« Making Sense with Sam Harris

#213 — The Worst Epidemic

2020-08-03 | 🔗

In this episode the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Gabriel Dance about the global epidemic of child sexual abuse. They discuss how misleading the concept of “child pornography” is, the failure of governments and tech companies to grapple with the problem, the tradeoff between online privacy and protecting children, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, photo DNA, the roles played by specific tech companies, the ethics of encryption, “sextortion,” the culture of pedophiles, and other topics.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Let me make it has passed to SAM Harris. Ok, the long awaited episode are the most depressing topic on earth, child sexual abuse, otherwise known as child pornography in the form of its book consumption and maybe I have delayed the release of this episode for several months and just never seem like the the right time to drop it. One is the right time to talk about this really in the tax base. It was probably twenty years ago
Anyway, this is never so that many of you will find difficult to listen to. Understandably, if you weren't heck. I think you have a moral responsibility to listen to it. You work at a company like Facebook or a w, ass or dropbox or zoom war any company that facilitates the spread of so called child pornography You really have a responsibility to listen to this conference asian and figure out how you can help solve this problem. As you here, we ve gone from a world where pedophiles were exchanging polaroids in parking lots to a world in which there is an absolute deluge of imagery that provides a photograph an increasingly video record of the rape of children
and as you hear, the tech companies have been terrible at addressing this problem and law enforcement is completely under resourced and ineffectual. Here Now, as I said, our accord this conversation some months ago at dinner, vision of how long ago, when Zoom came up. In the conversation, I felt the need to define it as a video conferencing tool used by businesses since cut that, but everything went discusses all too current. In fact, the problem has only got worse under the covered pandemic, because The children being abused are more often the not at home with their abusers and the people who consume this matter, Real are at home with much less to do about these supply side and demand. Side of this problem have increased.
I will add a short afterward to mention a few things that the government is now doing. But nothing of real substance has changed to my knowledge to them. Speaking with Gabriel Dance Gabriel, is the deputy investigations editor at the New York Times, where he works with a small team investigating technology from the topic at hand, online sexual abuse, imagery. To the companies that trade and sell our data in this business model that increasingly known as surveillance? Capitalism before working? Times Gabriel Help launch the criminal justice new site. Marshall Project, where he focused on the death penalty and prison and policing, and before that he was the interactive editor for the guardian, where he was part of a group of
journalists who won the twenty fourteen Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the widespread secret surveillance by the USA in this episode speak with Gabriel about the global epidemic of child sexual abuse. We discuss the misleading concept of child pornography. The failure of govern bent and tech companies to grapple with the problem, the trade off between online primacy and protecting children, the National centre for missing and exploited children. The difficulty in assessing the scope of the item photo dna and other tools. The part played by specific tech companies, the ethics of encryption, sex, torsion, the culture of pedophiles and other topics. Again, this episode is not a barrel of laughs, but as an important conversation and is yet another.
He s a so not pay walled. If you want to support the work I'm doing here, you can subscribe at SAM Herriston Work, and now I bring you Gabriel. Ants. I am here with Gabriel Dance, gave thanks rejoining. Thank you so much for me, So one doubtfully in the in the intro to this, I will have prepared people to em, not listen to the pot cast if they find that the topic truly unbearable right. But I guess I should just reiterate here that we're gonna speak about probably the most depressing topic I can think of the real gravity of it tends to be concealed by the terms we use to describe it. So it we're gonna talk about quote child pornography and the export
asian of children, and yet these phrases can conjure images for people that are not. They don't really get it what's going on here, because they can, they can remind people. Things like you know their teenagers who get into the porn industry before eighteenth birthday right and that gets found out and or your teenagers send naked photos or videos cells to one another or even with strangers, online and these images get out- and you know that all that gets binned into this- this category of child pornography, but at the bottom of this morass that you and I are going into we're talking about the re
been torture of young children either by family members or caregivers or by people have of abducted them, and I want the officer. I'm gonna want to know from you just what the scale of this problem actually is, but then we're talking about a vast audience of people who are willing to pay to watch these children raped and tortured because they find the rape and torture of children to be the sexiest thing in the world. Apparently so miss psychologically and socially word or just a horror movie here and people need to understand. That's where we're going in and you know you can pull the record now. If you don't want to go there with us, so that's it. That's a m. A fairly am grave introduction to your gay, but you have been covering this topic for the New York Times in a series of long and
and very disturbing articles, so you're welcome to the pond cast and thank you for doing the work you're doing because it me, but for your articles I really again would have just that the vague as notion of what appears to be going on in our world and even in our own neighborhoods self. Thank you for lifting the lid on this. Porsche because it can't be especially fine to be doing this work will. Thank you thank you for having me on, and I really a priest you, starting with an introduction that discusses the terminology around this horrible horrible crime we I also didn't know anything about what I came into this coin: child pornography and our investigation started in February of twenty nineteen and it was pretty quick.
