Experts from Dyżurnet.pl, a team responding to illegal and harmful content on the Internet at NASK, estimate that although many challenges appear along with online trends, intuition often prompts users to react. Therefore the most important thing is not to remain passive when we face negative phenomena.
For years NASK has been undertaking many initiatives that aim at building a safe Internet. One of them is the activity of the Dyżurnet.pl, which is the only one team in Poland to respond to anonymous reports from users about the potentially illegal material, such as pornographic content involving a minor - says Wojciech Kamieniecki Ph.D., Director of NASK. Several years’ experience of the team shows that pictures and videos presenting the abuse of children stimulate everyone to take action – Internet users, carers, and educators, administrators, representatives of law enforcement agencies and the judiciary. The engagement of such a large number of people and institutions contributes to increasing the protection of children and young people” - emphasizes NASK Director.
Offence against children
According to Martyna Różycka, the head of the Dyżurnet.pl team, materials commonly referred to child pornography are in fact evidence of a crime involving the rape of minors. The term “pornography” may refer to adult material voluntarily involved in sexual acts and the production of materials. Meanwhile, pictures and films showing sexual violence against minors are a completely different category of materials. They are an element of the crime, and continuous distribution of these materials in the web is the inconceivable burden on victims. The correct term used by law enforcement agencies and institutions working for online safety is “child sexual abuse materials” (abbreviation - CSAM; Polish term - materiały przedstawiające seksualne wykorzystywanie dzieci), explains the head of the Dyżurnet.pl team. The Team emphasizes that according to the motto proposed by INTERPOL: serious crime, serious definition, in public space the term CSAM should be used for this type of content.
Internet users are aware that the dissemination of such materials is inappropriate and should be prevented. Constantly, the most numerous group of reports sent to Dyżurnet.pl are content that potentially represent the sexual abuse of a child. In 2017, they accounted for 83% of the total number. Among them, experts from Dyżurnet.pl confirmed CSAM in 2184 cases. The team always takes action to remove illegal content from the Internet, to notify law enforcement agencies or associated teams in other countries.
The information about the most drastic materials is sent directly to the ICSE (International Child Sexual Exploitation), enabling action to be taken not only against distribution but, above all, to identify both victims and perpetrators.
The ICCAM database introduces a higher reporting standard for content analysts' work and interventions. The Dyżurnet.pl team is the only team in Poland that uses and transmits information through it. The base has innovative solutions for analyzing and classifying photo and video files. Materials are classified by the victim's characteristics such as gender and age. In further analysis, Interpol officers try to determine where the crime was committed. In 2017 the Dyżurnet.pl experts introduced to the database 2,180 reports relating to URLs where illegal content was located. These addresses contained a total of 6068 photos and videos classified as child sexual abuse content.
"It is worthwhile to choose a way of reacting to unwanted and undesirable content. Quoting, invoking and discussing often enable to promote such material and encourage Internet users to search for and spread violent behavior. Also, the thoughtless forwarding of unchecked information and warnings against threats often causes negative effects. It is worth noting that information should be verified and that there is caution approach – reminds Martyna Różycka.