About the report


The NetClean Report 2018 is the fourth report in this series. The aim of the Report is: to ensure greater awareness of and more insight into child sexual abuse crime; to contribute to effective ways of stopping the dissemination of child sexual abuse material; and, ultimately, to reduce the sexual abuse of children. The data in this report has been collected through two different enquiries that are set out below.


Part one of this report is based on data collected from police officers across the globe who work on cases pertaining to child sexual abuse crime.

The respondents have contributed by filling out a survey anonymously. They are all users of Griffeye Analyze DI Pro and Griffeye Analyze DI Core, both investigative tools used by the police across the world to analyse images and video. Griffeye is NetClean’s sister company.

The enquiry, an online survey, was undertaken between 2 May and 13 August 2018 and administered through Griffeye’s user portal. 272 police officers from 30 countries participated in this year’s survey. 54.4 percent of the respondents are from the US, and 34.7 come from Europe.

272 respondents from 30 countries:
Argentina; Australia; Brazil; Canada; Croatia; Cyprus; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Ireland; Italy; Latvia; Mexico; Netherlands; New Zealand; Norway; Portugal; Romania; Switzerland; South Africa; Sweden; Taiwan; Thailand; United Kingdom; Unites States of America; and ”other”, which signified that the respondent work for an international organisation like Europol or INTERPOL.

Geographic distribution of respondents:
USA 54.4 %, United Kingdom 12.1 %, Sweden 6.6 %, Norway 3.7 %, Canada 2.9 %, Others 20.3 %

Topics covered in this year’s report

We have in our previous reports seen recurring themes in the respondents’ answers. One of these themes concerns self-produced material and another the challenges that arise from developments in technology.

In addition to looking at these themes we also asked police officers what else they would like to see included in this year’s report.

As a result, the focus of this year’s NetClean Report is as follows:

  1. Self-produced material.

  2. Additional issues relating to grooming, sexual extortion and trafficking.

  3. The level of organisation amongst offenders in forums and groups.

  4. The use of cryptocurrencies to pay for child sexual abuse material.

  5. Challenges that police officers face as a result of the manipulation of images and obfuscation techniques.

  6. Whether new technology such as deepfakes are already present in child sexual abuse investigations.

These issues were selected based on intelligence gathered in the previous NetClean Reports, and from conversations with police officers about what they believe is relevant at this time. With regards to deepfakes we wanted to know if this new technology is being used to produce child sexual abuse material, as it is a good indicator as to how quickly new technology is appearing in these types of investigations.

There are fewer respondents to this year’s survey compared with previous years. However, in addition to the respondents, 250 people logged on to the survey without answering the questions. We attribute the reduced number of respondents to the fact that this year’s questions were more complex than previous years, and required that the respondent work on advanced and in-depth investigations.


Part two of the report contains in-depths interviews with businesses and organisations from both the private and public sector that use NetClean ProActive to detect child sexual abuse material in their IT environments.
The businesses and organisations that were interviewed have in total 269,370 clients (software) installed on their computers. The installation period of NetClean ProActive in their IT environments ranges from two to eleven years. The responses were given anonymously and as one shared experience.

In the interviews we asked the businesses and organisations to share the data that they have collected about the person or persons who have consumed child sexual abuse material using a workplace computer and therefore triggered NetClean ProActive. We asked about: gender; age; profession; relationship status; and whether they have children. We also asked about the time of day (or night) that the alarm was triggered; how the offender consumed the material; how they reacted when they were challenged about it; and whether more child sexual abuse material had been discovered or other types of material considered a security issue or a breach of company policy had been found.

The companies that responded to these questions have found online child sexual abuse material in their IT systems in Europe, North America, Asia and South America.

The results generated from this survey is presented anonymously and as one shared experience.

When we use the term “alert” in this report it is alerts from NetClean ProActive to which we refer.

Om NetClean ProActive

NetClean ProActive software detects known child sexual abuse material in organisations’ IT environments. It works similar to an antivirus programme, however instead of detecting viruses, NetClean ProActive detects images and films that the police have classified as child sexual abuse material.

NetClean ProActive alerts

NetClean ProActive detects if an individual views child sexual abuse material, with the result that the software sends an alert, either as an email or SMS, to the individual whom the organisation has designated to handle these issues.

To contextualise the results of the study, we have conducted interviews with a number of distinguished experts in this field, listed here in the order in which they appear in this report:

Dr Victoria Baines
Leading authority on online safety. Visiting Associate of the Oxford Internet Institute. Visiting Fellow at Bournemouth University. Member of the INHOPE Advisory Board

John Shehan
Vice President, Exploited Children Division (ECD), National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC)

Cathal Delaney
Head of team, Analysis Project Twins, EC3, Europol

Thomas Andersson
Senior Advisor, ECPAT Sweden

Christian Berg
Founder, NetClean

Anna Borgström
CEO, NetClean

Björn Sellström
Team Leader, Crimes Against Children Unit, Vulnerable Communities Team, INTERPOL

Patrick Cordner
Head of Swedish Cybercrime Center (SC3), National Operative Department, Swedish Police

Michael Sheath
Manager & Principal Practitioner, Lucy Faithfull Foundation