BULGARIAN HOTLINE OPERATIONAL PROCEDURES
Below follow the operational and complaint procedures of the Bulgarian Safer Internet Hotline as endorsed by the Public Council on Safer Internet Use and LEA.
The initial procedures have been adopted in 2006 and revised in 2007 after consultations with the Cybercrime Unit and the Association for Electronic Communications (Internet providers):
Hotline operational procedures:
1. The hotline is established for the submission of reports for illegal or harmful content on the Internet. Main priority in the work of the hotline is countering the spread of child sexual abuse images, sexual exploitation and physical and psychological attacks against children as well as the propagation of racism, terrorism, xenophobia, racial and ethnic hatred in cyberspace.
2. In the event that Internet users find content of the types described in par.1, he/she can visit the website and hotline to report the content by filling out the online form provided and submitting it online or reporting by phone, fax or mail.
3. Upon receipt of the report, the automated hotline system automatically saves the data in the database. The operator shall acknowledge receipt of the information to the sender via email. If the report is received by phone, fax or mail, the operator enters it into the database and opens a file on it.
4. A Hotline operator verifies the accuracy of reports by visiting the reported website. In the case when the operator can not access the relevant server or Web page, the report is transmitted immediately to the Interior Ministry for investigation.
5. If the information received meets the criteria of paragraph 1, the operator of the Hotline traces the location of the server and takes the following steps depending on the location:
A. If the server is on the territory of a Member State of the International Association of internet hotline operators INHOPE, the operator transmits the collected information to the operator of the partner hotline and notifies the sender of the report.
B. If the server is on the territory of a country which is not member of INHOPE the operator transmits the report to the competent department of the Ministry of Interior, which transmits it further through the channels of international police co-operation, and notifies the sender. The Interior Ministry is asked for formal notification of the action taken – arrest, investigation, judicial proceedings, conviction.
C. If the server is on the Bulgarian territory, the operator transmits the report to the competent department of the Ministry of Interior and notifies the sender of the report. The Interior Ministry is asked for formal notification of action taken – arrest, investigation, judicial proceedings, conviction.
In case of harmful content, the operator transmits the report to the competent official authority which can take appropriate action and / or hosting organization requesting the removal of the harmful content.
The authority is asked for formal notification of action taken.
6. After removal of harmful content in the absence of further action by the competent authorities the operator notifies the sender of the report and the file is closed.
7. Any following action by competent authorities is recorded in the report file and the sender of the report is notified.
8. Periodically all reports – active and closed – are being reviewed and any new developments are recorded.
Approved at a meeting of the Public Council on Safer Internet on April 12, 2007
The hotline accepts anonymous reports from citizens who have accidentally discovered child sexual abuse images or any harmful to children online content. The reporting person may choose to remain anonymous or provide contact details. When conact details are provided the sender of the report is informed about the action taken on the report. Please, keep in mind that a majority of illegal online content is based outside the jurisdiction of the Bulgarian authorities and the hotline generally does not receive feedback from foreign authorities about the measures taken on a report.
The hotline team is committed to handle all reports in a professional and efficient way and adhere to the Code of Good Practice of the International Association of internet hotline operators INHOPE.
If for any reason a citizen has a complaint about the manner in which the hotline carries out its duties, he / she may file a complaint.
The complaints procedure is as follows:
The complaint shall be sent by e-mail to email@example.com. It should clearly indicate which report it concerns. The complaint should also indicate the reason for which the sender believes that the hotline has breached the Code of good practice or INHOPE or its own procedures approved by the Public Council on Safer Internet. The complaint should contain the sender’s full name and contact information (at least e-mail address and a phone number). Complaints that are not subject to verification will not be considered.
If the complaint contains accurate contact information, the hotline will confirm the receipt of the complaint by e-mail and can ask for additional information. If no such information is provided, the complaint will not be considered.
In the case of a properly filed complaint the hotline will answer within 5 working days.
If the complainant is not satisfied with the answer, the complaint may be submitted to the manager of the Hotline at:
Safer Internet Hotline Manager
Applied Research and Communications Fund
5, Alexander Zhendov Street
The manager of the hotline is required to answer the complaint within 8 working days.
If the complainant remains unsatisfied with the response, he / she may send the complaint to INHOPE (www.inhope.org) at the following e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org.