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The Second EFC Awareness Raising Event: Facing the Challenges Ahead Together: A Stronger Public-Private Partnership against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Online

24.06.2015

EVENT OVERVIEW

On June 24, the European Financial Coalition against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Online (EFC), a European Commission funded project, organised its second awareness-raising event in the premises of the European Parliament. Its aim was to increase awareness on challenges related to the commercial sexual exploitation of children online and highlight the need of transversal approach in addressing this particular issue, as well as to encourage additional and new key actors to get involved.

The conference had two panels. The first panel addressed the persistence of child sexual exploitation for commercial purposes and the emergence of new threats and challenges, as well as the unprecedented opportunities for criminals. The second panel focused on the importance of public-private partnerships in delivering new and innovative strategies to fight this practice and highlighted the need for up-to-date and effective policies. Q&A sessions followed every panel. MEPs Vicky Ford and Emma McClarkin (ECR, UK) equally participated in the event, with opening and closing statements respectively. A summary of the discussions can be found below:


KEY NOTE SPEECH


Vicky Ford (ECR, UK) delivered the keynote speech of the second awareness-raising event on this subject organised by the European Financial Coalition. Ms Ford mentioned that, in her capacity of chairwoman of the European Parliament Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection and of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group's Digital Single Market policy group, she was committed to seize all the opportunities that would lead to unlocking benefits for the single market in the digital world. At the same time, she said that this commitment must also include ensuring safety and security of children when going online. The suffering of abused children must be put to an end and perpetrators must be prosecuted and convicted. In her opinion, the EU's political differences have no place when discussing the protection of children.

Ms Ford pointed out that there are many videos and pictures of children being sexually abused circulating online. These materials with illegal content need to be identified and taken down. In this respect, she gave credit to Europol, which was very powerful and efficient in performing this task. She said that Europol and its Cybercrime centre need adequate resources and expertise in order to be able to go on with this task. Ms Ford stressed the importance of closely working with law enforcement authorities and explained that this crime should not be tackled at country-level or only at EU-level, but should be dealt with in a holistic approach, internationally.

Regarding law enforcement activities, Ms Ford believed they should be innovative and always one step ahead. She insisted on the need to make sure that actions taken in legislation are not making things more complicated for those working on the ground.

She mentioned that companies such as Google and Microsoft are contributing in this fight by blacklisting paedophiles. She also said that the EU is closely cooperating with the US in the field. Ms Ford believed more agencies to operate across countries are needed.

In terms of EU legislative instruments used in tackling this problem, she mentioned the 2011/92/EU Directive on combating the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and child pornography. Although this directive is an important piece of legislation which contributes to this fight, Ms Ford insisted on the need to adapt and update the EU's response to recent developments, while taking into account the technological advancements. She also referred to the Net Neutrality provisions, which could be exploited to allow child abuse images to be shared and thus, weaken the fight against online child sex abuse. She stressed the need to make Internet service providers remove illegal content.

Finally, Ms Ford touched upon the payment methods used to purchase or have access to such illegal content involving children. She believed that credit cards must not provide a refuge for criminals, nor any other digital payment tool. On platforms, she was convinced that they are not the cause of the problem and that she wanted to make sure that discussions on this particular aspect continue. Ms Ford also said that, lately, barriers between 'online' and 'offline' are more and more broken, which contributes to increasing the phenomenon.

Ms Ford concluded her speech by saying that the EU, alongside with other stakeholders, must do everything they can in an interconnected way at all levels across the world to put an end to this problem. She said that suffering does not end when the abuse ends and that children experiencing abuse need lifetime support.


