The US now stores more child sexual abuse material online than any other country

To support the press of MIT Technology Review, please review become a subscriber.

Lloyd Richardson, chief technology officer at the Canadian Center for Child Protection, said that besides “bad press,” there aren’t many penalties for platforms that don’t quickly remove CSAM. “I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a country that penalizes an e-service provider for slowing down or not removing CSAM,” he said.

CSAM volumes have increased significantly globally during the pandemic as both children and predators spend more time online than ever before. Child protection experts, including anti-trafficking organizations thorn and IN HOPEa global network of 50 CSAM hotlines, predict the problem will only continue to grow.

So what can be done to solve it? The Netherlands can provide some suggestions. The country still has a major CSAM problem, in part due to the country’s infrastructure, geographical location and status as a global internet traffic hub. However, it has made some great strides. According to IWF, it has gone from hosting 41% of global CSAM at the end of 2021 to 13% at the end of March 2022.

Much of that progress can be traced back to the fact that when a new government came to power in the Netherlands in 2017, it made it a priority to tackle CSAM. In 2020, it published a report that named and shamed internet hosting providers who were unable to remove that document within 24 hours of being alerted to its presence.

It seems to have worked—at least in the short term. Dutch CSAM hotline EOKM found that suppliers were willing to remove documents more quickly and took measures such as committing to remove CSAM within 24 hours of discovery, after listing to be announced.

However, Arda Gerkens, chief executive officer of EOKM, believes that instead of solving the problem, the Netherlands is merely pushing it elsewhere. “It looks like a successful model, because the Netherlands has cleaned up. But it hasn’t gone away – it has moved. And that worries me,” she said.

Child protection experts say the solution will be in the form of legislation. Congress is currently considering a new piece of legislation called the EARN IT (Eliminating the Aggressive Abuse and Waste of Interactive Technology) Act, which would make it possible for services to be sued for hosting CSAM on their networks and may force service providers to scan user data for it.

Privacy and human rights advocates fiercely oppose the move, saying it threatens freedom of expression and could lead to a ban on end-to-end encryption and other privacy protections. But the flip side of that argument, says John Shehan of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, is that tech companies are now prioritizing the privacy of those who distribute CSAM on their platforms over their platforms. the safety of its victims.

Even if lawmakers fail to pass the EARN IT Act, upcoming legislation in the UK promises to make tech platforms liable for illegal content, including CSAM. The UK’s Online Safety Bill and Europe’s Digital Services Act could cost tech giants billions of dollars in fines if they don’t adequately tackle illegal content when the law effective.

The new laws will apply to social media networks, search engines and video platforms operating in the UK or Europe, which means US-based companies, such as Facebook, Apple and Google, will have to follow them to continue operating in the UK. “There is a lot of global movement around this issue,” Shehan said. “It will have a ripple effect around the world.”

“I’d rather we don’t need to legislate,” Farid said. “But we waited 20 years for them to find a moral compass. And this is the last resort.”

Source link


News7h: Update the world's latest breaking news online of the day, breaking news, politics, society today, international mainstream news .Updated news 24/7: Entertainment, the World everyday world. Hot news, images, video clips that are updated quickly and reliably

Related Articles

Back to top button