European Financial Coalition

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EFC reports - Safer Internet day 2016

09.02.2016

On the Safer Internet day 2016, the European Financial Coalition is proud of sharing with you the latest EFC 2012-2015 deliverable: the Best practice guidance for the financial industry and the Policy Analysis for the European Financial Coalition .

After a successful 3 year project, the EFC will continue its activities as a long-term platform, focusing on a 1-year horizon. Each year concrete actions will be agreed upon and planned among the partners of the EFC.

The scope of activities will remain broad as long as aspects affecting the commercial sexual exploitation of children online are concerned. These can include technical developments in communication solutions, new financial tools and products and in particular how these can be abused for facilitating commercial sexual exploitation of children.

The European Financial Coalition, fostering cooperation amongst Law Enforcement, NGOs and Private Sector, intends to continue delivering good results that have a concrete impact on the commercial sexual exploitation of children online.


EFC Newsletter - Issue n. 7

30.10.2015

Please click here to read the latest issue of the EFC Newsletter

The EFC Second Awareness Raising Conference on Preventing the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Online

24.06.2015

The European Financial Coalition against commercial sexual exploitation of children online (EFC) conference held at the European Parliament in Brussels on June 24th, highlighted the persistence of commercial sexual exploitation of children online and emergence of new threats. The event was co-hosted  by MEP Grard Deprez, MEP Vicky Ford and MEP Emma McClarkin who earlier this year supported the adoption of the European Parliament's Joint Motion for Resolution on Child Sexual Abuse Online. The event brought together 70 delegates from law enforcement agencies, the private sector, NGOs, traditional and alternative online payment providers and policy makers who discussed the possible new challenges ahead and highlighted the need for innovative comprehensive strategies to fight this criminal issue.

The aim of the conference was to pave the way in creating a stronger public-private partnership involving new relevant stakeholders to effectively address the evolving criminal trends and the unprecedented opportunities for criminals in the fight against commercial sexual exploitation of children online.

The conference was also the occasion to present the key findings of the EFC strategic assessment published earlier this year. Speakers included the European Cybercrime Center-Europol, that chairs the EFC Steering Group, the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC), that leads the US and the Asia Pacific Financial Coalition against Child Pornography, EUROJUST and Missing Children Europe, who in charge of managing the EFC secretariat and coordinating the activities of the EFC.

Bearing in mind the new threats offered by the misuse of new technology, one of the sessions covered the need for an enhanced public private partnership. The European Commission, EC3-Europol, Google, MasterCard and CGI, representing the Swedish Financial Coalition against child pornography presented their perspective and commitments in fighting the sexual exploitation of children. Conclusions included the necessity of continuous tracing of the further developments of this criminal phenomenon and pointed at involving new key actors whose support is indispensable in delivering adequate and effective responses to the issue, including awareness raising, comprehensive cross-sector training sessions and effective and up to date policy and legislation.  

Olivier Burgersdijk EFC-Chairman and Head of Strategy of EC3 said: "This important partnership offers the unique opportunity to design and launch initiatives that hamper child sexual exploitation online and to improve the conditions for investigation and prosecution thereof. Continued efforts are required to adjust to these crimes and in particular to the way they are facilitated financially and technically."


For further information, please contact:

Delphine Moralis, Secretary General, Missing Children Europe, 

Email:  delphine.moralis@missingchildreneurope.eu

Tel: + 32 2 894 74 82


**END**

About the EFC:

The European Financial Coalition against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Online (EFC) brings together key actors from law enforcement, the private sector and civil society in Europe with the common goal of fighting the commercial sexual exploitation of children online. Members of the EFC join forces to take action on the payment and ICT systems that are used to run these illegal operations. Steering group members of the EFC include Europol-EC3, Missing Children Europe, INHOPE, CEPOL, Eurojust, MasterCard, Visa Europe, Microsoft, PayPal, Google, and the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC). The EFC is chaired by Europol-EC3 and its secretariat is hosted at Missing Children Europe.

EFC Newsletter April 2015

29.04.2015

Please find the latest EFC Newsletter here

The Second EFC Training Session to Improve Competences in the Fight against Child-Abuse Material Online

07.04.2015

Hosted by the European Police College (CEPOL) in Budapest between the 7th-10th of April, this year's EFC training session aims at empowering law enforcement authorities,  private companies and NGOs to counteract the production and dissemination of child sexual abuse material on the internet for financial again. The training takes place in the context of the European Financial Coalition against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Online (EFC), a project chaired by Europol's European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) and coordinated by Missing Children Europe. This year's training session will be led by CEPOL, EC3 and MasterCard.

Budapest, 7 April 2015: This week, a major milestone will be reached in the fight against the production and dissemination of child sexual abuse material over the internet for financial gain. Over the 3 day course led by the European Police College (CEPOL), Europol's Cybercrime Centre (EC3) and MasterCard, over 40 participants representing law enforcement, the private sector and NGO Hotlines from the INHOPE Network, will acquire the technical, operational and procedural competences to detect and prevent the production and dissemination of commercial child sexual abuse material online.

