The Office for Internet Safety (OIS) is an executive office of the Department of Justice and Equality. It deals with:-
- The Promotion of Internet Safety, particularly in relation to combating child pornography
- Oversight of the Internet Hotline (www.hotline.ie) – the system for dealing with reports of illegal content on the internet
- Development of Internet Safety Awareness Campaigns
- Monitoring and overseeing the industry code of practice.
Promotion of Internet Safety
The Office works with interested stakeholders, including the Internet Safety Advisory Committee, co-ordinating the development of measures to ensure a safer internet environment and co-ordinating the Safer Internet Ireland Project.
The hotline.ie service provides an anonymous facility for the public to report suspected illegal content encountered on the Internet, in a secure and confidential way. The primary focus of Hotline.ie is to combat Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) - also referred to as Child Pornography.
Hotline.ie, run by the Internet Service Providers' Association of Ireland (ISPAI) since November 1999, is co-financed by the European Union Connecting Europe Facility. Special protocols operate between the Gardaí and Hotline.ie which maximise co-operation on law enforcement issues so that offences in the area of child pornography can be detected and prosecuted..
The Office also has oversight of the service and seeks to raise awareness of the service among the general public.
Safety Awareness Campaigns
The Office promotes internet safety issues. In addition to a dedicated website it makes information booklets available in soft and hard copy. It produces additional materials for the annual Safer Internet Day.
Monitoring and Overseeing Industry Code of Practice
The Office monitors and supports the self regulatory approach which currently operates in Ireland for the internet service provider industry. The Office closely monitors and keeps under review the operation of the Industry’s Code of Practice to ensure and proactively encourage the highest levels of compliance.