Facebook Platforms Used for Most Online Child Sex Abuse
Facebook hosted 94% of 69 MILLION child sex abuse images reported by US tech firms in 2020:
“…the most images and the worst category of images came from Facebook.”
Then Zuckerberg introduced end-to-end encryption across Meta – locking out law enforcement.
Facebook’s platforms had been used in 52% of all online child sex crimes in 2020. BEFORE Zuck’s encryption!
HORROR APP Facebook hosted 94% of 69MILLION child sex abuse images reported by US tech firms
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A CONCERNING 94% of the 69 million child sex abuse images picked up by US tech firms last year were found on Facebook.
This figure has been highlighted again as seven countries, including the UK and the US, released a statement warning of the negative impacts of end-to-end encryption.
Encryption means no one apart from the sender or the recipient can modify or see the message unless those two people show someone else.
This is already used on WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, but the firm has plans to bring it to Instagram Direct messages and the FB Messenger app.
The aim is to protect user privacy but law enforcers are worried it could hamper their attempts to protect children and target paedophiles.
The 69 million images of children being sexually abused were reported to the US National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in 2019.
There are concerns child abuse may go unnoticed if more encryption is put in place
Officials said the most images and the worst category of images came from Facebook.
There are concerns that the number of illegal images reported could drop to zero if end-to-end encryption comes into place, according to the National Crime Agency (NCA).
According to Sky News, Robert Jones, the NCA director responsible for tackling child sexual abuse, said: “The lights go out, the door gets slammed, and we lose all of that insight. It is as simple as that.
“And nothing, you know we’re relying on the best technical expertise… in the UK, the same people that keep the UK safe against terrorists, hostile states, cyber attacks, are telling us there is no viable alternative. I believe them. And I am deeply concerned.”
Industry reports of online images in the past year led to thousands of arrests and are thought to have safeguarded 6,000 children.
Mr Jones added: “The end-to-end encryption model that’s being proposed takes out of the game one of the most successful ways for us to identify leads, and that layers on more complexity to our investigations, our digital media, our digital forensics, our profiling of individuals and our live intelligence leads, which allow us to identify victims and safeguard them.
“What we risk losing with these changes is the content, which gives us the intelligence leads to pursue those offenders and rescue those children.”
They’re calling for more public safety measures and for law enforcement and governments to be able to access content.
A Facebook company spokesperson said: “We’ve long argued that end-to-end encryption is necessary to protect people’s most private information.
“In all of these countries, people prefer end-to-end encrypted messaging on various apps because it keeps their messages safe from hackers, criminals, and foreign interference.
And, the dangerous ‘Benadryl Challenge’ on TikTok has been putting teens in hospital.
Facebook platforms used for most online child sex abuse, UK charity says, warns pedophiles thrive if encryption isn’t limited
The UK’s leading child-protection charity says pedophiles, abusers and groomers are thriving on Facebook’s social media platforms, with end-to-end encryption giving them a perfect opportunity to abuse children and victims.
The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) said that Facebook’s platforms had been used in more than half (52%) of all online child sex crimes over the past year. UK police recorded more than 9,400 cases where online communication was being used to commit sexual or indecent image offences against children between October 2019 and September 2020.
Because end-to-end encryption allows every conversation to be private, there’s little opportunity to safeguard children from abusers and groomers, the charity warned.
It fears more crimes will go unreported or undetected if big tech companies expand encryption, adding the national lockdown became a catalyst for even more online activity by groomers and abusers.
New data shows that Facebook’s apps were used to abuse children in 52% of instances recorded by police. If end-to-end encryption is introduced without safeguards in place, many could be left unreported & we cannot keep all children safe online if it becomes harder to detect.
— NSPCC (@NSPCC) March 26, 2021
“The proposals to extend end-to-end encryption on messaging platforms mean they are essentially putting a blindfold on itself,” said Andy Burrows, head of the NSPCC’s child safety online policy, adding social networks won’t be able to identify child abuse images or grooming of victims on sites.
Because abusers know they will be able to operate with impunity, therefore it means that not only will current levels of abuse go largely undetected, but it’s highly likely that we’ll see more child abuse.
Instagram is being exploited more and more by offenders, the NSPCC said, and the Facebook-owned site accounts for more than a third of all incidents. And the charity wants police to be able to see what’s being posted.
There was no immediate reaction from Facebook. The platform’s transparency policy said it does not allow content that sexually exploits or endangers children and reports apparent child exploitation to authorities.
The NSPCC urged the UK government to compel tech firms to prioritize child safety when they are designing platforms.
A new ‘Online Safety Bill’ is being drafted by the UK government and a spokesman for it said the burden will fall on social media companies to prove they’re doing all they can to keep children safe, adding “they will not be able to use encryption as an excuse.”