#TOGETHEREFC: LOOKING BACK - LOOKING FORWARD


Delphine Moralis (Secretary General - Missing Children Europe and Manager of the EFC Secretariat) gave an overview of the European Financial Coalition's activities. The EFC is a European group of stakeholders that work together to counteract the selling and abuse of children online. It was set by the European Commission and it supports international investigations of child materials online by:

1. Cooperating with law enforcement authorities and benefiting from support of the payment methods providers;

2. Obtaining a better understanding of the problem, as credit cards are no longer the only payment methods and new challenges arise;

3. Supporting the private sector in counteracting the sale of children by equipping them with appropriate tools;

4. Training law enforcement practitioners and payment providers to work together and prevent this from happening;

5. Raising awareness of the phenomenon.

Ms Moralis said the EFC was launched in 2012 and that it achieved some progress since then. The research and work carried in the various working groups facilitated a more reactive response. The EFC carried out two strategic analyses for a better exploration of the landscape. Ms Moralis said that the EFC worked with the private sector, with policy analysts, law enforcement authorities, NGOs and payment methods providers. In terms of awareness, the EFC organised another conference on the subject, sends regularly a newsletter and has meetings with stakeholders.

She also gave credit to the EU Cybercrime Centre which changed the way in which law enforcement is working and implicitly, changed the way the EFC works. She mentioned that digital currencies became more popular and predominantly used in child exploitation. In terms of ways forward, Ms Moralis mentioned that the European Parliament adopted a resolution in which it expressed concerns over this increasing phenomenon, underlying the importance of public-private partnership. She said that the EFC is committed to respond to that request and believed that the EFC has role to play due to its multi-stakeholder approach and its aim to build bridges and connect dots between other similar projects.


 FACING THE CHALLENGES AHEAD TOGETHER


Katarzyna Staciwa (Analyst - FP Twins and European Cybercrime Centre - Europol) said that the European Cybercrime Centre (ECR3) - Europol prepared an update on to the Strategic Assessment of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Online published in October 2013. She acknowledged the complexity of the area and emphasised the need for strategy documents. She said that the current update provides a good overview of the challenges that need to be addressed. She particularly insisted on the need to change the perception on this phenomenon. Regarding the current state, she said that many people are victims of outdated ways of thinking, considering the percentage of abused and molested children is very low. Actually, she said, this crime area is very dynamic and the phenomenon is increasing. She referred to the livestreaming and the commercial distribution of child abuse materials as materials for direct transition and also the so-called cyber lockers that provide illegal content to be downloaded by way of making a premium account as ways of perpetuating this crime.

Ms Staciwa then referred to the key findings of the study. Firstly, the study shows that there is enough evidence to stop qualifying the live streaming of abuse for payment an emerging trend, but an established reality. Secondly, new technologies and materials seem to be used by perpetrators, thus becoming more entrepreneurial. Thirdly, the study shows that there has been a marked increase in the abuse of legitimate hosting services for the distribution of child abuse material. Moreover, online services are used by entrepreneurial offenders to distribute child abuse materials for profit. Also, the use of hosting and live streaming services for commercial sexual exploitation is a trend requiring proper countermeasures, enabling providers to introduce procedures for identifying and mitigating the spread of child abuse material. Another finding referred to the need to give more attention to commercial activities in the Deep Web and Darknet. Lastly, the study shows that there is a clear shift from credit card payments to alternative payment options, including virtual currency, which provide more anonymity and a 'safer environment in the offenders' understanding.

On the legal challenges, Ms Staciwa touched upon the decision of the European Court of Justice on the Data Retention Directive, which mandates that telecom operators must retain all their customers' communications data for up to two years which the Court declared invalid, taking the view that it interferes with the fundamental right to respect for a private life and to the protection of personal data. The Data Retention Directive was unanimously rejected by every Supreme Court and Constitutional Court in several countries. She also mentioned that there are many challenging cases which need to be solved and which are a clear expression of the problem faced. She concluded by saying that commercial sexual exploitation has not been eradicated, but evolved in new forms of criminality, which needs to be dealt with in an unregulated and debunked digital economy.


Catherine J. Cummings (Senior Director - International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children and US Financial Coalition against Child Pornography) presented the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children. She said that this organisation tried to make the world a safer place for children by eradicating child abduction and sexual exploitation. It provides training to law enforcement practitioners, NGOs and Government officials. The International Centre carries out research and publishes reports on the topic and it also advocates for the necessary changes in legislation. It also leads global coalitions and promotes public-private partnerships in order to put an end to this phenomenon.