That we learned I investigated with a colleague of mine, Michael Keller, primarily, and it was pretty quick that we learned the proper terminology used by people in the industry and law enforcement is child sexual abuse, material and I think, for the purposes of this pod cas it'll be easier to referred to. This has see SAM. Is the easier way of referring to it and not constantly using what I think is the in create an inelegant term. Child pornography, maybe lustrous. Linger on the terminology for another minute or so because it really is one of those terms it that really just reliably misleads people say. Another example of this is people too
about male circumcision and female circumcision right as though the term circumcision were interchangeable in those in those phrases right, and so that's so this is a social issue that is, is being obfuscate it by some common words and some interesting to give people a sensitive of what should be off yes, but strangely isn't. Let's just consider how different this is from normal pornography, because there is a lot that could trouble us and perhaps should trouble us about normal pornography. Is you can ask questions like how did these women in particular find themselves in a situation where their performing sex
on camera error they getting paid. How much are they getting paid, or some of them actually not getting paid and and being exploited or even coerced? Are they private videos that they were meant to be kept private? I just got a leaked. Is there some back story of suffering that would make the average person feel terrible about watching what purports to be a m, a video of consenting adults having sex? So these are totally reasonable questions to ask. But it's all understandable that most people don't really think about these things when they're watching normal adult pornography, because human suffering isn't being directly shown on the video I mean, even if it's a jeep or not, maybe who knows I could be horrendous
there that I can't imagine but normal pornography. Even edgy pornography is within its frame. It seems to be the work of consenting adults doing something they want to do for whatever reason, but anything involving kids does not function logic at all right. Any image or video of an adult having sex with a five year old, is simply the record of a crime right, just full stop, and obviously a crime to anyone watching it and yet point as it is that these crimes occur. It's almost more appalling that there's a vast market for them. I remember hard to believe that in a one guy and a million is going to abuse his step child right, but the idea here that there are millions and millions of people with whom this person could
an online dialogue and sell them. The video record of this abuse- and that's just completely shocking to me and the scale of it, is completely shocking as you report so reports, or just let's talk about The nature of the problem, what is what's going on and and how much of it is out there, why ethic you're, absolutely right to to draw a distinction between what we call adult pornography and white, the misnomer child pornography and what you said several times. Hit the nail on the head, which is consent, I mean, These are, as you said, children I mean, even if we take it, take away and we can come back and speak about self produce material by teenagers, maybe or seventeen year olds, who might be engaging in sexual acts on film before Turning the legal age
These are not what we are discussing in the majority of our reporting, we're talking about pre Pew Besson, acts of sexual crimes against China, There is no consent, they are unable to consent and there's no is no illusion of consent. You you have to, your head around the depravity of the audience here again, this is concerned very judgmental was bracket for a moment
some kind of compassionate and rational understanding of pedophilia that we might want to arrive at. It should be obvious that no one chooses to be a pedophile, or you know anyone who finds this imagery titillating, but it is one example and in one of your articles that this is not an especially the lurid description of the crime, but just the details give you a sense of how insane all this is. So this is lifted from one of your articles in a recent case, and offender filmed himself drugging the juice boxes of neighborhood children before tricking them into drinking the mix. He then filmed himself as he sexually abused unconscious children, so that's part of the titillating material for this audience, the imagery, the video of this guy, putting whatever narcotic used into juice boxes and feeding a tip, unsuspecting children and then performance
exact on them. The criminality of this and the evil of it is absolutely on the surface. The details are mind: boggling dared there. Definitely in a variety of extremely depraved things it may come up in. Our discussion that I have learned are extremely hard for people to hear they were hard for me to even begin to comprehend when I was learning these things from law enforcement from survivors from child advocates, I'm did that weight. The one you describe was actually an example given by special agent Flint waters who at the time, was a criminal. Care for the state of Bio. He was appearing before Congress when he was describing that video
And that was in two thousand seven actually before this crime has exploded in the same way and her in the way that it has, I mean for reference in two thousand and seven It will get more into the total numbers, but there were fewer than one hundred thousand reports of online child sexual abuse material. In two thousand nineteen, we just published story on his past Friday, in two thousand nineteen, there were almost seventeen million reports, so the explosion in content being found is staggering,
and to talk a little bit, I mean that the examples are all horrendous hard to hear harder to imagine nothing. You want to think about a read about, but just a kind of take it to the extent that we ve learned his what's going on. There is also an active community engaged in committing sexual crimes against what they call the criminals. Pre verbal children, which is to say children who cannot speak yet- and that means obviously usually children younger than to younger than one instances of children days and months old, the unmolested raped, being raped, filmed being raped and it is truly beyond shocking and is
We started to speak with the people who regularly engage with this content. Their lives are forever changed anybody who deals with this issue cannot get it out of there lines in it and it really speaks to why it has become such an interesting issue when it comes to law enforcement and the Department of Justice and tat companies in this very interesting new privacy issues and in some of the other,
things that raise that naturally come out of this subject. Yes, I want to talk about the scale of the problem in so far as you understand it and how he ineffectual the government and the tech companies have been thus far dealing with it, but just to talk about your experience for a moment. How do you go about reporting on this and in the course of reporting? Are you exposed Andy this material or do you actually? Can you do all your reporting without feeling the same kind of psychological contamination that the law enforcement people- you speak with experience, great question and one that also we had. My dear going into this. So it be helpful. If I talk a little bit how we stumbled into this your object and then how we learn how to report on it. So I've been working here, the times investigating tech companies for several years,
is now, and that has been everything from Botz in fake followers came again lit, occur Data Facebook, his strapped, so I've been immersed in this field, along with several colleagues where these mammoth companies or two I came all sorts of things about you web pages. You like who your friends are where you are using this data data. You think I know that you have discussed at length with many people have had on the show, but still I fell, in both in conversations with editors here as well as people on outside the building that I was having difficulty gaining traction on issues surrounding privacy mine, and how important in how high the stakes are and so I started asking the small team. I work with questions about in a white. What kind of actual harm can we show
because many people would argue that whether be Facebook or any other company violating privacy by sharing our data with another company or selling our data, whoever might be doing what, with our information many would argue that the harm is in violating our privacy, but that is still an abstract concept for many, and especially sometimes in a place like a news agency, harm when I'm, when I'm working with people like Megan too, Jody Canter who are investigating Harvey wine seen in crimes against women and in theirs. There's tangible harm their in theirs harm furs. But my colleagues investigating, what's going on in Myanmar and Facebook, disinformation and, and people dying from that, I mean there's harm there and so gaining traction around online privacy,
harm was something that I was looking for. What topic is really going to bring this to a point where people can start having? It was like a fast for Random Wendy, short circuit. This conversation about privacy online, to a point where we can, So they begin discussing it in a way that has very, very real, harming consequences and. So in that, but here you're talking about the the flip side of this, which is are, can mid, meant to maintaining privacy at all costs. If we ever, you know achieve that. You know that a full encryption of Facebook MESSENGER, for instance, one of the knock on effects of that will be to make these crimes more or less undiscoverable. Absolutely absolutely enamel come back. I'm sure young crimson intimidate the potential. I don't know solutions for peace,
privacy and very, very high stake decisions for children suffering this abuse and people trying to read the internet. Of of this happen material. So you right, I was coming out if from a privacy side, but I also knew that it was more complicated than that and so he wanted to figure out where disease privacy line start actually wears a rubber meet the road. One of the ideas was what we were calling it the time child pornography. And in those not only because of the privacy thing, but we were also time out what has taken all dine over the last ten years. That has, clearly changed the world and one of those things is the ability to create and share imagery. I mean look at Facebook, look at Instagram all of these different types of social platforms and other things, that of Youtube, if spun out by means
how much more images and videos are being created and shared and stored, etc. The we we, it was Just a hunch, I mean what what's going on with child pornography in a nobody wants to talk about it so as invest gave reporter. That is actually helpful when you encounter has said Yet there really. Nobody wants to touch the second thing that happened. The second thing that happened. It was also I want to return to That point, though, I don't want to derail you, but we have to return two, why people don't want to talk about this and the consequences of that absolutely absolutely. But the second thing that came in which actually in its own way. Interestingly, ties back to the encryption discussion and everything is the New York Times has a tip line that I actually help set up in two thousand. Sixteen in this Tipp line has multiple ways: people can send us information
Some of those ways are encrypted seminars, ways irregular emails. Some of them are through the paper mail. And we received a tip from a man and I believe it it just came in over email. I don't think he was concerned with protecting his own identity and this tape said look I was on being makes up being search engine and I was looking up bullet waits. So literally the weight of bullets her, which I, which I understand, are measured in grains here. And I'm not gonna, say this specific term he was looking up or that he was actually looking at bullets by certain weight of, and he said you know I taped to sin and all the son, I'm seen images of children being sexually, halted, and I've reported this to being, and it's been days or weeks, and there still there
And I dont know what to do some telling you So we had already been thinking about this issue and in here in MID February, we get this tip, and I ask my colleague luckily, as their small team leader of this technology investigation, seem I'm sometimes able to pass a tip on and ask one of my fellow reporters to try to run it down, and so in this instance, I was happy to do that and in this instance, it is MIKE, color, and I said MIKE check it out. You do me a favor and check it out, so my grades me back maybe half an hour later, says yeah I'd, then the exact terminology that the guy sent In- and I looked at it for half a second, but there were definitely very disturbing images that came up, and so we were shocked.
