The Internet knows no borders – complaints hotlines must be well-connected internationally in order to be effective. Eight organizations founded INHOPE in 1999 as part of the EU Safer Internet Program and eco is one of the founding members.
INHOPE (International Association of Internet Hotlines) is the international umbrella organization of complaints hotlines that operate worldwide and deal with complaints about illegal content in the Internet (in particular, depictions of the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of minors). More than 45 complaints hotlines in over 40 countries belong to the organization. Complaints can be forwarded to the relevant partner hotline in other countries within the network. That way illegal content is dealt with in its country of origin. As the hotlines cooperate with law enforcement agencies, this is advantageous for criminal prosecution.
The network has proven its worth. The speedy and safe exchange of information across borders has already led to numerous child pornography rings being brought down.
INHOPE itself is not a complaints hotline, but rather coordinates the work of the member hotlines. The umbrella organization has established minimum standards for the processing of complaints and for the exchange of complaints within the INHOPE network. It also offers regular courses for the staff of complaints hotlines.