In 2006, it became evident for the Centre and for the Congress that, as offenders were using credit cards for subscriptions to child pornography websites, the goal was to disrupt the economics of this business. Primacy was given to working with law enforcement authorities in order to do test transactions. The protocol, she explained, was that the Federal law enforcement needed to have information about the websites in question. It could not take action, but could require to the payment industry to take the necessary action when a merchant was found to commit fraud and offer illegal content. The next step was to contact the merchant's bank in order to close the account. The US Financial Coalition never focused on individual, but rather on the merchant side of the equation, considering that it had more impact. It actually was successful in its operations, she explained, as after three years, it became increasingly difficult to do a transaction with a credit card and that there were significantly fewer website communicated to the Federal.

In terms of next steps to be taken, Ms Cummings highlighted the importance of switching to prevention mode, as the industry felt that if pressure was off, the practice would go up again. She then talked about the global efforts of the US Financial Coalition, saying that significant progress was recorded in the Asia-Pacific region. She believed that the most effective approach was an in-country approach. 


Daniela Buruian (Contact Point for Child Protection, EUROJUST) presented EUROJUST's activities and role, from a judicial perspective, in the field. EUROJUST is an EU agency dealing with judicial cooperation in criminal matters. It helps, supports and assists national prosecutors and judges when dealing with serious crimes through coordination meetings, joint investigations and setting up coordination centres. EUROJUST's mandate is to facilitate the cooperation, to provide legal assistance, to support and improve the coordination of investigations and prosecutions between competent authorities in the Member States.

Regarding child protection, it is determined to counter any forms of child abuse. Its activity was recently enforced by establishing a Contact Point for child protection, dealing with missing children, child pornography, trafficking of children and sexual exploitation. It acts as a centre for expertise in the field and also represents EUROJUST in this field. The Contact Point collects information on transnational cases and disseminate it and collects best practices in proving criminal activities, which then shares them with practitioners.

The Contact Point engages in cooperation with both Interpol and Europol. The cases they deal with are coming from the Member States, which do not have an obligation to ask for its support, but they are encouraged to do so. Ms Buruian explained that these serious cross border crimes on children pose as a double challenge: on the one hand, the most vulnerable victims are involved, children and on the other hand, the cyberspace, where criminals can hide their crimes and benefit from anonymity. She also said that evidence is collected respecting legal requirements and that there is the need of a partnership for the entire life cycle of the case, through coordination meetings with experts dealing with the case in question.

She said that EUROJUST and the Contact Point are advising practitioners, experts and all those involved to cooperate from an early stage in order to be able to identify the best solutions. She also acknowledged the major difficulties arising in this field and stressed the importance of making aware to Member States judicial authorities of these challenges and of the need to cooperate with banks, Internet service providers and other stakeholders. She particularly mentioned the difficulties they face with the different legal provisions, mostly related to data protection, in the different jurisdictions and said that legal provisions are needed to ensure cooperation with the private sector.


Heidi de Pauw (Vice-President - Missing Children Europe and CEO - Child Focus) started her intervention by saying that only by acting together is there the potential to create tangible changes to the number of children who are being exploited online. She highlighted two challenges when fighting commercial sexual exploitation of children online:

1.    The importance of protecting the privacy of digital, as children no longer see the difference between 'online' and 'offline', which often require to apply double standards. On the one hand, children's protection need to be guaranteed, but on the other hand, the fundamental rights, such as freedom of expression, Internet freedom, the right to privacy, enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights and in the EU Charter of fundamental rights, need to be guaranteed. She made a reference to Article 25 of the 2011/92/EU Directive on combating the sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of children and child pornography. She said that the original text included the mandatory blocking access of websites disseminating images of abused children. As the proposal was highly debated by the European Parliament which conducted to a less strong wording. While Member States have pursued actions to reinforce the directive and its scope, an aspect was neglected, namely the protection of privacy of children. She therefore called for rethinking the importance of privacy, but from children's perspective.