On the second of all, we immediately reached out to our head legal counsel. At the New York Times- and there is a lot better it's for work in the New York Times, but one of really the best things. Is that we have excellent legal representation in the house. In this case, it's David Mccraw, who's, relatively famous in his own right for his dealings both with President Trump as well as many other people Have you seen, etc and David says? Look? It is extremely important that you both undressed and there is no journalistic privilege when it comes to child pornography and he sent us the statue any centres. News stories where reporters it out in fact get in trouble for reporting on this subject, and so
what we had to do immediately, because MIKE had in fact seen images is report, those images to the FBI and the National Centre for missing and exploited children, because not many people I don't think, but it is one of the only crimes, if not the only crime that you have to report. If you see I mean you, don't have to report a murder, if you see it, but if you see an image of child sexual abuse, you have to report it or you are breaking the law and that stance for everybody. So we found a report with the national centre. Me vowed a report with the FBI. And we then began embarking on this investigation. Knowing, first of all that a we did, of course, we do not want to see any of this material, but be if we did so
We had a report it and along the way we even received emails from the FBI saying hey reminder, you're not allowed to collect this information. You're not allowed this. This material you're not allowed to look at material. You aren't you there's nothing. You can do around this. Legal, which really did cause a complicated reporting process. That's interesting is somehow seems less than optimal, but it's also understandable. I don't know what do you think? Do you think they have the the dial set to the right position there, or should I or would there be some better way to facilitate your work or Whatever Roy you at a journalist can play in solving this problem. I mean it. I think probably aids in the red spot. To be honest, I think that what while it was different
a was I mean there are we reviewed hundreds and thousands of court documents, and these core documents include search warrants. And complaints in a variety of things, and when you, when you have a search warrant. So when an investigator, let's say based on a tip from the national Centre or based on investigative, undercover work, discovers somebody with this type of material on their system, nay, file, a search warrant and when they found a search warrant they have to describe probable cos And this probable cause nearly always is descriptions of a handful of the photos and videos, and speaking I've been speaking with a variety of both advocate
in people involved and why I have been personally lucky enough to have never ever seen one of these images or videos. I've read descriptions of hundreds, if not more than a thousand, and it is a terrible, terrible, terrible thing, reed Some people have said reading. It is worse and seen it now. I don't know- and I can't make that comparison, but I dont feel I would gain much in the reporting process. By actually seen these things, I mean just as you, you ve read them in our reports and I'm sure had even more than enough for you to endorse in the gravity, and so I dont see what would be helpful in. In my being able to see them in any kind of journalistic privilege, and I think that would also likely be abused if it if it exists
yeah. I guess the only analogy I can think of is the ISIS videos, the decapitation, videos and the other he records of their crimes, which energy let's have washed and in any one can watch. I mean I've spent a lot of time. As you might know, railing about the problem of jihadism and and I ain't undressed, aware that I to know we know how bad ISIS was I'm I, and on people who are paying a first hand attention to their crimes. Someone like Graham Wood over the Atlantic is actually wanting his videos and confirming that there is bad as as is rumored, so I don't have to and some of the essential you have. You have the cops doing that work for you. It seems like I can't imagine. The information is getting lost or or corrupted they're giving it they're so much of it, but it just would be odd if someone like Gray,
I am in the process of writing. His articles on I'll go back, daddy and ISIS, and are misadventures in the Middle EAST had to Every turn worry that he could be thrown in jail. For having discovered an ice as video online? That seems like an extra piece of overhead that he doesn't need to do his work. Is I mean it was nerve rat? it was uncomfortable, and again I mean we did every single bit of our reporting consultation with our lawyers and and we were also in close contact with the FBI, the Department of Justice. You know local law enforcement throughout the country International CS dealing with this, so that doesn't provide any cover, certainly, but I was hoping, I hope that it raised flags everywhere to say, like you know, cause I googling, some pretty crazy terms at points trying to learn about this issue, and
I mean, if you, Google, just child pornography on Google but really search it on Google, they will return message is telling you that this is an illegal things. Look for providing resources. If you're inclined to look at this type of material, I mean there is give messaging around people looking for this type of imagery. So I wanted to make sure I didn't end up on some list somewhere, which I, which I hope I'm not on, but basically we won to make kind of his much noise is. We could, as invest, gave reporters we're not trying to Tipp other people off it we're doing a story, but so that law, enforcement knew that we are actually trying to engage in this in a real journalistic way and and that there was a any sort of anything else going on. Ok. So what do we know about the scale of the problem in a you? Explain that
at one point in two thousand seven, we had a hundred thousand reports now remind people. Two thousand seven was was a time when we were all online. That's not ninety! Ninety seven here, two thousand seven is so well into the period where the internet has subsumed all of our lives so that you have a hundred reports then, and now we're up to eighteen nineteen million reports, but how much of this is just more look and finding the ambient level of abuse. There was always there or how much we know about the growth of the problem, because it seems like the judging from your articles. The the reporting around the issue is freezing something like exponentially, whereas the number of arrests and the amount of resources being put towards solving the problem or more or less flat, which is a terrible juxtaposition they're. So what do we know about? How big a problem is?
what's the right question, and unfortunately I don't think I'm gonna have a completely satisfying answer and part of that everything around this subject. In some way goes back to the fact that nobody wants to talk about this subject, and so there is a lot of transparency for a variety of reasons, whether or not it's the federal government, not keeping the records in reports that they should be, whether it's the lack of transparency from the National Centre, which is responsible for the collection and serves, is the key in house for this type of imagery or a variety of other things. So so I'm not gonna have. I cannot answer your question completely, but I can give us some idea, and so the Tipp line, Cyber Tipp line is run by the national centre. Permission missing and exploited children commonly referred to as a nickname, and so Nick Make started the Tipp line. Nineteen. Ninety eight, when people are becoming aware of cannabis
you're saying like ninety seven. Ninety eight people are coming online and law enforcement and Congress other leaders are realising that child sexual. Use imagery is also coming. Online The internet was the biggest boon to child sexual abuse, imagery since the polar I'd camera, and so, let's just spell it out for people that can't do the m, the psychological math quickly there so that the significance of the polar camera was that you didn't have to figure out how to get your film developed by a stranger anymore. You could generate develop it yourself and that took a lot of friction out of the system of document in the abuse of children, because unless you re a you had a dark room, it was kind of mysterious.
