Tether, INHOPE Collaborate to Combat CSAM in Web3

Tether is first cryptocurrency to take a stand with INHOPE against CSAM

January 26th, 2023 — Tether Operations Limited (Tether), the company operating the blockchain-enabled platform that powers the first and most widely used stablecoin, announced today that they will collaborate with INHOPE, the leading global network combatting online Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM).Tether will work with INHOPE to share information, facilitate conversations between stakeholders, and take action to drive bad actors out of the crypto ecosystem. Tether is the first cryptocurrency to take a stand with INHOPE against CSAM.

An industry leader in transparency and in constant cooperation with law enforcement, Tether will  work with INHOPE to increase the awareness of the risks of online CSAM marketplaces in respect of cryptocurrencies. It hopes to set a precedent for the industry as a whole and develop a standard practice for how cryptocurrency businesses can more easily identify and report CSAM marketplaces. 

“Working alongside law enforcement, financial intelligence units, lawmakers and standard-setting bodies worldwide, Tether is committed to being a positive force in the crypto space by highlighting the risks of child exploitation and to help organise sensible risk mitigating controls in the cryptocurrency industry. We are especially interested in improving the ability of cryptocurrency businesses to identify transfers related to online CSAM marketplaces and report them to the authorities.” – said Paolo Ardoino, CTO at Tether

As a network made up of hotlines that operate in all EU member states, Russia, South Africa, North & South America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, INHOPE has been in the fight for an internet free of child abuse since 1999. INHOPE began discussions with Tether at their INHOPE Summit in 2022, during an open and honest discussion of the essential role of industry in tackling online CSAM.

“We are excited to announce this relationship and welcome Tether as an INHOPE funder. Tether’s active approach to working with industry, NGOs, law enforcement and national financial intelligence units supports our goal to improve the detection and reporting of cryptocurrency transfers related to CSAM. INHOPE and Tether both want to disrupt the illegal use of digital finance to fund the exchange of child sexual exploitation (CSE) and child sexual abuse (CSA) materials."

"Criminals exchanging online CSA and CSE materials in financial transactions are sadly found on every technology platform today. Cryptocurrency exchange companies, hotlines and law enforcement need to seek more solutions to fight CSAM by sharing critical information and actionable intelligence with increased efficiency. To respond to this need, Tether is aware that they and other companies in the same industry must be part of this fight, especially where CSE and CSA materials are traded with cryptocurrencies. By supporting INHOPE’s work Tether is leading the way in prioritising child protection.” – Samantha Woolfe, Head of Global Partnerships and Network Expansion at INHOPE

Similar to traditional financial institutions, Tether applies anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing processes to prevent its platform from being used for financial crimes. However Tether recognizes that improved risk mitigation strategies to combat the proliferation of CSAM using cryptocurrencies is needed to help rescue victims, prevent new cases and to prosecute criminals.

In order to disrupt the increasing use of digital transactions to exchange CSE and CSA materials, INHOPE invites its partners to collaborate on best processes to disrupt financial transactions so that online platforms, crypto, law enforcement and hotlines can coordinate.

This year, INHOPE will create a forum for cryptocurrency exchange collaboration and action to combat CSAM transactions. This forum will also provide invaluable insight to the INHOPE network of member hotlines as they learn how they can support, disrupt and mitigate more risk of financial transactions of the exchange of crypto-enabled CSAM taking place.

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