USENIX Security '19 – Shining Light on Internet-based Crimes Against ChildrenJuly 17, 2021
Shining Light on Internet-based Crimes Against Children
Brian Levine, Professor, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Every day, exploitation crimes against children are captured as images or videos and shared on the Internet. In addition to the immediate harms, these crimes represent long-lasting, enormous privacy violations of the child victims. Such child exploitation materials (i.e., child pornography) is often posted to unmanaged forums, such as file-sharing networks and anonymous servers. Unfortunately, imagery can remain available on the Internet for many years, extending the privacy violation potentially throughout a victim’s whole life. Victims report ongoing psychosis, anxiety, and other disorders decades after the abuse has ended, in part from knowing that the images have been viewed widely. And child pornography is used by perpetrators to groom new victims, who are shown images to normalize the abuse. In this talk, I will review measurements of Internet-based crimes against children from our research and that of others. I will describe how forensic tools can be designed to proactively rescue children, especially those too young to speak and report their abuse, and others silenced by fear. And I will discuss the tension between the intent of privacy enhancing technologies and how they are unfortunately leveraged for this crime.
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