How people could produce a ton of this material in the first place, right in you know, acquainted a law enforcement. We spoke ways in the Eightys and Ninetys I mean they were pretty comfortable. I mean eighties and early nineties before it the advent of the internet. They were through pre, comfortable saying that they were there handle on this problem in there actually like stamping it out. I mean child pornography, child sexual abuse, material. Used to really be the domain of long for in the? U S postal service, because that is how it was. Trading is traded in parking lots. It was mailed, and that is how the majority of it was caught and detected by with, The advent of the internet- and this is again, is even before digital cameras. For the most part, I mean certainly cellphones, so they openness, Tipp Line, nineteen Ninety eight ninety ninety eight they receive three
in just over three thousand reports of what the legal term is child pornography, which is also why it's big confusing when, when talking terminology most of the laws referred to it as job an ivy, so they're, just over three thousand and ninety. Ninety eight by two thousand and six Seven word. Eighty three thousand reports, eighty five thousand and then something happens and nobody can say with certainty by the numbers start exploding with the invention of the smartphone. The iphones introduced in two thousand. Eight hundred other phones also start to be produced that have high quality cameras.
Broadband connections and so by about two thousand and fifteen actually two thousand feet Thirteen we break a million for the first time and it's a big jump. Two thousand and thirteen there's less than half a million reports. Two thousand and fourteen that number doubles. Two thousand and fifteen that number quadruped wherever four million reports and by two thousand eighteen were eighteen and a half million reports, So the numbers are growing exponentially, and but there there's something we need to tease apart here, which is their reports to the national centre. In the vast majority reports more than ninety nine percent come from what they call are: electric service providers, Facebook, Twitter, Google, com, etc. But each report It can can contain a number of files
So this is not a one to one's when there's a teen in it five million reports in two thousand eighteen, That does not mean there is eighteen million pieces content found. In fact, there were forty five million pieces of content found in two thousand eighteen, and it was about split between images and videos, and we will certainly come back to the discussion of video speak Is there something startling going on there, but the numbers are we just published a few days ago for the two thousand nineteen numbers really start to tease apart these differences between reports and numbers of files, so in two thousand nineteen, for the first time in over a decade, the number of actual reports went down. So the number of reports received by the National Centre in two thousand nineteen was just shy of seventeen million. So we're looking at a drop of about one and a half million, and we can talk about why that happen in a minute by the number of
files reported in two thousand. Nineteen was just under seventy million, so we ve gone from forty five million in two thousand, a team to seventy million in two thousand nineteen and again, as recently as two thousand fourteen. That number was lesson, three million. So I want to talk about why this is so difficult to even focus on and what explains that the failure, our response thus far, but I dont lose the thing you just flagged. What what was the distinction between still images and videos that you wanted to try other the thing you seem so so. The rise in all photos an invidious detected, and we should very much geared to that. It is a fact that these are only known images and videos that their detecting the systems they have to to catch. This content are trained.
To match only images and videos that have been identified previously as illegal material so we're not talking about new material almost whatsoever. This is, this is in near completeness previously seen images and videos, but to speaks to sit Clayton videos, the technology for detecting video child sexual abuse, is nascent compared to image abuse and for that reason Dave detected as recently as two thousand seventeen There are only three and a half million videos reported to the national centre as compared to twenty million images last year. There were forty one million videos reported as compared to twenty two million nonsense
seven million images. So I know these are large numbers, but what were seen is videos are exploding The number of videos detected and that's almost wholly due to Facebook and Facebook? Strict facebook started scanning aggressively for videos in late, two thousand seventeen, and by two thousand and nineteen They were responsible for by far the majority of video reports. I think they were responsible for thirty, eight million forty, one million videos reported so the numbers arising that the report's what will come back to in a second but the numbers of files and videos are rising, but, as your initial question, what does this tell us about?
how much content is online and be how much is being produced. It tells us nothing about either of those for a few reasons, not nothing, but it paints a very incomplete picture the first reason is, as I said there, only detecting previously identified imagery, which means are not detecting anything that is being newly created. That process is a very slow process to get added to these lists of previously identified imagery. It is Because if funding issues in a variety of other things than the list of previously identified, imagery is growing very slowly, but the number of and videos images and videos is as high as ever. So you don't know a lot about how much new content is being produced, and we also don't know because of that. We don't know if this problem is, as you said, always
in there and we're just find in it, because more companies are actively looking for it or if it's actually growing. Now, conversations with law enforcement, amongst others say that the problems growing and even common sense, as I said, with cell phones, broadband in cloud storage, social media, I mean the internet is built to share videos and content and files. There's platforms, thereby billion dollar platforms completely dedicated to this there. The fact that we don't know exactly how much is out there is evident in Facebook being responsible for ninety percent or so of all reports right and other companies were not sure exactly that the whole industry, certainly before our reporting and still to a certain extent, was very cloaked in secrecy.
And people were happy for that to be the case, because nobody went ask you what I want to talk about, what the the tech companies are, we are not doing, but one way there is whether Facebook is responsible for much of the problem or just given their scale. Given that you got three billion people on the platform and given the sophistication of their tools that allow them to find the price them to the degree the day they do, that it's hard to know whether we're just penalizing them forward looking and discovering the enormity. The problem on their side, but here the you'd have a similar problem anywhere else. You looked. If you deployed the tools You know on any of the other platforms with his dropbox or tumblr, or any of these other companies see if you mentioned in your articles, that still it right, and I actually want to make sure that it's clear that I don't think so.
But should be penalized for having the highest number of reports. I mean there. There's a lot of new ones around the number of reports and, for example, we were we fought tooth and nail with the national Centre for them to disclose the number of reports, by company in two thousand eighteen and they would not do it. And none of the other tech companies would disclose it either, All we knew was it: there were eighteen, nine and a half million, nearly eighteen and a half million reports we didn't know who they came from. We didn't know why companies were detecting imagery, versus video. We don't know when they were scanning for that. And there is a variety of reasons for that. But the biggest reason there were two two biggest reasons: one is the national centre for missing and exploited. Children is actually a private non profit and
that has come under judicial review and we can talk about them were later if we want, but what that provides them is. We are not able to file freedom of Information ACT to receive information, from them. So, even though their sitting on the canonical database of child sexual abuse reports that are that's, a federal crime is an extremely important statistic that in most instances. We would follow freedom of information request and be able to learn some of that, some of them information around that big number when we, We cannot follow freedom of information request to Nick MAC and they would not tell us. So I would note that was number one challenge and then none of the other tech companies would tell us either. And finally, we had a source who I can't disclose, who Come to us and say: look you
not believe that the number of that is coming from Facebook. And you no longer, sure. We found out that the number just from Facebook MESSENGER was twelve million after you reported that number. Federal government had a comprehensive presentation. They said that it was in total sixteen million from all parts of Facebook and if first at first blush you think Dan I mean facebook- is absolutely riddled with this content. Now Let me be clear: any company online that has image is, or videos his infested with its content it just that is the case. So Facebook does not stand alone in having this issue.