Through a combination of presentations on various methods of investigation and practical workshops participants will become acquainted with relevant internet investigation techniques, act against the use of legitimate payment systems to trade child sexual abuse material and gain knowledge on how to follow and manage criminal compliance procedures. Particular focus will also be placed on how to establish and strengthen public-private partnerships in enhancing the sharing of knowledge and sharpening of (tracing) skills in preventing the misuse of financial services for commercial sexual exploitation of children.

Olivier Burgersdijk EFC-Chairman and Head of Strategy of EC3 said "Having practitioners from various relevant partners attending the EFC training will hopefully improve the prevention of and protection against the abuse of payment systems for the commercial sexual exploitation of children. In particular, the combination of participants from different sectors, including law enforcement and financial services, is expected to contribute to a better mutual understanding of how their roles complement each other. As such, it can stimulate successful multi-disciplinary cooperation and lead to even better results."

In February, the EFC published a strategic assessment of commercial sexual exploitation of children online which found that criminals that sexually exploit children online are becoming more entrepreneurial with technological developments and are continuing to find ways to increase their profits. Live streaming of sexual abuse for payment is no longer an emerging trend but an established reality. It is of particular concern in the context of emerging markets due to increased internet adoption there.

Against this background, Dr. Ferenc Bnfi, Director of CEPOL, stated: "It's time that we stop treating commercial sexual exploitation of children as a side issue. CEPOL is at the forefront of the European Union's response to this threat by providing law enforcement officers with specific training in this area, including several residential activities and webinars scheduled in 2015, and is also an active member of the EFC. I am convinced that after this week's workshops and panel discussions moderated by CEPOL, confidence will be strengthened among public and private stakeholders in order to trace and disrupt child sexual offenders."


For further information, please contact:

Delphine Moralis, Secretary General, Missing Children Europe, 

Email:  delphine.moralis@missingchildreneurope.eu

Tel: + 32 2 894 74 82


**END**

About the EFC:

The European Financial Coalition against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Online (EFC) brings together key actors from law enforcement, the private sector and civil society in Europe with the common goal of fighting the commercial sexual exploitation of children online. Members of the EFC join forces to take action on the payment and ICT systems that are used to run these illegal operations. Steering group members of the EFC include Europol-EC3, Missing Children Europe, INHOPE, CEPOL, Eurojust, MasterCard, Visa Europe, Microsoft, PayPal  Google,  and the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC). The EFC is chaired by Europol-EC3 and its secretariat is hosted at Missing Children Europe.


WP4 Training Session: 7th-10th April 2015 @ CEPOL HQ, Budapest

07.04.2015

The second edition of the EFC training course on 'Combating Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Online' will take place from 7th-10th April, 2015 at CEPOL HQ in Budapest, Hungary. The course will bring together the private sector, law enforcement agencies and relevant NGOs with the purpose of organising a joint training session for all stakeholders engaged in the fight against commerical sexual exploitation of children online. The course will cover practical aspects of the multi-sector cooperation in online investigations of commercial sexual exploitation of children online. 

The EFC Secretariat had recieved a high number of applications from Law Enforcement Authorities, NGOs and even some from the Private Sector and Research Institutions. A total of 30 course participants have been selected, which includes 12 NGOs, many of which are Hotline operators and 17 Law Enforcement participants coming from different EU countries. 

The final preparations for the Training Session are underway and the EFC Secretariat is looking forward to cooperating with the other WP4 members in making it a success.

The NGO Coalition 'Together against Sexual Exploitation of Children', will be hosting a Workshop in Brussels on Friday 24th April 2015

24.04.2015

The NGO Coalition 'Together against Sexual Exploitation of Children', which is a collaborative project between Missing Children Europe, ECPAT and eNACSO, aims to identify the manner in which the 27 EU Member States, bound by Directive 2011/93/EU on the fight against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse of Children and Child Pornography, have been transposing its provisions. On Friday 24th April, the coalition members will be hosting a Workshop in Brussels, focusing on the topics of 'Grooming', 'Disqualification & Screening' and 'Child Friendly Justice' within the context of the Directive and Member States. To participate in the Workshop, please register here by Friday 17th April, 2015. 

The European Parliament Joint Motion for a Resolution on Child Sexual Abuse Online Welcomes the Work of the EFC

16.03.2015

As a result of the plenary debate on the 12th February 2015 regarding the fight against child sexual abuse on the internet, the European Parliament had set a Joint Motion on the 9th March 2015 for a Resolution on Child Sexual Abuse Online. The motion highlighted that the serious criminal offences of sexual exploitation of children and child abuse material requires a comprehensive approach covering the investigation of these offences, including the successful prosecution of offenders, the effective protection of child victims and increase prevention activities.

Therefore, in order to prevent re-victimization through the distribution and availability of child abuse material, the motion asks that Member States law enforcement authorities and Europol are provided with the necessary funds, human resources, investigative powers and technical capabilities to effectively pursue, investigate and prosecute offenders. These developments should include appropriate training to build capacity in law enforcement and judiciary to develop new high-tech capabilities needed to address new challenges including those on the 'dark net'.

