About Stopline Open all
Stopline has committed itself to the fast and unbureaucratic removal of illegal content (child sexual abuse material or national socialism) available in Austria on the Internet. This is quite successful, as Austrian providers, whose systems are used to publish the content, efficiently cooperate with Stopline and immediately react as soon as Stopline informs them about illegal content.
Stopline investigates reports of
- child sexual abuse material within the meaning of section 207a Austrian Criminal Code (StGB) and
- National Socialism within the meaning of the National Socialism Prohibition Act and Insignia Act, inter alia.
As a result, the Stopline website exclusively focuses on these two areas of content. It 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/.
The hotline was set up in 1998 as an initiative of the Internet Service Providers Austria (ISPA) association. Stopline’s foundation was triggered by the discovery of child sexual abuse material on the server of an Austrian provider, which had been put online by one of its customers. The industry responded immediately, taking a stand against illegal content on the internet through Stopline. In addition to following up reports of child sexual abuse images, Stopline was also assigned responsibility for another area for which the internet plays a significant role as a mass medium: edorsement of National Socialism.
Detailed statistics are available here.
In the 20 years it has been active, Stopline has processed more than 68,000 reports. In an average of 22% of cases, the material reported is in fact illegal, the majority of which is hosted on foreign servers (as of April 2018).
There are 2 ways to make a report to Stopline:
- either by using thereport form on the Stopline website,
- or by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you suspect that you have found illegal material, or have information regarding such content, you should report it to Stopline immediately. However, you should not take any other action. Do not do any detective work on your own initiative! Do not actively set off in search of illegal content and do not send any images to Stopline – this also applies to screenshots! This could be interpreted as an illegal act in itself. All it takes for Stopline to follow up a report is an accurate as possible indication of the source of the suspicious material.
Stopline has decided to deal with two major offences in Austrian law: Child sexual abuse material and national socialism. Both offences are widespread in the assumed anonymity of the Internet. Therefore, experts at Stopline have chosen the task of removing these criminal elements from the web.
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.