The very interesting part about those numbers is that they actually route reflect Facebook, taking an extremely aggressive stance in looking for this imagery, I mean there's Danny every photo, they gets uploaded since late twenty seventeen there in every video they gets uploaded and their aggressive They reporting it to the national centres. So those very high numbers actually reflect a very conscientious effort to find and remove this imagery. I mean we spoke with Alex steam us who is a former, I think, Chiefs security officer for Facebook. He was also the same position at Yahoo I mean he said that if this, if other companies reporting in the same way that Facebook was reporting. We wouldn't have you no sixteen million reports. Last year we have fifty or a hundred million, so Facebook acts
the UN in when we will come at Facebook MESSENGER, because that's where things get interesting with Facebook, but by any measure. Facebook is actually in industry leader when it comes to finding an reporting. This content. I know that people hearing this are going to feel once they absorb the horror of it. They will feel somewhat powerless to do anything. To help solve the problem and answer. One question I was gonna: ask you at the end is in: are there any nonprofits that you recommend we support? You are working on the on the front lines of this, but so will you just said something somewhat equivocal about the National Centre, which is really at the center for this in there a nonprofit. Well, what do you recommend people do here, and this is there?
we'd, be giving money to the national Centre for missing and exploited children or is: is there some better option for people who want to help her firm and sir? It's a good guy shouldn't. We in armed generally on the business of its life, he is a reporter. Alot of my problem is a lot of my job is pointing out problems and not necessarily finding the solution to, but I do think the national sent is full of great people really I mean you can't work on this and not be a compassionate. This is a labour of love that these people are doing. That said, there are definite issue I mean the fact that it is a it has this quasi governmental status that has come up. You know just a score such when he was a judge in the tent circuit ruled that the National Centre was in fact a part of the government.
They get seventy five percent of their funding in general from the federal government. About thirty million dollars a year, but at the same time they are absolutely overwhelmed. I mean this? This problem is overwhelming. The national center is overwhelming law enforcement. It's overwhelming a lot of tech companies, so it's so you know, while it's complicated, I do think that Their heart absolutely is in the right place and in their efforts are in the right place there just behind there really there there behind you could give money to them and now be good. There are other nonprofits that also doing great work, the Canadian Centre for child protection, who we reported on and who is one of the leaders in starting this idea, what they call naming and shaming tech companies, because of that the cloak of silence it's been around us because we haven't,
unable to hear what are you actually doing to combat this problem? The canadian centre has taken the lead in trying to push that process forward there. You can donate money there. You can then donate money to thorn, which is also a nonprofit that is developing software for smaller companies, which is a challenge of your smaller company building. These kind of systems to scan and detect content is expensive, and there sometimes unable to do that. Why? Wouldn't there be an open source effort to develop this technology that
one could use, and why would there be any proprietary angle on this at all? Why wouldn't google or Palin tier or Facebook just break off some of their expertise and say here? The tools is how you fine child pornography and your databases. He now use them freely. Ripe again, a great question now part of what's going on is in look. Google sits on Nick Mixed board. Facebook sits on mixed board. Nick may gets in kind donations from Poland here they ve centrally dependent in large part on pound tearin Google to upgrade their systems over the past few years, even though they do not have a not insignificant sum of money
in from the federal government, but the detection system, most commonly used, is something called photo dna, so photo dna was invented in two thousand and nine, which many experts would say is at least five years too late when they knew what the problem was. But I'll invented in two thousand and nine. It was a partnership between Microsoft and a person named Dr Jaime freed. Who was it Dartmouth at the time now in Berkeley, and it is? It is proprietary and we'll talk about that in a second, but basically what it is it's a fuzzy image matching and by fuzzy image matching. I mean many of your list as we know, are adapted technology, you can take what are called cryptographic image pashas of any type of file, a cryptographic. Cash will shoot out a string of characters in that stream. Characters is unique to that file and, if any small thing
changes that cryptographic half of change and so for a while, they were using cryptographic hashes to try to to match known images of child sexual abuse. The challenge became that the people who are trading this type of imagery often are also pretty technological and law, In different technologies, and so they knew that, even if they saved the image at a different type of compression or if they cropped it, even slightly that cryptographic hash would no longer match So photo dna was the solution. It is photo. Dna is again, they called a fingerprint print in Cardiff fuzzy match, but basically it takes into account a lot of these minor changes that can be made to an image. So, even if you change the color a little bit, you crop at all, I'll bet you right. It may be a little bit it still gonna catch that image thousand went into hasn't night
the question why it is an open source, is a good question. They would say that It would allow people who are looking to dodge the system to manipulate the system, access to the algorithm, which would then allow them to find out how to do that, I dont know enough to say whether that's for sure the case or not For example, Facebook last year released in open source algorithm for video detection. A couple weeks ago. I asked him cryptologist. Why would facebook do then? He said? Well, it's probably not every that could have an algorithm. To be honest, doktor Freed will tell you that, for dna is not some kind of top secret, incredibly complex thing, but they still do keep it under wraps. Now, Microsoft who owns photo dna? Will licence that two most companies from what we understand
if they ask now, there's been some movement around that lately that complicate things, but for the most part Facebook has life. For photo dna. Google has a licence photo. Dna of the big companies have licences for photo. Dna and they use it on their system so that they can all share this list of what they call hashes a hash list in between themselves, where they fingerprint photos in and take it. Get it now that technology is being developed. Unfortunately, with video which I mentioned previously. There is no standard, and that has been confusing to us. It remains confusing to us. National centre has said that they would prefer there's a video standard. Just the same there is an imagery standard. But there is no video standard so Google has their own hash fuzzy fingerprint system for video. Facebook has their own system, Microsoft ACT evolved photo dna to have their own system and
The government uses a different law enforcement uses a different system. Somehow send you have this issue of a bunch of different proprietary technologies, generating different types of fingerprints are incomplete, bull and no master list of these fingerprints, so there's really rather rabbit to go down, which is not uncommon to technology as a whole. But again in this instance, the ramifications of it are start well. There's the the effort of the tech companies and the effort of government and from the something mysterious here around how Noncommittal people have been towards solving this problem because here, as you say at least one of your articles- the U S, government has
proved. Sixty million dollars a year for the problem, which is really a drop in the bucket of interest that on its face, is not enough, but they don't even spend that amount every year. They set aside that amount of money, but they spend said Melick half of it, and this is just totally mystifying to me If ever there were a non partisan issue where in the you could get Chris
conservatives on the one hand and progressives on the far left on the other, to be equally animated about. It's gotta be this so that the issue is less figure out how to prevent kids from being raped and tortured for money and less figure out how to hold people accountable. Who do this and who traffic in his imagery, and yet it seems that even the money that's reserved to fight this problem isn't being deployed. How do you understand it? It's hard to explain, but I do think that this is perhaps the right time to talk about
people just not wanting to discuss the issue so in two thousand and eight people knew this was a problem, as I said that the testimony that you had quoted earlier from Flint water is very talking about the man who gave juice boxes to the children and then raped them. That was twelve years ago. I was twelve years ago as a blast years. Is thirteen years ago now, two thousand and seven two thousand seven everybody knew. This was a huge problem, and so a bill was put on the floor or by two Debbie washroom insults by parties in. I believe her was evolved either that time or at least by two thousand and twelve, as you say, was a bipartisan issue. I think it passed unanimously. It was called the two thousand eight protect our children act and it wasn't until a few type like a month into our reporting that we realised that there was legislation in order to confront this issue.