There has been great concern over the latest trends of commercial sexual exploitation of children online, including new means of distribution and transaction, most notably through the Deep Web and Darknet. In addition, the vast expansion of the phenomenon of live streaming of abuse for payment has become a major concern for those involved in combating commercial sexual exploitation of children online. The motion calls on the European Commission and Member States to engage with representatives of alternative payment systems in order to identify opportunities for better cooperation with law enforcement authorities, including common training on better identification of payment processes linked to the commercial distribution of child abuse material.

The motion also welcomes the work of the European Financial Coalition against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Online (EFC), which is chaired by EC3 and coordinated by Missing Children Europe. The European Parliament further calls for an effective partnership approach and information exchange between law enforcement authorities, the judiciary, the ICT industry, internet service providers, internet host providers, social media companies, the banking sector and NGOs, with a view of ensuring that the rights and protection of children online are safeguarded. 


To see the full Joint Motion for a Resolution on Child Sexual Abuse Online, please click on the document below.
 

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The EFC 2015 Strategic Assessment on 'Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Online' is now Available

24.02.2015

Live streaming of child sexual abuse is an established harsh reality

Europol analyses the threats and trends of commercial online child sexual exploitation

Technological expansion, growing Internet coverage and the widespread availability of mobile devices are increasingly digitalising our society. Criminals that sexually exploit children online are becoming more entrepreneurial with these technological developments and profiting financially.

Europol's European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) have produced a strategic assessment analysing the threats and trends of online child sexual exploitation (CSE), in order to recommend solutions and enable law enforcement and the private sector to jointly prevent and combat these horrific crimes. The report has been drafted by EC3 for the European Financial Coalition against Commercial Sexual Abuse of Children Online (EFC), which brings together key actors from law enforcement, private industry and civil society in Europe to fight CSE.

Through an examination of the scale and extent of existing activities, as well as the most recent developments, the research shows that the live streaming of abuse for payment is no longer an emerging trend but an established reality. It is of particular concern in the context of emerging markets due to increased Internet adoption there.  
It is also now understood that both individuals with a limited sexual interest in children, as well as those having such an interest, produce and distribute child abuse material (CAM) using new online technologies. This includes the profit-driven blackmailing of children to disseminate indecent materials depicting them, as well as the commercial distribution of images and videos which are self-generated or obtained through online solicitation. In addition, new instances of commercial distribution via the Deep web and the Darknet have been witnessed. The kind of material being commercially traded can be of a 'tailor made' nature, created on demand, and can lead directly to further hands-on abuse.


Europol's Deputy Director Operations, Wil van Gemert, states that "Europol's EC3 in cooperation with members of the European Financial Coalition against Commercial Sexual Abuse of Children Online (EFC) have carried out valuable work in mapping the threats and trends of the horrific crime of online child sexual exploitation. The findings of the research will aid law enforcement and the private sector around the world to safeguard vulnerable children. Our commitment to make Europe a safer place for its citizens, including so many children, is strong and we will continue tracking down the suspected criminals and their victims".

Further findings of the report include a shift from using traditional credit card payments to those providing the most anonymity, namely alternative payment options including virtual currency, and a marked increase in the abuse of legitimate hosting services for distributing CAM, such as cyberlockers.

The report has been produced with invaluable contributions from the European law enforcement community, and EFC members: INHOPE; IWF; CEOP; VISA; MasterCard; PayPal; Western Union; Web Shield; G2; GSMA; Google; Microsoft; ICMEC (International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children); Missing Children Europe; Eurojust; and CEPOL.  Europol's EC3, together with partners from the international law enforcement community and the private sector, will use these findings to further combat these abhorrent crimes.


In order to view the strategic assessment, please click on the document below.



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Save the date: SOS Il Telefono Azzurro Onlus & Safer Internet Day 2015 - 9 February 2015 Milan

22.01.2015

In the framework of the Safer Internet Day 2015, MCE's member SOS Il Telefono Azzurro Onlus intends to organise a further day of study to follow up the constructive, fruitful debate held in 2014, with the aim of paving the way for an integrated competitiveness strategy, for promoting dialogue and in depth reflections on the great themes of online safety. 

From cyberbullying to social networking, SOS Il Telefono Azzurro Onlus aims to be at the forefront of emerging online issues and chooses a topic reflecting current concerns.
 
The event will gather representatives of the institutional and entrepreneurial worlds, and the most important national and international experts in the field of online safety and technology, including Mr Ernie Allen - Former President and CEO of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, for the USA, and Ms Silvia Costa - President of the Committee on Culture and Education of the European Parliament, which have already confirmed their participation.

For further information, please visit SOS Il Telefono Azzurro's website. 


Latest News from the EFC

13.11.2014

Find the latest issue of the EFC's newsletter here

EUROPOL Training Course to Strenghten the Combating of Sexual Exploitation of Children on the Internet

15.10.2014

15 October 2014

15th Europol Training Course on Combating the Sexual Exploitation of Children on the Internet (COSEC), held in  Selm, Germany.