2.    The prevention, as EFC efforts can have an impact. She believed that solutions must be comprehensive and prevent children to become victims. In order for this to happen, actions need to be done both locally and nationally. She said that in order to empower children to be safe online, parents need to control what their children are seeing online. For this reason, organisations need to come together to run campaigns and provide help lines in order to contribute to creating a safer online environment. She therefore recommended the rethinking prevention and come up with innovative solutions. She mentioned two areas where traditional prevention is no longer efficient: the increase of commercial self-materials and live streaming for sexual abuse payment.

Ms de Pauw concluded that new ways need to be found in order to reach out to the community so as to solve the underlying problems of selling children online. She believed that prevention alone was not sufficient, but that global action of all stakeholders was required.


Friso Stoffer (Chief Financial Officer and virtual currencies expert - Coblue Cybersecurity B.V.) talked about Bitcoin as an alternative payment system for online purchases and not only. He said that Bitcoin appeared in a paper written by a person or a collective of people under the name Satoshi Nakamoto, published in 2008. The idea was to create an electronic payment system, but also a currency, that could allow to money transfers without the need of a third party. What it was particular with this new system, was that, being digital, the money could have been easily multiplied and copied. Another innovative point of this new system was that it was based on advanced mathematics and cryptography.

Mr. Stoffer explained that, along with Bitcoin, the idea of micro-transactions emerged. For example, in order to be able to read an article, people are asked to pay 5 cents. The same goes for charities, for which raising money become more feasible with Bitcoin. The real question was how to get people to accept this new system. In the beginning, only people in the field were using this payment system. In 2010, the first transaction was done in the so-called 'real world'. But in the meantime, Mr. Stoffer said, many things changed and the value of Bitcoin increased tremendously and it became accepted by a lot of companies and shops.

The backdoor that Bitcoin opens is related to certain attributes that are suited for criminal activities. Bitcoin could be used to buy drugs, weapons, stolen goods, fake products, it could serve to money laundering ends, DDoS services, violence services and exploitation. When talking about child exploitation, Bitcoin is something to be taken into account. In his opinion, Bitcoin represents a new challenge as it opens new ways of doing business and offers the possibility of being anonymous. From a criminal point of view, he concluded, Bitcoin should really be analysed and included in the general discussion on sexual child exploitation.


A STRONGER PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP


Csar Alonso Iriarte (Policy Officer - Fight against organised crime, DG Migration and Home Affairs - European Commission)  talked about why public-private partnerships (PPP) are needed in this field, how the actors involved can arrive there and what would be the contribution of the EU to make this happen.

Regarding the reasons for which PPPs are needed, Mr. Alonso Iriarte explained that, first of all, the Internet is used by everyone, but that it is privately owned. Therefore, the issues that arise from this fact need to be addressed by taking into account the reality and not the way we would like the reality to be. Secondly, because the matter addressed represents a breach of human rights. He believed that in this particular case, industry should be left out in order not to privatise the law enforcement. Looking in the case-law, he said, the European Court of Justice stressed the need to strike a balance between rights, but at the same time, it expressed that the privacy of children is an imperative. Thirdly, PPPs are needed out of a social responsibility.

PPPs are needed in order to protect children, to prevent abuse, to prosecute offenders, to disrupt the distribution and trade linked to child abuse online. Actors could do several things depending on their intervention in the process. NGOs, hotlines, payment services, search engines, hosting providers, telecom companies, cloud computing companies, social media and research institutes have all a role to play.

Mr. Alonso Iriarte emphasised the key factors to make PPPs happen:

1.    The need of incentives for private sector to intervene, namely to guarantee ownership and to link it to moral imperative and reputation;

2.    The need to remove hurdles, which are of two kinds: legal ones (related to competition issues, liability, criminal procedure, intellectual property and data protection) and organisational ones (related to internal rules, resources and costs);

3.    The need to develop trust among partners.

He said that the EU could support PPPs to fight child sexual abuse online by:

1.    Changing, implementing and monitoring the implementation of legislation. He gave the example of the 2011 directive which established the removal and blocking of child abuse material, as well as prevention methods. In terms of ongoing negotiations on future pieces of legislation like the Net Neutrality Regulation and the Data Protection package, he referred to the need of avoiding to create additional obstacles. He also mentioned the current Digital Single Market as a contribution of the EU and the future European Agenda on Security;

2.    Bringing actors together to coordinate, such as EMPACT, Europol's EC3, Global Alliance and EU-US cooperation;

3.    Funding, referring to ISEC, Safer Internet, ISF-Police, EFC.

Mr. Alonso Iriarte concluded by saying that the challenges are related to mainstreaming fundamental rights issues, privacy of children being the core issue, as well as those posed by the global dimension of the problem and the roles of public and private spheres.


