Digital filtering of child exploitation
The Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System is designed to assist in combating the trade in child sexual abuse images by making it more difficult for perpetrators to access that material.
We do not wish our teens to inadvertently stumble across offensive websites.
The expansion of the internet has led to many positive developments. However, it is evident that criminals, individuals as well as organised groups, are also using this technology as a means of producing, collecting and distributing images of child sexual abuse.
Child sexual abuse images are not “just images” but evidence of actual criminal activity. The possession and distribution of these materials creates an international market that supports and encourages further abuse. The children who are victims of this activity suffer the psychological effect of their abuse for many years after the physical offending has ended; and their images distributed on the Internet never go away.
The filtering system complements the enforcement activity undertaken by the Censorship Compliance Unit of The Department of Internal Affairs.
How it works
The Department of Internal Affairs holds a list of known websites that host child sexual abuse material.
Using a secure link, it routes this information through Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
When someone attempts to access a website that matches this routed information, the system will present a landing page that informs the user that the request has been stopped. This is great news for those of us who might inadvertently stumble upon such information.
If the request does not match, an item on the list, the user is presented with the requested page.
This system is operated and maintained by the Censorship Compliance Unit of the DIA.
As of January 2013 there were eight ISP’s registered on the filter system and it is estimated that this accounts for over 95% of the Internet traffic. Since the filter was made operational some 27 million requests to access illegal child sex abuse sites have been blocked by the filter.
ECPAT Child ALERT has been proactive in the introduction of the filter with the DIA, and its associated Child ALERT Hotline. The Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System is operated by the Department in partnership with the following New Zealand ISPs.