The Hague, the Netherlands


From 6 to 14 October, the course provided training for 58 representatives from EU Member States, non-EU States (Australia, Canada, Switzerland, Moldova, Colombia, New Zealand and USA) and Interpol. The training held at the LAFP-NRW Police Academy was delivered by trainers from Europol, Austria, Belgium, Italy, Portugal, Spain, France and New Zealand, all of whom have extensive knowledge and experience in investigating and combating the sexual abuse of children online. Guest speakers were invited from Interpol, the Lucy Faithful Foundation in the UK, and Portugal. The international and multicultural approach of COSEC is a perfect example of what can be achieved through the joint effort of law enforcement specialists in fighting child sexual exploitation.


Following the European Cybercrime Centre's (EC3) approach to cybercrime and its training ethos, this course brings together expert trainers and specialists to network, exchange knowledge and improve the skills of those fighting against child sexual exploitation on the Internet. In this way, they are better prepared to investigate and dismantle child sex offender networks, while prioritising the rights and safety of the children involved.

Troels Oerting, Head of the EC3 at Europol said: "We are happy to announce that, from today, almost 60 new cyber experts have graduated from our signature course on tackling online child sexual exploitation and are ready to do their utmost to make the Internet safer for our kids. This is a great day for our colleagues and EC3".


Lectures ranged from the latest online investigation techniques and international law enforcement cooperation, through to perpetrator psychology. The course also included a wide range of practical exercises for aligning law enforcement investigation standards. This highly respected Europol course has provided expert training to around 650 law enforcement officers and members of the judiciary from EU Member States and beyond since it first took place in 2000.


Further information is available on Europol's website

Missing Children Europe's President Maud de Boer-Buquicchio appointed UN Special Rapporteur on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography

12.05.2014

Brussels, 12 May 2014 - Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, President of Missing Children Europe and former Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe was appointed UN Special Rapporteur on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography by the Human Rights Council in Genevaon the occasion of its meeting on 8 May 2014. Her appointment is good news for the children of the world, who increasingly become victims of exploitation and abuse as a result of crisis, poverty, migration and other global phenomena.


Maud's dedication to the wellbeing of children and the protection of their rights is well known. With her guiding principle that "children are not mini-human beings with mini-human rights" she prioritized the protection and well-being of children as a horizontal objective throughout all actions undertaken during her mandate at the Council of Europe (2002 - 2012). Her efforts continued since her appointment as President of Missing Children Europe in October 2013, where she has launched a new strategy focusing on the development of a comprehensive approach towards the issue of missing children. The strategy is built around 4 pillars of action: quality services and tools, prevention and awareness, research and evidence and policies and laws. Thematically, Missing Children Europe is focusing on children who go missing as a result of running away from home or the institution in which they have been placed, children abducted by a parent in a cross-border family conflict and children who arrive in Europe unaccompanied and go missing from the shelters in which they are placed. 


"My position as Special Rapporteur will allow me to do more" she said. "Children go missing everywhere, and their disappearances are linked to other phenomena including sexual and other forms of exploitation. More needs to be done to prevent this from happening, beyond the often merely reactive responses that have been developed across Europe and the world."


Maud will continue in her position as President of Missing Children Europe, allowing her to mutually strengthen the fight against the horrendous crimes related to the sale of children, child prostitution and pornography, including where linked to child disappearance.

'Combatting Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Online' training course paves the way for improved public-private cooperation

26.03.2014

'Combatting Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Online' as the subject of a residential course held in Paris, France from 24 to 26 March 2014.  The course was organised within the framework of the European Financial Coalition against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and hosted at the premises of Microsoft in Issy-le-Moulineaux.

Paris, 26 March 2014: The aim of the course was to improve strategic, technical, operational and procedural competences in the fight against the production and dissemination of child abusive material over the internet for financial gain.


The interactive course was attended by practitioners in Investigations and Criminal Compliance processes belonging to Law Enforcement representatives from Austria, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain, as well Payment System Providers and Non-Governmental Organisations. Experts from the Belgian and French Ministry of Justice, CEPOL, the Dutch Child Exploitation Unit, Europol-EC3, the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, MasterCard, WebShield and Western Union provided the participants with guidance and knowledge to improve their operational skills.


This two-track approach led to a very interactive exchange between students and trainers. Workshops and debates were also organised to provide a complete overview from investigation to prosecution. Participants agreed that the provision of an operational perspective on new forms of cyber-investigations and a more effective protection of children on the internet was particularly valuable. 'The impact of the training illustrates the need for continued public-private partnerships in the fight against cybercrime' said Troels Oerting, Assistant Director of Europol, Head of European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) and Chair of the European Financial Coalition (EFC).  'As a key provider of training to law enforcement officials, CEPOL has welcomed the opportunity to cooperate with industry experts to create practical and informative training in this important area added Ferenc Bnfi, Director of CEPOL - the European Police College.


The European Financial Coalition against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Online (EFC) brings together key actors from law enforcement, the private sector and civil society in Europe with the common goal of fighting the commercial sexual exploitation of children online. Members of the EFC join forces to take action on the payment and ICT systems that are used to run these illegal operations. Steering group members of the EFC include Europol-EC3, Eurojust, CEPOL, Google, INHOPE, International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC), Visa Europe, Missing Children Europe, Microsoft, Paypal. The EFC is chaired by Europol-EC3 and its secretariat is hosted at Missing Children Europe.


