How it Works

Cybertip.ca operates as a clearinghouse or “front door” to the Canadian public for reporting offences related to the online sexual exploitation of children. Cybertip.ca relies on complaints submitted by the Canadian public and does not proactively seek out illegal material online.

Steps to submitting and processing a report of online child exploitation:

  1. An individual comes across information or content related to possible online child sexual exploitation.
  2. They go to www.cybertip.ca or phone 1-866-658-9022 to report the information. Reporting persons have the option to remain anonymous when submitting a report.
  3. The Cybertip.ca webserver receives the information in a secure fashion.
  4. A report is prioritized for processing based on the information it contains and then according to the order it was received. Reports containing information about a child victim and/or suspect are given priority for analysis.
  5. Each incident is assigned a secondary (Cybertip.ca) classification based on the Criminal Code (Canada). This is either a confirmation or a correction of the public classification.
  6. The analyst determines if the information reported appears to pertain to a potentially illegal incident.
  7. If the information pertains to a potentially illegal incident, the report is sent to the appropriate law enforcement agency and/or INHOPE partner hotline. Reports that involve a child in possible need of protection are also forwarded to the appropriate agencies (i.e. child welfare).

Cybertip.ca plays a key role in assessing and triaging reports - eliminating the burden that would otherwise be placed on law enforcement agencies addressing complaints and information requests that are either not illegal, educational or do not reside in their jurisdiction. As police resources are limited, Cybertip.ca reduces work load for the child exploitation units across Canada so their efforts can be dedicated to investigating crimes in their jurisdiction. Of note:

  • 45% of all reports submitted to Cybertip.ca have been forwarded to law enforcement and/or child welfare (55% were either not illegal or educational)
  • Given the global nature of the Internet, only 20% of the reports that have been forwarded to law enforcement agencies stay within Canada