/ 20 years Stopline - an interview with Barbara Schlossbauer

Sep 25

/ nic.at News - 25.09.2018 10:31
20 years Stopline - an interview with Barbara Schlossbauer

Why did you set up Stopline?

Stopline was an independent initiative set up by the Austrian Internet service providers to combat illegal content online, after images of child abuse were discovered on the server of an Austrian host provider. ISPA (then newly founded), nic.at, representatives of the police reporting centres, legal experts and other national stakeholders were involved in establishing Stopline. The challenge at the time was to raise awareness of illegal content online and publicise the existence of the new reporting centre without demonising the Internet as a whole.

What were the key milestones?

Our biggest success has to be the 75,000 reports we have processed since 1998. Another highly gratifying outcome is that the reporting centre in Austria is now networked with more than 50 hotlines worldwide under the INHOPE umbrella – Stopline was a founder member 20 years ago alongside seven other hotlines. On a day-to-day level, the greatest challenge is dealing with the numerous reports which, in some cases, link to extremely shocking material such as sexual abuse of very small children and extremely radical pages glorifying National Socialism.

What moment has stayed with you on a personal level?

The moment that I worked on one of these reports for the very first time and was confronted with sickening images of minors being abused. I.e. what my team has been exposed to on a daily basis for many years, and for which they have my utmost respect.

Where are things heading?

Stopline has just undergone a major facelift ahead of its anniversary, is campaigning for a blanket redefinition of child pornography as “child sexual abuse material”, and is upgrading its website. The large number of reports received in 2018 is also ensuring that we have a lot on our plate at the moment.

Go to stopline.at