/ Who is Stopline

Who is Stopline?

Stopline is the Austrian Report Centre against Child Sexual Abuse Material and National Socialism on the internet. Anyone who encounters websites showing illegal material of this nature can contact Stopline. Easily and anonymously, with a minimum of bureaucracy.

The internet is the most important medium for distributing information of our time. But it is also a way for to disseminate illegal content, which is just as liable for prosecution as it would be offline. Stopline is an online reporting centre for people who encounter child sexual abuse material (within the meaning of section 207a Austrian Criminal Code) and evidence of endorsement with National Socialist ideology on the internet (National Socialism Prohibition Act 1947, 1960 Insignia Act). Stopline’s overarching goal is to bring about the rapid removal of this material from the internet with a minimum of bureaucracy, particularly all if they are hosted in Austria. The hotline was set up in 1998 by the Internet Service Providers Austria (ISPA) association.

Stopline’s activities are focused on two very serious criminal offences under Austrian law

Accordingly, the content of the Stopline website exclusively focuses on child sexual abuse material and endorsement with National Socialism. Stopline does not investigate reports relating to any other form of illegal content online. Additional legal texts can be found using the Office of the Federal Chancellor’s online search engine at http://www.ris.bka.gv.at/.

Mutual success thanks to vigilant users and strong partnerships

Stopline is an officially authorised and recognised report centre. It works in close cooperation with the Austrian Federal Ministry for the Interior (Federal Criminal Police Office and Federal Office for Protection of the Constitution and Counterterrorism) and domestic internet service providers as part of ISPA. Activities designed to promote cooperation with the authorities include regular meetings to give the various people involved in following up on the reports the chance to share their technical insights – particularly with regard to new online services and new possibilities emerging on the internet, as well as advances in mobile communications, which is an area that is growing in importance all the time.

Change in the use of the terms “child pornography” and “National Socialism”

Stopline marked its 20th anniversary in 2018 and is taking this milestone as an opportunity to join the international community’s work to eliminate use of the phrase “child pornography”. The former Report Centre against Child Pornography and National Socialism on the Internet is now called the Austrian Report Centre against Child Sexual Abuse Material and National Socialism on the Internet. Experts who work with the young people affected confirm that the term “child pornography” downplays the seriousness of the depictions of sexual abuse, violence and coercion.