ASACP Returns From InHope Conference in Rome

Gretchen Gallen
LOS ANGELES – Fresh from her return from the InHope.org conference in Rome, Joan Irvine, executive director for Adult Sites Against Pornography (ASACP), told XBiz that while child pornography is increasingly visible on the web, associations like ASACP and InHope are achieving global unity like never before.

InHope coordinates the work of 18 hotlines in 16 countries in Europe and around the world that monitor the harmful and illegal use of the Internet and child sexual abuse.

According to Irvine, countries like Brazil and Taiwan and Hungary, which have monitoring hotlines in place, are just now beginning to discover how much support and expertise an organization like InHope can provide efforts to combat crimes against children.

In addition, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is providing training for law inforcement agencies in various parts of the world on how to investigate cases related to sexual child abuse and abduction.

The four-day conference was attended by 30 InHope members and associates, ranging from hotline providers, technical experts, and perspective members.

The main focus of this conference and others, which most recently took place last fall in Luxembourg and is scheduled for its next meeting in Salzburg, was to get all Internet hotline providers on the same page and streamline and unify code of conduct procedures and the reporting of statistics in a consistent way.

"What you have is a group of like-focused people and by meeting with one another and establishing a code of practice, you learn from what they are doing and then incorporate that into your own set of practices," Irvine told XBiz. "We will be making some changes in our operation so we can be reporting our statistics in a standard format based on a specific way of calculating data on the reports."

The conference kicked off with a presentation from Italy-based Save The Children Italia, calling themselves 'Stop-It,' which discussed the problem of child porn, child abuse, and child abduction in Italy.

The InHope portion of the conference included an indepth look at changes with online content and whether Age Verification Systems can be used effectively to prevent underage children from accessing adult content. Key discussion points included the mobile device industry as a potential haven for even more illegal and unsavory activities that are harmful to children, as well as the long-term negative affects of exposing staff members to child porn.

"Most people in the industry don't see child pornography and don't realize the negative affects of repetitive exposure," said Irvine, adding that ASACP will soon require its employees to see therapists at least a few times a year.

"I think it is very important for ASACP to be in communication with the members of InHope," Irvine continued. "It helps us learn from them and we're able to provide them with information about the adult industry and their efforts in the battle against sexual child abuse."

Irvine added that InHope members were all very pleased with the success of ASACP's new software product, How Clean Is Your Traffic, which ASACP makes available to its approved members.

The software helps member sites provide ASACP with 24/7 verification of the ASACP code of ethics and spiders the web to identify affiliates using unacceptable ways to direct traffic. The software also informs members of non-compliant affiliates using their program for billing purposes.

"We are looking forward to working with InHope in the future, whether it be as a member or through a memorandum of understanding," Irvine said. "There is so much that we can contribute and even more that we can learn from them."