet's AI-solution able to mitigate some of the emerging threats within CSAM. He outlined the current trends we are seeing within the field, such as self-generated abuse material, highlighting an IWF report of a 1000% increase in self-generated material (age 7-10) since 2022.

John-John addressed AI-generated material as a continuously evolving issue, leading to physical abuse and revictimisation that elongates abuse cycles. Lastly, live-streaming CSAM is a trend that goes almost unreported, as John-John explains it's high prevalence in the Philippines with nearly half a million Filipino children trafficked to create CSAM in 2022. These are real issues that need an immediate, effective solution.

John-John introduced the audience to SafetoNet, a safety-tech company that builds technology to prevent children from viewing and generating harmful online content. They facilitate this by creating technological solutions that prevent harmful content in real-time, one of them being their HarmBlock Technology.

HarmBlock is a machine learning model that uses AI to detect, decern and block harmful and illegal material. The technology was built using datasets provided by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) and has the ability to block the screen whenever CSAM is showing. It has been tested and came back as 97% accurate in detection illegal material.

This technology can be utilised on multiple levels: on devices, platforms and apps or on networks and servers. Children today have access to smartphones and tablets from a young age. By building protection into the hardware (or retro-fitting existing device), the device can no longer be used to create or watch CSAM. John-John highlighted the value of technology such as HarmBlock, as it is a tool that can be customised and used in a variety of ways to prevent harm.

Closing

Denton Howard and Grete Raidma concluded the event by congratulating and thanking the audience members for their active participation and collaboration. Denton highlighted that everyone achieved the goal of the forum, which was to identify what each stakeholder can do better to optimise the fight against CSAM. Through the interactive session, we have collectively shed light on potential solutions that can contribute to solving multisectoral issues.


During the CPORT Data Exchange & Intelligence Forum many key stakeholders had the opportunity to meet in person and discuss the future of data exchange within online child protection. If you would like to be part of the discussion and keep yourself in the loop make sure to register for the CPORT newsletter.

Recap: The CPORT Data Exchange Intelligence Forum
29.05.2024
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This event serves as a vital platform for all key players to explore the question of: What can each of us do better to optimise the joint fight against CSAM?

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