In Ireland, the Internet Service Providers [ISPs] have been operating within an Industry self-regulatory framework in respect to the illegal and harmful use of the Internet, agreed and overseen by Government since 1998.
Key to Government's agreement in allowing the Industry self-regulatory framework to be adopted was ISPs [represented by ISPAI] commitment to:
- the development of an Industry Code of Practice and Ethics;
- the establishment of an Internet Hotline Service where the public could report suspected illegal content online, especially Child Sexual Abuse Imagery [CSAI].
Since 1998, ISPAI has been managing the Industry Code of Practice and Ethnics, centred on the Hotline.ie Service – the Government and An Garda Síochána sanctioned national reporting mechanism through which Internet users may report suspected illegal content online in a secure, anonymous and confidential way – recognised as a role model in Europe.
As a non-for-profit trade association membership is voluntary, however all ISPAI members abide by the ISPAI Code of Practice and Ethics and support the Hotline.ie service.
ISPAI members' allegiance to the Code and support of Hotline.ie, a mark of commitment to responsible Internet business practice and online child protection, is conveyed through the display of the ISPAI and Hotline.ie logos on each member's website.
ISPAI is governed by a Board of Directors selected from and representing the broader membership base. The Board sets ISPAI's strategic objectives and sign-off policy decisions reached in consultation with the wider membership. The Board and ISPAI's working groups are supported by a Secretariat tasked with the day-to-day running of the organisation.