And the more we dug in that legislation. What we saw it was pretty good it really for saw a lot of the issues and that boat, but then what we saw, which was really disappointing, to put it mildly, was that many most of the major aspects of the legislation had not been fulfilled by the federal government so they were. There were three main provisions that there were not followed through on the first, and perhaps the most consequential is the one you discussed, which is Congress Alex did only half of the sixty million dollars. Did the bill appropriated for to fight this. That money, Pasco directly, to state and local law enforcement in order that they can deal with this problem and we spoken about them, but did the short of it is
There completely overwhelmed there haven't you do total tree eyes many of them. That means they focus only on infants and toddlers, leaving the rest of the cases unexamined. That's true with idea. Die that's true and away so you have these. There called internet crimes against children task force tax. All these I tax begging for money. The money has been appropriated for the last ten years. It stayed almost wholly at thirty million. Have the sixty in dollars, I may be using appropriate wrong, might be authorized. I'm not sure what the term is basically there allowed to give up to sixty million dollars there. Only given thirty million dollars. We found another thing that the Justice Department supposed to produce bi annual every two years. Reports on these topics are reports on this problem. Now these reports are supposed to have several pieces of information in this was compiled data about
How many reports where the reports are coming from in order that we have an idea of the scope of this problem and their spouses set some goals to eliminate it? Well, only two of what should now be seven reports have been, prettiest and finally, they were supposed to have zackie level, pointing at least by two thousand twelve and when the bill is re authorized for the first time there Firstly, like an executive level pointing essentially quarterback who's in charge of this issue. That position has never been filled with the executive level person. It's been a series of short my point is leading the efforts, and so it was stunning to see the day had foreseen this problem and they had actually set up a pretty good law. Men
to address, and the only reason that we can think of that. These things were not followed through on is people were very happy to put the law in place and then turn their backs, And they all, I can only chalk that up to people literally not wanting to pay any mind to this issue. After feeling, like they dealt with it, it is truly, mysterious and I dont know again. We're talking about is a source of suffering. That is is a significant is as any we can think of happening in our own neighborhoods right. This is not happening in some distant place in a car you're, very, unlike your own, for which you The normal levers of empathy are harder to pull right. This has happened
in two, if not your kids, your neighbors kids and some guy down the block- is pain to watch it and it's all been facilitated by technique. Emoji, that is producing more wealth than any other sector on earth. Riser time at the richest companies, whose wealth is scaling in a way that normal business is never do.
And the money is not being allocated to solve. This problem is just we need something like a man Hatton Project on this, where all the tech companies get together and realize it's not something. The government is especially good at look at those Facebook hearings, and you know you have a bunch of gazers up they're, trying to figure out what Facebook is well, also trying to hold the soccer burg to account for having broken our democracy, and it's just a completely fatuous exercise right. So clearly we need the best and brightest to break off one per cent of their their bandwidth and wealth and
you're out how to solve this problem, because what seems to be happening based on your report reporting correct me. If I'm wrong is it, there is troubling signs that Tec is moving in the opposite direction. There there creating technology based on other concerns that will make it make the problem harder to discover and any an example of this that you ve written about as it Facebook is planning to fully encrypt Facebook MESSENGER, which is one channel that where a lot of this material streams- and if you do that, will then Facebook or be able to Take the position that you know. Apple has taken around unlocking its Iphone re, like we can't unlock the phone because not even weak,
get into your Iphone. So if a person's phone is filled with evidence of crimes against children, well it will it can't be our problem. We have we built a technology so that it will never become our problem, and there are many people who are understandably part of a a cult of privacy. Now that have so fetish, Ized the smartphone in particular, and other channels and information, as you know, sacrosanct, and have to be kept for ever be, and the prying eyes of government, no matter how warranted the search warrant is that a lot of people, a line up to say tat? I really dont care what might be in in the facebook. And your streams of others or on another person's Iphone. I do not want it to be the case that you can ever get in to my Iphone or my encrypted
question and I wonder how you feel about that. I'm here I think I've heard the arguments specifically with the case of the Iphone. Frankly, my intuition, had been caught a knocked around their such that I actually dont have a settled opinion on it. But I am pretty sure that if you tell me that you know, there's somebody who we know is raping and torture. Children and we have the evidence on his Iphone, but we can't open it. Ninety nine, percent of my brain says: ok, that's that's unacceptable. No one has an absolute right to privacy. Under those conditions was figure out had opened the Iphone, but many people.
