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SafeLine: reporting illegal internet content

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to present the operational framework of SafeLine (www.safeline.gr), the Greek Internet Hotline. SafeLine's mission is to eliminate illegal internet content with emphasis on images of child sexual abuse and to combat against users who encroach on children's rights through illegal internet activities like grooming or cyberbullying. Design/methodology/approach ‐ SafeLine serves as a contact point for those individuals that wish to report illegal internet content or activities that they encounter while surfing the internet. Upon receipt of a report verified as illegal, SafeLine forwards it to the Greek police, to other governmental authorities, or to the hotline of another country. Findings ‐ An analysis of the reports received by SafeLine indicate a clear shift on the type of reported content. A large number of recent reports concern financial fraud and personal data violation, activity related to the newly emerged social networking sites. Practical implications ‐ The resulting aim of this paper is to inform internet users about their ability to report illegal internet material. Social implications ‐ Interesting topics such as internet addiction, illegal activities in the emerging social networking systems and legislation regarding cyber crimes will also be analyzed while trying to give an overall view about internet risks for children. Finally, useful tips for the public are presented as a means of promoting a safer internet for children and adults. Originality/value ‐ The paper reports on the latest trends in illegal internet content based upon an analysis of the reports received by SafeLine. A clear shift to illegal activity in social networking sites clearly emerges.
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Keywords: Computer crime; Data security; Greece; Internet

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-01-01

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