Olivier Burgersdijk (Head of EC3 Strategy, Prevention and Outreach, EC3 Europol and EFC Chairman) referred to what would be happening after the end of the EFC project. He pointed out that cybercrime and child abuse online are increasing and that the financial ecosystem is encouraging these practices. He stressed the importance of better investigations and of pursuing the public-private partnership. He acknowledged the existence of a number of initiatives, but said that it posed problems and difficulties in terms of the ways to implement them.

Mr. Burgersdijk emphasised that the public-private partnership is needed in assisting Europol in terms of real operational work, as it is more dependent in certain areas to collaborate with the private sector. He said that Europol is trying to work with partners to get input from them in order to have first-hand information regarding which crimes are affecting them the most in order to be able to prioritise and act where the need is the greatest. Europol is also cooperating with financial institutions, as they are confronted more and more often with stolen credit card credentials. He also said that once the system is abused, law enforcement authorities must intervene, without violating privacy. Overall, he said that Europol had a very good experience in collaborating with the private sector and it is willing to continue it.

In terms of EFC's ways forward, he believed that law enforcement and policies should go hand in hand. In his opinion, both technically and financially, there is still work to be done. The challenges faced by Europol is that whenever there is a problem, Europol is always faster in finding the solution than the budgetary process at EU level to grant it the necessary resources.


Marco Pancini (Senior Policy Counsel - Google) said that Google is engaged to protect children and believed this should be responsibility of everyone. To this end, resources and capabilities are needed in order to come up with solutions. He said that there is a clear business reason of being active, namely the need for people to feel safe online. Google provides filtering services, possibilities to report illegal content, the possibility of surfing in safe mode, as well as a so-called 'family centre'. In his opinion, partnerships with NGOs must be developed and greater importance should be given to education and to digital skills.

He mentioned the importance of three aspects to be discussed:

1.    Not underestimate the co-regulation in the area;

2.    Not consider all Digital Single Market provisions as being the same and treating them equally, for example, online child abuse and copy right infringement. A difference must be made as there are many specificities;

3.    Foster partnerships between Internet companies and law enforcement authorities, in order to transmit information in a fast and effective way.

Finally, he mentioned that a very important aspect is missed out in the discussion: a clear understanding of the civil society groups defending rights online and having a clear dialogue with all partners in order to be able to make a change.


Mikael Conny Svensson (Head of Government Affairs and Public Policy for Europe - MasterCard) spoke about the role of MasterCard in this fight. He believed that for the company, it would be the right thing to get involved and secondly, that any single company cannot tackle the problem alone. MasterCard can follow the money and trace it and make sure that merchants and customers do not use or make money out of child abuse and contribute to prosecuting and convicting offenders. Due to the fact that MasterCard is active in 110 countries, it has the intelligence to identify the offenders. The problem is that they are not all in the same jurisdiction.

MasterCard keeps track of all transactions, Mr. Svensson explained, but because it is a technology company, it only facilitates the movement of money through technology and it brings the banks, the merchants and the consumers together in their network. What it does also is that it makes sure to enforce rules in their system in order to prevent crimes from happening. For example, MasterCard introduces licenses that people need to respect. Even if there are not any rules on a particular subject, MasterCard relies on something called brand damaging and hence, prevents illegal things from happening. MasterCard also obliges the banks to monitor the compliance with the rules and check if the merchants have MasterCard acceptance to perform certain payments and whether it is brand damaging or illegal.

