It is not all darkness

In the foreword to last year’s NetClean report, I wished that the contents had been different – that the report was about a decrease, rather than an increase, in number of child sexual abuse cases. I also hoped that in the NetClean Report 2016, I would be able to talk about police officers seeing a positive development, with more children being saved.

This year, we follow up on some questions from last year, as well as take an in-depth look at how child sexual abuse material is shared and distributed on the Internet, via P2P networks, social media, on work computers and the darknet. The report is also about where in the world the children in the images come from, how large the investigations really are and the challenges that law enforcement face, such as encryption and anonymisation techniques.

Unfortunately, I cannot write that the problem is decreasing – the results show quite the opposite. It is a big problem and law enforcement and society face great challenges.

However, it is not all darkness, and to some extent I can actually write exactly what I wished for. An overwhelming majority of the police officers who responded to the survey said that they are better prepared to handle child sexual abuse investigations, compared to last year. Also, fewer police officers say that their workload has become more demanding. Above all, together they managed to save over 1,600 children in 2015. That is one thousand six hundred children who get another chance at a safe childhood.

Technological advancements are one reason for the improvement. More training, better resources and greater awareness of the problem in society is another. Collaboration between law enforcement agencies, public sector organisations, industry and NGO’s around the world is improving and child sexual abuse crimes are being more prioritised.

We still have a long way to go and much work to do, but these figures show that we are on the right path.

Together we make a real difference!

Fredrik Frejme
Head of NetClean

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Ten important insights from the Netclean Report 2016

Jun26
A growing problem – but not all negative
A growing problem – but not all negative

74.6 per cent of the police officers surveyed reported that their work load has become more demanding in the last…

Jun26
Investigations with terabytes of data and millions of images
Investigations with terabytes of data and millions of images

The investigations and cases that law enforcement is dealing with continues to increase.

Jun26
The victims are primarily from Europe and North America
The victims are primarily from Europe and North America

There is a common misconception that the children in child sexual abuse material are primarily from Asia.

Jun26
File sharing is the most common method of distributing child sexual abuse material
File sharing is the most common method of distributing child sexual abuse material

P2P is not only the most common way to share material, it is also where the majority of the material…

Jun26
Social media is used to share child sexual abuse material
Social media is used to share child sexual abuse material

As the use of social media continues to increase in society, the problem of child sexual abuse material being distributed…

Jun26
500,000 searches for websites showcasing child sexual abuse material every month
500,000 searches for websites showcasing child sexual abuse material every month

To help tackle this, several Internet Service Providers have committed to blocking websites on the open internet that are known…

Jun26
Child sexual abuse material is found on work computers in both the private and public sector
Child sexual abuse material is found on work computers in both the private and public sector

That work computers are used to handle child sexual abuse material is confirmed by NetClean’s customers.

Jun26
Major challenges: encryption, anonymisation technologies, live-streaming and ”deleters”
Major challenges: encryption, anonymisation technologies, live-streaming and ”deleters”

The police officers in the survey highlighted a number of the challenges the face whilst working on child sexual abuse…

Jun26
Increased awareness of female offenders
Increased awareness of female offenders

Female offenders are rare, but they do exist. Nearly half of the respondents in the survey, 47.5 per cent, said…

Jun26
Increased focus on identifying and saving children
Increased focus on identifying and saving children

Almost two-thirds, 65.2 per cent, of police officers in the study reported that they, as part of their daily work…