INHOPE | The Role of Our Hotlines

The Role of Our Hotlines

The hotline’s primary goal is to notify an Internet Service Provider for the swift removal of the content from the internet and to report the case to the relevant law enforcement agency for victim identification purposes. Hotline analysts are trained by INHOPE staff, INTERPOL police officers and national law enforcement agencies. They assess the illegality of the content according to national and international law. If the content is classified as illegal, the analyst identifies the hosting location of that content. When the hosting is in the same country, the hotline analyst will report it to the national law enforcement agency and the relevant Internet Service Provider in the country. If the content is hosted elsewhere, the analyst forwards the report to the relevant hotline through INHOPE’s secure platform ICCAM.

How INHOPE supports its members

INHOPE provides a framework for all the hotlines within the association. The code of practice outlines the formal structure in which the hotlines operate.

This Code of Practice benefits all members of INHOPE and represents a clear statement of expectations about how INHOPE member hotlines should operate individually and in relation to each other and also how Foundation Participants operate their hotlines individually and in relation to INHOPE member hotlines. This Code of Practice also establishes and maintains common minimum standards for the good operation of an Internet hotline and the role and responsibilities of members of INHOPE. This Code of Practice publicly establishes and protects the integrity of INHOPE and builds confidence among external stakeholders.

INHOPEs minimum and general requirements cover the following:
• Legal requirements
• Security protocol
• Confidentiality
• Stakeholder involvement
• Best practice policies
• Website requirements
• Co-operation between hotlines and with law enforcement
• Staff welfare policy
• Hotline procedures
• Funding and constitution


A hotline can be operated by a governmental institution, a non-profit organisation, an association of internet service providers, a domain registry, or a department of the police. Although less often, hotlines can also be based at research institutes or universities. Hotlines differ in size as well, some with more than 30 analysts and others with just one analyst.