For more information on the activities of the EFC, visit our website or contact the EFC Secretariat at secretariat@europeanfinancialcoalition.eu

EC3: A look back at the first year

12.01.2014

On 11 January 2013 the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) at Europol opened its doors for business. Created to strengthen the European Union's law enforcement community response to cybercrime, EC3's brief was to help protect European citizens and businesses against existing and future cyber threats.


EC3's specialised Focal Points (FPs) assist EU Member States in tackling specific forms of cyber criminality: FP Cyborg focuses on cybercrime that affects critical infrastructure and information systems in the European Union (EU); FP Twins specialises in combating cybercrime which causes serious harm to the victim - such as online child sexual exploitation; and FP Terminal's area of speciality is in issues connected to online fraud.


In the first year since its inception, EC3 has been called upon to support many large-scale cross-border cybercrime investigations, demonstrating the clear benefit for law enforcement authorities joining forces internationally to tackle this rapidly evolving area of criminality. Investigations that, without EC3 might predominantly have stayed at a domestic level with limited cooperation and impact, have been made truly international by bringing the expertise, technical facilities, intelligence and partners together. More information about the law enforcement operations that EC3 has supported can be found in the European Cybercrime Centre's First Year Report.


Click here to read the full press release


EFC Newsletter December 2013

19.12.2013

Google and Microsoft agree steps to protect children from sexual abuse

19.11.2013

Last week 348 people were arrested in Canada - and 386 young kids rescued - in one of the largest child sex investigations ever seen. It defies belief that anyone would sexually abuse children, especially teachers and doctors entrusted with their care. 

But this awful case highlights the depths to which humanity can sink. 

And while society will never wholly eliminate such depravity, we should do everything in our power to protect children from harm. That's why internet companies like Google and Microsoft have been working with law enforcement for years to stop paedophiles sharing illegal pictures on the web. We actively remove child sexual abuse imagery from our services and immediately report abuse to the authorities. This evidence is regularly used to prosecute and convict criminals.

But as the UK Prime Minister David Cameron said in a speech this summer, there's always more that can be done. We've listened, and in the last three months put more than 200 people to work developing new, state-of-the-art technology to tackle the problem.


  • Cleaning up search: We've fine tuned Google Search to prevent links to child sexual abuse material from appearing in our results. While no algorithm is perfect - and Google cannot prevent paedophiles adding new images to the web - these changes have cleaned up the results for over 100,000 queries that might be related to the sexual abuse of kids. As important, we will soon roll out these changes in more than 150 languages, so the impact will be truly global.
  • Deterrence: We're now showing warnings - from both Google and charities - at the top of our search results for more than 13,000 queries. These alerts make clear that child sexual abuse is illegal and offer advice on where to get help.
  • Detection and removal: There's no quick technical fix when it comes to detecting child sexual abuse imagery. This is because computers can't reliably distinguish between innocent pictures of kids at bathtime and genuine abuse. So we always need to have a person review the images. Once that is done - and we know the pictures are illegal - each image is given a unique digital fingerprint.  Microsoft deserves a lot of credit for developing and sharing its picture detection technology. But paedophiles are increasingly filming their crimes. So our engineers at YouTube have created a new technology to identify these videos. We're already testing it at Google, and in the new year we hope to make it available to other internet companies and child safety organisations.
  • Technical expertise: There are many organisations working to fight the sexual exploitation of kids online - and we want to ensure they have the best technical support. So Google plans to second computer engineers to both the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) here in Britain and the US National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). We also plan to fund internships for other engineers at these organisations. This will help the IWF and NCMEC stay one step ahead.

The sexual abuse of children is a global challenge, and success depends on everyone working together - law enforcement, internet companies and charities. We welcome the lead taken by the British Government, and hope that the technologies developed (and shared) by our industry will make a real difference in the fight against this terrible crime.

The Internet Watch Foundation demystifies how online child sexual abuse material is found and removed and what you can do to help

19.11.2013

Make a difference and report online child sexual abuse images and videos to www.iwf.org.uk.

Your reports matter - they help remove this content from the internet and may help rescue children. Click on the below link and find out how your reports help remove online child sexual abuse content.
Voir la vido

EFC member INHOPE is interviewed by the BBC News Channel about the Terre des Hommes initiative named #Sweetie 10

19.11.2013

"This type of initiative raises awareness on the issue of child sexual exploitation, online and offline. It shows the links existing between %u2018child sex tourism' and the production of child sexual abuse material. It confirms that live-streaming is a new and disturbing criminal money-making trend, a new lucrative platform for organised crime, as it was recently highlighted in a report published by Europol and the European Financial Coalition against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Online (with data from INHOPE).


However, at INHOPE, we believe in cooperation and knowledge sharing. And this is too serious of a crime, in fact one of the worst violations of human rights on the most vulnerable of our citizens, our children, to forget that. Partnership with law enforcement is of critical importance, if we do not want perpetrators escaping  justice and harming again.  Not involving law enforcement can in fact be counterproductive. Perpetrators might not be prosecuted, as there will probably not be enough evidential trail that will stand up in court. By saying %u2018the files will be handed to law enforcement' also gives offenders enough margin of manoeuvre to cover their tracks%u2026Entrapment and enticement are serious issues best left to law enforcement professionals. Tactics should not be publicly discussed, as they might jeopardise ongoing investigations.