Mr. Svensson pointed out that MasterCard does not only go after the money, but it also cooperates with law enforcement authorities, by allowing them to do test purchases. Even if MasterCard has suspicions over certain transactions, it cannot act, but rely on law enforcement authorities. He concluded by saying that the EFC is a good step in the right direction.


Magnus Lagercrantz (Business Unit Director, Financial Services CGI Sweden and Swedish Financial Coalition against Child Pornography) gave a non-bank perspective of the situation. He said that human beings will not be the superior ones from a technological point of view after 2029. CGI is a global IT company and from this perspective, he said that a global IT company can manage a lot of workplaces as an outsourcing company. CGI gave the opportunity to students to conduct two master theses. The first one was focusing on the combatting illicit financial transactions and namely on new payment methods and crypto methods. It mapped how the development looked like and how those currencies could be used and the risks they represented. The conclusions referred to the fact that financial authorities are a step behind and lacking resources. His suggestion in this case was the need to collaborate more with people representing the new payment services.

The second master thesis focused on the sexual abuse of children, addressing legal aspects in the technological developments, such as the need to stop illegal acts faced with the need to guarantee integrity on the Internet. The study highlighted that data storage and IP addresses are not so unique anymore and that hidden services offer the possibility for users to stay anonymous. It also found that live streaming is something already established.

In terms of new ways of making things possible, Mr. Lagercrantz mentioned the emergence of new business models and the so-called %u201Chacking-as-a-service%u201D. He agreed with the fact that legislation in this particular case has a vacuum. The final question he rhetorically asked was whether people are willing to give up their own integrity to put first that of their children.


CLOSING STATEMENT


Emma McClarkin (ECR, UK) briefly thank everyone for taking part at the event and said that the diversity of institution representatives present there showed that the topic is not neglected. She therefore encouraged everyone to continue putting the commercial sexual exploitation of children online high on the agenda. She believed that the exchange of best practice in the field, together with the cooperation with law enforcement authorities, could further contribute to cracking down these practices. She talked about her activity in this particular field and expressed her full support to the European Financial Coalition and to their goal. 


This briefing was put together by the Dods Monitoring service.



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ICT Coalition Forum

02.12.2014

The ICT Coalition held its second Stakeholder forum in Brussels, of which the EFC was present. Ms. Dalli, a Member of the European Parliament had opened the day and was joined by representatives of industry, NGOs and civil society. The discussions that took place surrounded the matter of 'Digital Literacy' in developing children's ICT skills, as well as fostering their creativity and helping them make the best use of the internet in a safer, responsible way. 

WP5 Conference Call

17.11.2014

A conference call gathered the members of WP5 to review the concept note for the Second EFC Awareness Raising Event. The group had also outlined a reach-out strategy in establishing contact with MEPs and other relevant stakeholders. In addition, the group also highlighted the idea of a presentation outlining the activities of the EFC and its achievements, the general message of the event, the target audience, as well as suggested speakers. The discussion on WP5 will resume via conference call in January 2015. 

WP4 Conference Call

13.11.2014

A follow-up conference call of WP4 took place in order to review the details of the planned April 2015 training session. The members scrutinized a number of the possible venues in relation to facilities and available equipment, discussed the proposed topics to be covered for the target audience. The content of the training session will be further discussed during the next meeting with the members on the 8th December 2014. 

VGT Conference in Amsterdam

05.11.2014

The EFC was present at the 'Transnational Child Sex Offenses: Protecting Children beyond National Boundaries' conference in Amsterdam, organised by the Virtual Global Taskforce. Issues covered during the conference included the understanding of Transnational Child Sex Offending (TCSO) in relation to what it is, who is involved and what are the opportunities for combating it. In addition, the conference presented the issue of 'live streaming' from a technical and financial point of view, as well as the opportunities for NGOs and private sectors in combating TCSO. Speakers at the conference came from different countries and organisations, including Europol, CEOP, Interpol and representatives from NGOs and private partners. 

WP3 Conference Call

28.10.2014

A WP3 conference call took place in order to gather up-to-date information from the stakeholders for the publication of an updated version of the Best Practice Guide for Payment System Providers

WP5 Meeting

27.10.2014

WP5 members discussed the proposed articles for the 5th issue of the EFC Newsletter and initiated talks relating to the preparation of the EFC Second Awareness Raising Event focusing on its objectives and content. 

