Reuters: Crypto exchanges enabled online child sex-abuse profiteer. “The sums involved in buying and selling images of sexual abuse remain small compared to other criminal activities, such as the drugs trade. But the figures are increasing. While in the past offenders typically traded child abuse imagery among themselves in small communities, the darknet has become a breeding ground for sites like Dark Scandals that charge in crypto. And the damage is far-reaching.” This story is important but it’s also horrifying and has all kinds of disturbing content. PLEASE read with caution.
Washington Post: How vigilante ‘predator catchers’ are infiltrating the criminal justice system. “In the past three years, at least 160 groups have been ‘catching predators’ in the United States, according to a Washington Post analysis of their social media posts. This year alone, a YouTube channel tracking catchers has counted more than 920 stings by amateurs. Some are fueled by right-wing rhetoric about ‘groomers’ and the need to ‘save the children.’ Some are parents fearful for their own kids, or, like Schmutte, say they are called by God to do this work. Some make thousands of dollars from clicks and donations.”
DotLA: Teen Who Was Sexually Exploited on Snapchat Sues Tech Giants. “A teenage girl has sued social media giant Snap after she was coerced into sending nude photos of herself through its Snapchat app, claiming that the company has failed to protect minors like her from child sexual exploitation.”
Engadget: Hackers are reportedly using emergency data requests to extort women and minors. “In response to fraudulent legal requests, companies like Apple, Google, Meta and Twitter have been tricked into sharing sensitive personal information about some of their customers. We knew that was happening as recently as last month when Bloomberg published a report on hackers using fake emergency data requests to carry out financial fraud. But according to a newly published report from the outlet, some malicious individuals are also using the same tactics to target women and minors with the intent of extorting them into sharing sexually explicit images and videos of themselves.”
BBC: How child sex abuse rose during pandemic in India. “Although the publication, transmission and possession of CSAM is banned under Indian law, it is still widespread. And the problem has been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. According to activists and police officials, there has been a surge in the online demand and dissemination of child abuse imagery in the country since last year, as lockdowns imposed to contain Covid-19 confined people to their homes.”
Yahoo News UK: Experts ‘finding 15 times as much child abuse material online as a decade ago’. “The amount of child sexual abuse material being found online by expert analysts is fifteen times higher than a decade ago, according to new figures from the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). The online safety organisation has said its analysts are facing a ‘tidal wave’ of abuse material, as it called for the Government to ensure the Online Safety Bill is used to protect children online.”
Wired: The net is closing on child sexual abuse images. “Each day, a team of analysts faces a seemingly endless mountain of horrors. The team of 21, who work at the Internet Watch Foundation’s office in Cambridgeshire, spend hours trawling through images and videos containing child sexual abuse. And, each time they find a photo or piece of footage it needs to be assessed and labelled. Last year alone the team identified 153,383 webpages with links to child sexual abuse imagery.”
The Guardian: Magnum reviewing archive as concerns raised about images of child sexual exploitation. “Magnum Photos, one of the world’s most celebrated photographic agencies, is to re-examine the content of its archive of more than 1 million images after accusations it made available photographs that critics said may show the sexual exploitation of minors.”
The Register: Don’t be fooled, experts warn, America’s anti-child-abuse EARN IT Act could burn encryption to the ground
The Register: Don’t be fooled, experts warn, America’s anti-child-abuse EARN IT Act could burn encryption to the ground . “On Thursday, a bipartisan group of US senators introduced legislation with the ostensible purpose of combating child sexual abuse material (CSAM) online – at the apparent cost of encryption.”
ProPublica: We Assembled the Only Nationwide Database of Priests Deemed Credibly Accused of Abuse. Here’s How.
ProPublica: We Assembled the Only Nationwide Database of Priests Deemed Credibly Accused of Abuse. Here’s How. . “ProPublica published an interactive database on Tuesday that lets users search for clergy who have been listed as credibly accused of sexual abuse in reports released by Catholic dioceses and religious orders. It is, as of publication, the only nationwide database of official disclosures. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the religious leaders’ national membership organization, does not publicly release any centralized, countrywide collection of clergy members who have been credibly accused of sexual assault.”
US Department of Justice: Man Sentenced to 50 Years in Prison for Orchestrating Snapchat Sextortion Ring that Targeted Children
US Department of Justice: Man Sentenced to 50 Years in Prison for Orchestrating Snapchat Sextortion Ring that Targeted Children. “U.S. Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan for the Southern District of Florida, Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro of the FBI’s Miami Field Office, Chief W. Howard Harrison of the Planation Police Department, and Chief Dale Engle of the Davie Police Department, announced that Joseph Isaiah Woodson, Jr., 30, of Ashburn, Virginia, was sentenced yesterday to a total of 600 months in federal prison and a lifetime of supervised release by U.S. District Judge Jose E. Martinez, after having been convicted at trial of using the internet to target and extort children through sexual exploitation (‘sextortion’) and pornographic offenses.”
MIT Technology Review: Microsoft has created a tool to find pedophiles in online chats. “Microsoft has created an automated system to detect sexual predators trying to groom children online. The tool, code-named Project Artemis, is designed to spot patterns of communication in conversations.”