We, INHOPE and its member hotlines, stop, with our industry partners, the (re)circulation of child  sexual abuse material on the Internet while providing actionable intelligence to law enforcement which may lead to the arrest of offenders and the identification of victims. We say to the members of the general public, if you stumble across anything you suspect is illegal, help us make a difference, report it, don't ignore it."

EC3 hosts seminar for law enforcement and private sector to combat online child sexual exploitation

15.11.2013

Cooperation among law enforcement, child protection hotlines, NGOs and the private sector was discussed at the Child Sexual Exploitation Experts seminar which took place on 13 November at Europol, The Hague.


The seminar was co-chaired by the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) and INHOPE (the International Association of Internet Hotlines).


The keynote speech "Age assessments from images" was delivered by Dr Sharon Cooper from the University of North Carolina. Representatives of Google, Microsoft and Facebook described their efforts in supporting law enforcement work all over the world.


Some technological developments are helpful in the day-to-day work of investigators, but many others can be used to obstruct law enforcement efforts. That is why cooperation between law enforcement and the private sector is invaluable. One such initiative is the European Financial Coalition against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Online (EFC), the activities of which were presented during the seminar by Missing Children Europe.

Case studies demonstrating the benefits of public-private information exchange were well received by the audience. Special attention was given to emerging trends in the field of child sexual exploitation, such as sextortion and live streaming. The need for the consistent use of correct terminology was again underlined, for example referring to "child sexual exploitation" instead of "child pornography".


"Yesterday around 190 experts from Industry, NGO, Academia and Law Enforcement met at Europol to discuss how best to cooperate in this difficult but important crime field. Many new ideas and possibilities were discussed and our network has been further developed and enhanced. The trend seems to be that the abuse is expanding, using live streaming and hidden services on the Internet. This makes it more difficult for law enforcement to track down the perpetrators, but the spirit during the meeting remained optimistic and positive. I would like to thank each and every participant in the meeting for their dedication to saving babies and children from being abused and sexually exploited. What we do together is invaluable and makes a difference - and every rescued child is a great victory", Troels Oerting, Head of the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) said.


Russell Chadwick, Executive Director of INHOPE, stated: "This is an extraordinary opportunity for our member hotlines and national law enforcement agencies to take stock of recent progress, share knowledge on current trends and anticipate future threats. Online child sexual exploitation is likely to rise in the coming years, with ever-increasing Internet adoption rates globally. To prevent and protect, we need maximum cooperation and a multi-stakeholder approach. Digital citizens need to know where to report illegal content and criminal conduct. For this very reason, the INHOPE family continues to expand. Just this week, we welcomed new members and we are now a network of 49 hotlines in 43 countries, and therefore an ever-more relevant partner to law enforcement, as a provider of quality leads and actionable intelligence. This is of critical importance in emerging markets, where child sex tourism is closely linked to the production of child sexual abuse material."


There is no doubt that combating child sexual exploitation requires cross-sector efforts and understanding. According to the participants of this seminar, Europol perfectly fulfils its role in this field, by facilitating a constant dialogue between the law enforcement community and the other key stakeholders.

New cybercrime report examines disturbing trends in commercial online child sex abuse

15.10.2013

Brussels, 15 October 2013


The vast majority of child abuse material continues to be distributed for 'free' on the open net but the use of hidden services like TOR makes it increasingly difficult for law enforcement to identify perpetrators and networks behind the production and distribution of child sexual abuse material.


These findings, contained in the new Strategic Assessment of the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Online by the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) at Europol, were unveiled today at a meeting of the European Financial Coalition against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Online (EFC). It examines the disturbing trends in online child sex abuse and presents recommendations for law enforcement and their partners to prioritise activities to combat the sexual abuse and rape of children for profit.


A growing source of concern highlighted in the report is the new and disturbing money-making trend of sharing live streamed videos of the abuse and rape of children via the Internet. Organised criminal networks operating in Asia offer to rape children on demand' for perpetrators who view and direct the sexual assault in real-time. This crime poses new challenges for law enforcement as the evidence' to prove the crime is streamed and not captured anywhere.


Troels Oerting, Head of the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) and present Chair of the EFC, said: "We need to keep pace with these sophisticated criminal networks that distribute child sexual abuse material via cyberspace to child molesters all over the world, including the EU. It always surprises me how the disgusting abuse of children for sex crimes continues to develop, and that creative cyber savvy criminals now offer secure means to distribute - even live -  this awful material for money to a significant global customer base. Law enforcement needs to focus even more on this illegal use of the Internet and engage in systematic intelligence gathering, sharing, crime prevention and investigation. We owe this to the children who are betrayed by those they should normally be able to trust - the adults." ...

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Introducing the second issue of the European Financial Coalition's newsletter

14.08.2013

Dear reader,

I am pleased to introduce the second issue of the newsletter of the European Financial Coalition against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Online; in short, the EFC. The EFC is concerned to tackle a key problem of the Internet age: essentially, to find ways to protect children against the use of the Internet for child sexual abuse. The sexual abuse of children is a widespread phenomenon, and includes the torture and rape of children or even infants. While the importance of preventing this from happening may seem obvious to any parent and child, a number of issues are at stake.


