Our aim, the problem and the role of INHOPE
SafeLine started its operations on the 14th of April 2003. It is the only Internet hotline in Greece that accepts reports for illegal online content and is an official member of INHOPE (International Association of Internet Hotlines) as from the 18th of October 2005.
SafeLine’s first priority is to eliminate photographic and audiovisual material that portrays ill-treatment of minors and to safeguard their right of safe online surfing. In addition, children’s harassment through the Internet or a mobile phone as well as. violence, racism, xenophobia and in general anything that can be considered as illegal according to the Greek Legislation are also SafeLine’s primary concerns.
In 2008 SafeLine joined forces with the Greek Awareness Node and the Helpline was created. As a consequence, the Greek Safer Internet Center was born for a more unified and organised effort.
SafeLine operates since 2003 with the support of the European Union. Since 01/07/2016, it is co-financed by the European Union’s “Connecting Europe Facility” under project “The Hellenic Safer Internet Centre – Making a Better and Safer Internet for Kids and the Society (EL-SIC)” and is implemented by the Institute of Computer Science, Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas (FORTH).
The Internet is a means used for a wide spectrum of activities such as entertainment, communication, research etc. It is not restricted by boundaries and can be used by anyone (regardless of age, location, sexual preferences, political views etc). The sense of freedom it exudes is nevertheless used by some users in a malicious way and thus activities appear that are sometimes considered illegal for the Greek Legislation. These activities are described below in detail.
Many people find it difficult to imagine pornographic images of children, and therefore do not understand what is meant by “child pornography”. In some countries this is referred to as “child abuse imagery” to reinforce that behind images of child pornography there is abuse of real children.
The concept of child pornography is legally defined differently in each country. Child pornography has different legal definitions in different countries. The minimum one defines child pornography as a picture that shows a person who is a child and engaged in or is depicted as being engaged in explicit sexual activity. (…)
One of the issues that causes disagreement is the age of consent to sexual relations which differs from country to country. In addition, legislation differs on whether possession of child pornography is a crime, and whether morphed images constitute pornography.
The growing number of websites promoting hate speech on the Internet is growing more and more nowadays. Racism and xenophobia in the online environment are often encountered through the publication of data intended to reduce or encourage discrimination or violence against individuals identified on the basis of certain characteristics, such as color or race. The expression of such behaviors is favored by the ability of anonymity of the offenders on Internet.
The term “cyber bullying” includes all the activities performed by children to bully others of the same age. More specifically, children use new technologies in order to cause emotional and psychological harm to other users. The ways in which cyberbullying is expressed vary, but most of the times they constitute criminal offense under the Greek legislation. Some of these are threats, personal data breaches, defamation, insults and harassment.
Young users are asked to face the phenomenon of “grooming”. By grooming we mean all the activities performed by an adult to attract minors under the age of fifteen, in order to meet them up in the physical world in order to perform sexual acts or to commit the crime of child pornography.
INHOPE and other Internet Hotlines
INHOPE (www.inhope.org) is the International Association of Internet Hotlines. It was founded in 1999 under EC Safer Internet Action Plan of the European Union. It represents all the Internet Hotlines around the world and supports their mission to respond to reports of illegal content on the Internet having as an aim a safe Internet surfing. All INHOPE member Hotlines must comply with a set of best practices. Included in this is the Code of Practice.