WP4 Meeting in the Hague

16.10.2014

The EFC members of WP4 met in the Hague to discuss the organisation of the second EFC training session, expected to take place in the 2nd or 3rd week in April 2015. Some of the major topics were discussed for the duration of the training session, as well as possible venues, content and target audience. 

WP1 Meeting

23.09.2014

WP1 members met in Brussels to review the actions undertaken by this Work Package in 2014. During the meeting, WP1 members discussed the possible steps in the development of a test purchase mechanism to support international investigations on commercial sexual exploitation of children online, including a strategy to overcome potential obstacles. 

EFC meets the EU networks and stakeholders engaged in online protection of children - 17 June 2014

02.06.2014

The second edition of the EFC meeting with representatives of the European and Global networks active in the field of online protection of children will take place on June the 17th 2014 in Brussels. The invited organisations and networks will present their latest activities and achievements in the fight against child abuse online. This meeting represents a great opportunity to align the  efforts of the online child protection sector and consider the potential paths for future cooperation.

On the occasion, the 5th EFC Steering Group Meeting will also be asked to overview the progress made by the 5 EFC Working Groups and to discuss the future of the EFC. For more information, please contact the EFC secretariat at secretariat@europeanfinancialcoalition.eu

4th Meeting WP 1

04.06.2014

WP1 Members met with the Swedish Financial Coalition on June the 4th in Stockholm in order to discuss and align the common efforts undertaken in the fight against child sexual abuse online and explore the possible paths of cooperation. WP1 members took to opportunity to meet in closed session following the event in view of assessing the outcomes achieved and planning the strategy for the second half of 2004. (Closed session - WP1 members only)

First EFC Training Session March 2014

10.02.2014

We are glad to inform you that the first EFC training session will take place on 24, 25 and 26 March 2014 and will be hosted by Microsoft in its offices in Paris. This event represents an excellent opportunity to empower private companies and law enforcement authorities in counteracting the commercial distribution of child sexual abuse material online through a tailored training session and a platform for sharing of best practices. For additional information, feel free to contact the EFC secretariat at secretariat@europeanfinancialcoalition.eu

3rd Meeting WP 1

29.01.2014

On the 29th of January 2014 the WP1 gathered in Brussels to plan the activities for the current year 2014.  (Closed Session - WP1 members only)

4th EFC Steering Group Meeting

14.01.2014

The 4th EFC Steering Group Meeting took place on 14 January 2014 in Brussels. Members of the Steering Group reviewed the membership application forms received, discussed the outcome of the activities undertaken in 2013 and discussed the strategy for the year 2014. Work Package leads also provided an update on the progress of their respective WPs. (closed session - EFC SG Members only)

EFC WP 4 Meeting

17.12.2013

The WP4 met on 17 December 2013 to discuss the organization of the first EFC training expected to take place in March 2014. The attending members have developed an initial schedule of the training session and identified the target audience of the first session. Both EFC members and EFC Steering Group members have volunteered in building the content of the training session and setting another example of successful cooperation within the EFC between key stakeholders belonging to different sectors.  

The First EFC Awareness Raising Event

15.10.2013

The EFC first Awareness Raising Event had taken place on the 15th of October 2013. The event focused on the shared responsibility of the law enforcement authorities, the private sector, and civil society in preventing the production and online commercial distribution of child abuse material. 


The event was opened with a presentation of a real case of commercial sexual exploitation of children online, followed by two panel presentations, dealing respectively with corporate social responsibility and children rights protection.


Keynote speakers that took part in the panel discussions included Maria senius - Head of Cabinet Commissioner Malmstrm, EU Home Affairs; Troels Oerting, Assistant Director of Europol and Head of European Cybercrime Centre (EC3)-Europol; Colin Whittaker, Head of Payment System Risk, Visa Europe; Cornelia Kutterer, Director, EU Institutions Relations, Microsoft Europe; Ernie Allen, CEO and President of the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children and incoming President of Missing Children Europe, Maud de Boer-Buquicchio. 


