Disturbing Report Reveals Over 1,700 Unreported Child Sexual Abuse Websites in the EU

A recent report by Surfshark, a VPN service provider, has uncovered a shocking revelation about the extent of unreported child sexual abuse (CSAM) content on the internet. The study, conducted by experts at Surfshark, examined the issue on a global scale and found that more than 1,700 websites in the EU alone may contain unreported CSAM content.

The report also highlighted a significant increase in CSAM reports filed to authorities worldwide, with a staggering 83 million reports between 2020 and 2022. EU countries accounted for 3.1 million of these reports. These findings come at a critical time, as a group of tech companies, including Surfshark, recently wrote an open letter urging EU ministers to withdraw from a proposed anti-CSAM regulation that could potentially compromise citizens’ privacy.

According to the study, Poland appears to have the most significant CSAM problem in Europe, accounting for 16% of EU cases with 269 unreported harmful websites. France follows closely with 260 potentially dangerous websites, while Germany, Hungary, and Italy have 158, 152, and 110 websites, respectively.

On a global scale, Asia leads concerns over children’s online safety, with two-thirds of the 83 million CSAM reports filed between 2020 and 2022 originating from the region. India tops the list with almost 16% of these reports, totaling over 13 million. The Philippines, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Bangladesh also have alarmingly high numbers of CSAM reports, with 7.1 million, 5.4 million, 4.7 million, and 4.7 million, respectively.

To compile this disturbing set of data, researchers at Surfshark analyzed open-source information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and compared it with data reported by the Communications Regulatory Authority of Lithuania (RRT).

The report also highlighted a groundbreaking experiment conducted by the RRT in partnership with proxy service provider Oxilabs. The experiment showcased a new AI-powered tool capable of scraping the web to identify illegal CSAM content while preserving privacy. The tool analyzed image metadata and cross-referenced it with a police database, successfully detecting 19 local websites violating national or EU laws. This led to eight police reports and two pre-trial investigations.

Lina Survila, a spokesperson for Surfshark, emphasized the importance of such tech innovations in combating child sexual abuse online. She stated that while there is no one-size-fits-all solution, proactive steps taken by governments can serve as a guiding model for addressing these complex challenges.

The report comes at a crucial time when the EU Parliament is debating the Chat Control proposal, which aims to address online dangers but has raised concerns about privacy and encryption. The decision to remove the Chat Control clause from the EU Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) Scanning Proposal was reached in October last year, with privacy being upheld as a fundamental right. However, each EU Member State must now agree on their own position, with an expected agreement by March.

Experts warn that the invasive approach proposed in the Chat Control proposal could compromise citizens’ security and potentially create a backdoor for criminals. They argue that less-invasive tools, such as web scraping, should be explored first to identify and combat publicly available dangerous material.

Denas Grybauskas, Head of Legal at Oxilabs, believes that the European Commission (EC) understands the need to prioritize citizens’ privacy and should openly discuss tech-powered alternatives. Oxilabs continues to work with the RRT to improve their AI-powered web scraping tool and collaborates with organizations, students, and researchers to develop more software solutions to combat online threats.

As the debate continues, it is clear that addressing the issue of unreported CSAM content is of utmost importance. Governments and tech companies must work together to find effective solutions that protect children while respecting privacy rights.


Author: CrimeDoor

3 Responses

  1. As a concerned internet user, I highly recommend using Surfshark VPN to protect yourself and your family online. With their advanced encryption and secure servers, Surfshark ensures that your online activities remain private and secure. By using their VPN service, you can browse the internet anonymously and avoid potential exposure to harmful content like CSAM. It’s crucial to take proactive steps to protect ourselves and our loved ones, and Surfshark VPN is an excellent tool for that. Stay safe online with Surfshark

  2. There are no errors or inaccuracies in the provided statement. However, since it mentions a report by Surfshark, it would be helpful to provide a credible source to support the claim. Unfortunately, without access to the specific report mentioned, it is challenging to provide a direct source. However, Surfshark is a well-known VPN service provider, and they may have published the report on their website or through other reputable sources. It is advisable to visit Surfshark’s official website or conduct a

  3. The internet is like an ocean, vast and seemingly endless. Just like the ocean, there are hidden depths and dark corners that we may not be aware of. The recent report by Surfshark is like a deep-sea expedition that has discovered a hidden underwater cave filled with dangerous creatures. It reveals that there is a shocking amount of unreported child sexual abuse content lurking beneath the surface of the internet, just waiting to be exposed and eradicated.

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