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EUROPOL-INTERPOL CYBERCRIME CONFERENCE 2013

05.08.2013

The Head of the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) and the Executive Director for the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation are pleased to announce the forthcoming Europol-INTERPOL Cybercrime Conference 2013.


The Europol-INTERPOL Cybercrime Conference is an innovative joint initiative that will be held every other year in The Hague and Singapore. This year's edition will be hosted by Europol in The Hague, the Netherlands, on 24 & 25 September, starting with a welcome reception offered by INTERPOL the evening before.


The two-day conference is intended to bring together the management of cybercrime units from around the world in order to further strengthen cooperation. Day 1 will be dedicated to law enforcement only, while on the second day partners from academia, NGOs, CERTs and private industry are also invited to join.


For more info please visit Europol's website

Welcome to the New EFC Members

05.08.2013

The EFC is glad to announce that 3 new members have joined the Coalition: welcome to CEPOL, Western Union Financial Services, Inc. and Web Shield Limited. These important stakeholders will contribute actively to the EFC Project by offering their knowledge and expertise to the relevant Work Packages.
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Increased cooperation between private companies and EU law enforcement to combat on-line child sexual abuse

05.08.2013

Yesterday, 12 June 2013, the 3rd meeting of the European Financial Coalition Steering Group (EFC) took place. The Steering Group is in charge of the overall management of an EU project, funded by DG Home, which focuses on preventing and combatting on-line financial abuse of children. It is chaired by the Head of the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) at Europol and includes representatives from Missing Children Europe (coordinator of the EFC Secretariat), the International Association of Internet Hotlines (INHOPE), EUROJUST, Microsoft, Google, Visa Europe, MasterCard Europe, PayPal, the Dutch National Police, and the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC - Advisor).

255 child predators arrested, 61 victims identified during Operation iGuardian

18.07.2013

Investigators note 'disturbing' trends involving online enticement and 'sextortion'

WASHINGTON - Two hundred and fifty-five child predators were arrested and 61 victims of child sexual exploitation identified during a five-week operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task forces across the United States and its territories. 

Operation iGuardian, which ran May 28 to June 30, was a surge operation conducted as part of HSI's Operation Predator to identify and rescue victims of online sexual exploitation, and to arrest their abusers as well as others who own, trade and produce images of child pornography.

(...)


According to investigators, a 'disturbing trend' is emerging in which child predators are increasingly using the Internet to entice children to produce and share sexually explicit material online. During Operation iGuardian, HSI and ICAC investigators encountered various child predators chatting online with minors about sexual topics, sending them obscene images, encouraging them to produce nude or sexual photos and videos, and attempting to meet them in person to engage in sexual activity. In some cases, child predators are also sexually extorting, or 'sextorting' D the minors into producing additional and increasingly graphic images and videos.

(...)

Twenty-four of the 61 victims identified during the Operation iGuardian were engaging online with strangers who sexually exploited them. Their ages ranged from 7 to 17, the majority aged 13 to 15 years old. Of the 61 victims identified, four were under the age of 3; five were ages 4 to 6; 13 were ages 7 to 9; 10 were ages 10 to 12; 23 were ages 13 to 15; and six were ages 16 to 17. Forty-two were girls and 19 were boys.

Of the 255 child predators arrested during Operation iGuardian, 20 were charged with online sexual enticement of a minor, two of which escalated to sextortion of multiple victims (see Caraballo-Colon and Romero Barrios cases below). The other 235 were charged with child pornography production, possession and distribution of child pornography; traveling with the intent to have sex with a minor; and various other offenses, including rape and molestation. Of the 255 arrested, 251 were men and 4 were women.  


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Increased law enforcement cooperation is the key to fighting online child abuse

29.05.2013

Online child abusers are becoming increasingly sophisticated, but police agencies are still preventing crimes and bringing criminals to justice more effectively than ever before.


The Hague, the Netherlands


Today sees the release of the latest assessment by the Virtual Global Taskforce (VGT), a group of law enforcement agencies from around the globe dedicated to fighting online child abuse. The VGT Environmental Scan combines cutting edge scientific research with unprecedented access to the operational experiences of specialist law enforcement officers. The assessment focuses on the methods used by online child abusers to victimise children and young people, and the ways in which young people may be making themselves more vulnerable to unwanted approaches by adults.

The VGT Environmental Scan has been produced by the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) at Europol, the European Police Office, with the assistance of VGT agencies and specialist law enforcement officers in the EU Member States. "As Internet technology further develops and previously underconnected parts of the world come online, we can expect to see new offenders, new victims, and new means of committing crimes against children," says Troels Oerting, Head of EC3. He adds: "The VGT Environmental Scan is a landmark assessment which enables agencies like Europol not only to target offenders more effectively, but to deliver crime prevention measures that keep pace with the ways children and young people use technology in their daily lives."