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EFC WP5 Meeting

13.06.2013

On 13 June 2013 WP5 External relations and Awareness will meet in Brussels for a brainstorming session on the first EFC awareness raising event which will take place on 15 October 2013 in Brussels. (closed session - WP5 members only)

The EFC Meets the EU Networks and Initiatives engaged in online protection of children / EFC Steering Group Meeting

12.06.2013

A meeting with EU networks and initiatives involved in online protection of children will take place on 12 June 2013 in Brussels. The objective of this event is to present current projects and initiatives in the field of online protection of children and explore possible avenues of cooperation. The meeting will be followed by the EFC Steering Group meeting to plan future actions and decide upon the received EFC membership applications. 

EFC WP4 Meeting

06.06.2013

A conference call between members of EFC WP4 Training is scheduled for 6 June 2013. On this occasion several proposals for the training sessions will be discussed. (closed session - EFC members only) 

EFC WP5 Meeting

29.04.2013

On 29 April 2013 a conference call took place between members of WP5 External relations and Awareness to discuss the future outreach strategy of the EFC. (closed session - WP5 members)

EFC WP3 meets the Private Sector

24.04.2013

On 24 April 2013 EFC WP3 will meet in Brussels a number of private companies invited to present their technologies to detect child abuse material online and to explore possible avenues of cooperation. (closed session)

Joint WP1-WP4 Meeting - Operations & Training

04.04.2013

On April 4th, 2013 a WP1 meeting took place jointly with a WP4 event hosted by MasterCard. The joint meeting provided the two WPs with an introduction to the MasterCard's "Innovation Corner" presenting new payment mechanisms in the pipeline. On the occasion of the aforementioned meeting WP4 leads discussed the format and the length of the training sessions to be developed, envisaging also the possibility to include preparatory webinars and e-learning activities and to involve WP1 members in the process of building the training package. (Closed session - WP1&WP4 members only)

EFC Meeting WP 5

21.03.2013

The next meeting of Work Package 5 External relations and awareness is scheduled on 21 March 2013. (closed session - EFC Members only)

EFC Meeting WP 3

03.03.2013

Members of Work Package 3 - Private Sector Support and Cooperation will meet on 19 March 2013. (closed session - EFC Members only)

2nd EFC Steering Group Meeting

10.02.2013

The 2nd EFC Steering Group Meeting took place on 12 February 2013 in The Hague. The meeting was the occasion to introduce the new chair to the EFC Steering Group - Troels Oerting, Assistant Director at Europol and Head of the EU Cybercrime Centre.  During the meeting the Steering Group approved the EFC Internal Rules and the membership criteria for the five Work Packages (WPs). Furthermore, the Work Packages' leads also provided an update on the progress of their work. (Closed session - EFC SG Members only).

1st Meeting Work Package 1 (WP1) - Operations

05.02.2013

The 1st Meeting of WP1 took place on 5th of February 2013 in The Hague. The objective of the meeting was to bring together all members of the EFC's operational group in order to discuss the organisational approach to adopt and plan the next steps. (Closed session - WP1 Members only)

Launch of the European Financial Coalition

26.11.2012

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

EFC WP5 Meeting

24.06.2014

The next meeting of WP5 in charge of External Relations and Awareness Raising will take place in Brussels on July the 3rd, 2014. The meeting will be the occasion to discuss the future communication strategy of the Coalition and to plan the Second EFC Awareness Raising Event due to  take place during the second half of 2015.

The next EFC meeting: Combating the challenges together on the commercial sexual exploitation of children online

27.01.2016

The next EFC meeting on the fight against commercial sexual exploitation of children online will take place on the 27th of January.

Since the previous Project came to an end in October 2015, the new EFC has now been transformed into a long-term platform of collaboration between law enforcement and key partners in the financial and internet technology: the EFC Programme. This Programme is hosted and chaired by EC3 - Europol.

In this meeting the options for the future of the Programme will be discussed as well as some of the initiatives already planned, such as a sexual extortion awareness campaign.

We look forward to welcoming you at the event.


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