Will disagree there for reasons that you know in another mood I can sort of dimly understand, but for the purpose of this conversation those reasons seem sociopath shock to me. But how do you view the the role of tech here and end are looming? Privacy concerns right woods. It's interesting here. Somebody such as yourself Y know has a lot of experience with many of these issues. Not child sexual abuse by it privacy, technology and the tech companies. But let me go back to a few things you said and then I'll address the encryption bit. We were shocked to find out how many people actually are engaged or looking at this type of material. Just one statistic, or one quote: I can actually give you as we're speaking with the guy Lieutenant John Pizarro who's, the task force under in New Jersey dealing with this type content, so Lieutenant Pizarro says the guys
You got nine million people in the state of New Jersey based upon statistics. We can prior arrest. Four hundred thousand ok he's just saying that five percent of people look at child pornography online is at an that's, however, that that's right, ok, so that seems dreams its aims possible right. It's like the immunity Eve Start, I mean as per the challenges with reporting on it. You know like it's a nobody, and tell me they look. This stuff actually did have a series of encrypted chats with somebody who ran some websites. It did have this material but figuring out how many people look at it or down is very difficult for a reporter but law enforcement and- and there is an agenda on law enforcement- will get to that money. Talk to it and cryption, but but they say, is three to five percent of any any random population will be looking at this material, and that's
all pedophiles and in fact a large number of those people are not pedophiles and that's one of the issues with have this kind of content even available is that many of the child advocates will say you know you have. You spoke a little bit about adult pornography earlier and the wide range of adult pornography and just the insane prevalence of pornography aiming when when sternly you- and I were growing up- that Didn'T- have access to pornography now. Pornography is everywhere in the end, and just like everything, internet striven more more extreme, there's more and more types of classifications weathered speedier sam more. Team pornography or any of these types of things- and you know it
and according to interviews in law enforcement and specialist, we spoken when they say that this will drive people towards child sexual abuse, so that I just want to starboard you. You noted that you know there's a lot of people. There is it. It seems to be a much larger problem. Then we previously new second with the tech company and while the tech companies- and why haven't they done something so again, I have to initially come back to the fact that nobody was really telling them they had to because Nobody went to deal at it. Nobody wanted, talk about it? Nobody was asking questions about it. I mean, I know There's been articles written about this in the past several years, but there has not been an investigation such as ours and probably a decade, or so it's a very, very easy subject to look away from that in the course of my reporting, I did go back you
and found employees former employees at Twitter, former employees at Snapchat, former employees at Facebook, because those are the people who had insight in let's say two thousand twelve thirteen fourteen when the problem started really getting better and from every single person at every one of those companies. I heard the same thing, which is that the teams responsible for dealing with that material, which are generally called trust in safety teams, are totally underfunded and basically ignored So an example, one former twitter employee, told me in to their hasn't. Thirteen when vine, which was twitter, is a short lived. Video like video tweets, six. Second, eight second tweets in two thousand thirteen. There were gigabytes of child sexual abuse, videos appearing on vine- and retain more quickly than this one person there was one person charged with this, could take them down said,
The idea that this is a new problem is totally absurd The companies have known about it for a long time, but they ve been happy to not answer questions about it. There's one. This, I think, is appeared a few of your articles with em there's one sentence in one of these articles that I read and re read and read it here and you'll have to explain this to me. So and was quoting one of your articles, police records and emails as well as interviews with nearly three dozen law enforcement officials show that some tech companies can take weeks or months to respond to questions from authorities if they respond at all, now to my eyes that sentence doesn't make any fuckin sense. Rightly, how is it that the F b I could be calling Tumblr or facebook or dropbox or a w S or any other platform
then listen. We ve got crimes in progress being documented on your servers Tuttle. Are being raped, and this information is being spread to the world through your servers call us back. How is it that the cops aren't showing up with guns kicking in the door, getting a response? If, then I'll get a timely response, I mean part of the problem SAM. Is it there's too much? The cops are overwhelmed, so what's often occurring we found is that there is so many reports coming in to a local taskforce. Did. They have to spend a significant, a significant portion of their time tree aging. These reports trying to fine, I mean the number one thing they do as identify, if there is a child and imminent harm because
and a lot of this material is recirculated material. These are children. Who are abused. Tanner fears in years ago, who have been since rescued, say and the images are being found in reported, but there's no imminent harm, so they're going through energy, as in any and again retaining tens of thousands or sometimes hundreds of thousands of reports for a taskforce. So what we found was occurring, which I agree is incredibly. Disturbing is the law as it stands now, and there has been a bill that has been introduced subsequent to our reporting to address this. But as it stands now the law says that tech companies, as soon as they become aware of this content, report it so first about tech companies are not legally obligated to look for this content and there are real and difficult to manage. Fourth amendment issues around that
but putting those aside. Tech companies are not legally obligated to look for this content, but they are legally obligated to report it as soon as they know about it. So they will report this on ten and then they are only allowed to store whether it's the imagery or anything about this. There only required to store that for ninety days after ninety days they have to get rid of the imagery there's no way they can. Keep a holder, the imagery, which leads to a significant challenges for training things like artificial intelligence class fires. Ok, so they have to get rid of this and that that in itself is a challenge and second, a lot. The time because law enforcement is so overwhelmed because there's so much content because they're having a figure out what's an actual threat by that I'm they go to the tech company many times, I've gotten rid of the information, and so it's a dead end. You have certain come
he's like Snapchat, where their whole business model is based on getting rid of all kind of any kind of logs or data or anything around imagery. So there were several instances where long force will go to snap chat and they wouldn't have it. We found cases where tumblr for a certain period of time, acting into hasn't. Sixteen was, in fact, informing people who they found this content that they had reported now, and we talked with law enforcement, who said that that gave criminals ample opportunity to delete the evidence to destroy devices so yeah, it's absolutely knots and its because is the overwhelming amount of content, the inability for the National centre, whose technologies, literally twenty years old to properly vat and filter and try out the content. So some of them
Do they try? Some of that then falls on local law enforcement who again is overwhelmed and by the time they get to some these things. It's often gone so bill. Has introduced in in December would double the amount of time. At least I believe that the companies required to hold on to this information so that that's that's one positive step, I think, but I want you back really quick to the idea of why tech companies maybe aren't inclined to deal with this issue. The way I think most of us would expect so think about these trust in safety teams right their job is to identify pieces of content and users to remove from the platform now I am sure you know that the way that many of these companies, if not all of these companies, certainly the public ones and the ones who are looking for funding report. Their success is by number of users.
Daily active users, monthly actor users, whatever it is, so you have. This too, within your organization whose job it is to remove users and to flag users. And yes, I think it's very easy for all of us to say well no shit and were better off without him, but I mean, unfortunately, what reporting and again this is across several different realizations several different people. This is not one anecdote does not to anecdote this several people saying we were underfunded- it wasn't a priority and, as I think we ve seen with Facebook in recent years, as well as other companies until it becomes a public issue, a public problem, for them they're not inclined to put any resources towards anything that is not in some way driving the bottom line, and so that brings us to Corruption before we go there in the Middle EAST. Can a message to the army?
