1. The Promotion of Internet Safety, particularly in relation to combating child pornography
2. Oversight of the Internet Hotline (www.hotline.ie) – the system for dealing with reports of illegal content on the internet
3. Development of Internet Safety Awareness Campaigns
4. Monitoring and overseeing the industry code of practice.
Promotion of Internet Safety
The OIS has responsibility for internet safety, especially in relation to combating child pornography. The Office seeks to do this in a number of ways: working 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 the Hotline is to combat Child Pornography.
The Hotline, 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 the Hotline which maximise co-operation on law enforcement issues so that offences in the area of child pornography can be detected and prosecuted..
The OIS also has responsibility for ensuring the operational effectiveness of the service and for raising awareness of the service among the general public.
Safety Awareness Campaigns
The OIS has a key role to play in the promotion of internet safety issues. The OIS plays a key role in the co-ordination of awareness raising across Government Departments and agencies and other stakeholders to provide for added benefit to awareness programmes being engaged in with particular emphasis on child safety.
Monitoring and Overseeing Industry Code of Practice
The OIS plays a key role in monitoring and supporting the self regulatory approach which currently operates in Ireland for the internet service provider industry. This is achieved by liaising with key industry stakeholders and developing strong relationships in relation to child protection issues. The OIS 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.