Cecilia Malmstrm, European Commissioner for Home Affairs, says "The report represents a valuable contribution to better understand trends and behaviours of child sexual offenders both online and offline and is a very useful tool to define more effective policies to prevent and fight child sexual abuse. It draws attention to some worrying developments, for example the fact that individuals involved in the distribution of child abusive material are increasingly making use of hidden services, anonymisers and encryption, and the fact that teenagers are more exposed to online grooming and sexual solicitation than younger children."

                                                          

The VGT Environmental Scan finds that offenders' compulsive Internet usage and online networks of abusers may fuel hands-on offending against children and young people. These same networks also use increasingly secure methods to distribute child abusive material, including previously unseen indecent images and videos of children. New material potentially means new abuse. Identifying and locating victims of ongoing abuse is the top priority of specialist officers in VGT agencies.

Also highlighted is an increase in the distribution of sexually explicit images and videos by young people themselves - sometimes known as "sexting" - and the need to make young people aware of how this material may be circulated without their consent, and even used as a tool to blackmail them into sexual activity with an adult. 

Currently chaired by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the VGT aims to make the Internet a safer place, identify, locate and help children at risk and hold perpetrators appropriately to account. The Report Abuse button on the VGT website is an effective way to report suspicious online behaviour - this, the full report and further information can be found at www.virtualglobaltaskforce.com 

Europol warns cybercrime schemes fuelling mobsters' rackets

19.03.2013

Cybercrime agency Europol has warned that organised crime groups (OCGs) are increasingly using cyber scams to help fund other activities by taking advantage of poor security in place at many organisations...
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New European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) opens at Europol

11.01.2013

The Hague, the Netherlands


Today saw the official launch of the new European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), based at Europol's state-of-the-art headquarters in The Hague. EC3 will be the focal point in the EU's fight against cybercrime, protecting citizens and businesses against cybercrime threats.


The new Centre will serve as a European information hub on cybercrime, developing and deploying digital forensic capabilities to support investigations in the EU, building capacity to combat cybercrime through training and awareness raising, as well as delivering best practice on cybercrime investigations.

Sunflower Operation

03.01.2013

123 sexually exploited children identified by HSI during 'Operation Sunflower' Operation commemorates anniversary of an 11-year-old girl rescued in Kansas; reflects the agency's growing focus on victim-centered investigations

WASHINGTON - One hundred twenty-three victims of child sexual exploitation were identified by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents during an international operation aimed at rescuing victims and targeting individuals who own, trade and produce images of child pornography. Of that number, 44 children were directly rescued from their abusers and 79 were identified as either being exploited by others outside of their home or are now adults who were victimized as children.


HSI launched Operation Sunflower in November 2012 to commemorate the one-year anniversary in which the identification of a sunflower-shaped highway road sign led to the rescue of an 11-year-old girl in Kansas. Operation Sunflower was executed through the first week of December 2012, but victim identification and rescue efforts continue under HSI's Operation Predator.

Private industry, NGOs and law enforcement step up the fight against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Online

21.02.2013

Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrm, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs and Rob Wainwright, Director of Europol announced the launch a new European Financial Coalition against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Online. The 36-months project co-financed by the European Commission will tackle old and new online commercial distribution practices of child sexual abuse material.



Brussels, 26 November 2012

Representatives of law enforcement, civil society and private industry have launched the new European Financial Coalition against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Online (EFC).


This initiative, co-financed and supported by the European Commission, aims to fight the sexual exploitation of children online by taking action via the payment and ICT systems that are used to run these illegal operations. It builds on a previous project launched in 2009 which aimed at combating commercial websites facilitating the trade of child abuse material.


"Child abuse and its commercial exploitation are heinous crimes against our most vulnerable citizens. We must bring together key players from law enforcement, industry and civil society to halt the shameful trade in child abuse material. This coalition does exactly that", Cecilia Malmstrm said.


While enormous progress has already been made and the number of traditional commercial websites has decreased, one has witnessed over the past years a migration towards more opaque online environments, such as chat groups or private, peer-to-peer file sharing networks (darknet).


Rob Wainwright, Director of Europol and Chair of the EFC said: "the commercial exploitation of child abuse takes new forms and is increasingly difficult to track, law enforcement needs to get a better insight into the payment and ICT capabilities of criminals. That is why cooperating with the private sector and civil society in the framework of such initiatives has become more important than ever"


The new European Financial Coalition will work towards five objectives :


  • Support international law enforcement investigations; wherever possible through cooperation with private stakeholders;
  • Assess & study the commercial child sexual exploitation on the Internet through all kinds of Internet environments, such as hosting services, newsgroups, etc.
  • Help protect legitimate private business interests from possible misuse of their services  perpetrated by criminals with the aim of distributing  child sexual abuse content through different information & communication technologies;
  • Empower law enforcement & private companies in counteracting the problem through the delivery of training & sharing of resources
  •  Inform decision makers & raise awareness among the public about the EFC's activities

The chair of the new European Financial Coalition is held by Europol. The secretariat is hosted by Missing Children Europe in Brussels and led by a Steering Committee composed of representatives of INHOPE, MasterCard, Visa Europe, PayPal, Microsoft, Google, Eurojust, the KLPD, and the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC).

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