here? I know that many people who work at these companies listen to the pond In fact, I know many people who started these companies. I can reach out and talk to many of the principal people here, so I know you, many of you are listening at every level in these companies. You have to figure this out. The fact that this is the status quo that so little attention, and so few resources are going to solving this problem when the problem itself is being materially facilitated by you are companies rather problem couldn't exist at this scale. Anything like this scale, but for the infrastructure you have built and upon which you are making vast too. Well,
Right, it's just it's completely understandable. That is a daunting task right, but if you're working for these companies and you're spending all your time trying to increase their profit- and spending no time at all and they I when was the last time you as a ploy at Twitter or Tom. Or facebook, or a w s or dropbox. Any these companies have thought about the problem. We are now talking about he's do something. Now you know better than I do what you might do to make noise within your company about this, but prioritizes Google. Let's is employees, spend some significant percentage of time, just thinking about problems at interest them well become interested in this one. We can look back on this period. I mean of all the things that are going to seem crazy. In retrospect, the deformities
politics and in culture at large, born of our just not figuring out how to navigate our use of these tools. Here. The fact that we spend half of lives ignoring our friends and families, because we were looking at what's happening to our reputation on twitter because we ve put a this veto slot machine in our pockets and taken out a hundred fifty times a day right. All of that is gonna seem insane and once we correct for it and find some psychological balance will be better for it, but nothing will seem more insane than the fact that we did not address this problem in a timely way. So, in a way that p, I say to my friends and tech back to you- What? What do you have to say about the prospects of encryption and related issues right? Well, let me follow up and edges. I can give you hear your listeners a little bit of information as to why companies are doing why
this will be a full run down, but but just so people now. So there is a pretty big distinction between some like Facebook, whose scanning every single thing or social media company there doing it aggressively and places. I cloud storage. Okay so Dropbox Google. Dr day, they tend have very similar policies and those policies are they dont scan anything you upload their only gonna scanner file. When you share that file, that's their policy now, that's an interesting policy. But in our reporting we found that people easily circumvent that policy, and they do that. Sharing log on say they do that by leaving public folders in available, so their choosing These are all with the companies which air privacy based policies so dropbox We will only scan on share
tell you a little bit for the these first numbers over only released to the New York Times about two thousand nineteen dropbox only filed five thousand reports last year in two thousand now what we were doing, our reprinting two thousand nineteen, we said to dropbox: do you scan images? Do you scan videos and after weeks of them, saying But we can't tell you that we won't tell you that, for whatever reason they at one point, I believe July. Two thousand and nineteen they said scanning videos is not a priority, not a priority. For us. We don't feel the videos are the medium of choice, necessarily and that's not a priority. By the time we published our article literally in the days before drawbacks had o o scanning video now ok, starts getting video at seeing the last quarter of twenty nineteen. What the numbers show is that of
five thousand reports, Dropbox filed to the national centre. There were over two hundred and fifty thousand files, five thousand reports to dramatically as far as the majority of those vows were video, okay, so Dropbox Darts game for video. They start finding a lot of video Amazon Amazon Cloud services handle millions of uploads and downloads every second millions every second, they dont scan at all. They'd scan for no images they scan for no videos. Last year they reported zero images, zero videos and you know we could go on. Those are some of the bigger ones you have apple apple cannot skin their messages app and they elect not to scan Icloud. So once again their cloud storage, they dont scan their clouds storage. Now
I've gone back to them. Some of these companies are starting to do it. I think that there is nothing like you know: the exposure of a company to motivate them to begin doing this, but there are certainly things they can be doing and they will tell you that they do dedicate a significant amount of resources. But let me let me address as well so Microsoft who again invented sponsor invented the photo dna. The creation of image scanning has long been seen as a leader in this field and remember this all started with a tip from. User saying that they are able to fine child sexual abuse on Microsoft,. My colleague, Michael Keller, both of us have computer science backgrounds. He wrote a programme in this computer program used once called the headless browser, which means you can actually see the browser and he programme this head, this browser to go
on being to go on Yahoo gone Doktor, going to go on Google and search for a child, sexual abuse. Imagery using terms that we both knew were related to the child sexual abuse, as well as some others that were sent to us his tips and the programme. I mean Can we ve had a very heavily varied by lawyers? It even blocked the judges from ever being loaded casinos, and not only can we nine months, browser window, but the images were stopped from ever loading, but what we do it is. We took the urls. There were returned from these image: searches, we sent those you are asked to Microsoft, own, photo dna cloud service? So essentially, this is a cloud service that we signed up for with Microsoft, Saying very clearly where New York Times journalists were reporting on this issue and we'd like access to your api to check for images of child sexual abuse, they gave us access to the api
We wrote a computer program, it search Microsoft being using terms. We then sent those urls to Microsoft, photo dna and found dozens of images. Dozens of images. This is a trillion dollar tech company, so not only We found dozens image and that's before we just cut it off, and we were again with letters coming in The FBI saying be careful when we weren't trying to make it a massive collection or prove that there are millions we found. Seventy five before we're like ok, there's plenty here so then what we do is we were told Microsoft. We said this is what we did exactly we did. These are the search terms we use. They said something a container, a bug, a problem, ok,
three weeks later, we did it again and we found more. We found different ones. We found more so the idea that these tech companies cannot fine, I mean they should be all do this themselves. Obviously, when two journalists at the New York Times can do that, so the aid here that they're doing not in this isn't just microsoft right. That's it. There was also found on Yahoo inductor go now both of those are powered by Microsoft, search engine, so the default lies largely Microsoft. We did not find any on Google. That says two things, one micro, is not realising that their own system is indexing and serving a imagery that its owns technologies can identify and to its doable. You can see,
This Google's done, however, Google did it in their search and I'm not saying it's impossible to find it again. We didn't do some kind of exhaustive search, but it wasn't turning up on Google. So there is some extremely uneven commitment to this issue and also there's this the issue we flagged in discussing Facebook, a while back where, if you dont look, you don't have bad news to report. If Facebook looks they find in sixteen million instances of the problem, you asked doesnt doesn't look and they don't pay a significant price for not looking there not looking has to become salient and an instance of terrible pr for anyone to be incentivize to look at.
Like beyond. Actually caring about this issue right well, now running up against exactly what you described earlier, which is the privacy advocates in the EP. Encryption essentially absolutist, and let me start this part of the conversation by saying I'm a reporter. I don't offer my opinion on exactly how these problems should be solved. My point is that this is the clearest example of where privacy has stark and terrible consequences for a group of people who came by That said, you re Amazon Apple. They seem to pay very little price for final almost zero reports of child sexual abuse and meanwhile Facebook gets about of initially negative headlines for filing an enormous amount. Noise we ve
guys. Those numbers are actually indicative of them. Doing a very good job but, as you said in March of last year, Mark Zuckerberg announce plans to encrypt Facebook messenger. Now, let me let me put some context round Facebook MESSENGER and just how commonly it's used to share images of child sexual abuse, in two thousand eighteen of the eighteen million Lamon. Eighty million reports made in the national centre nearly twelve million of those about sixty five percent. Two out of three were from Facebook, messenger. Right in two thousand and nineteen Facebook Roger was responsible for even more seventy two percent of all reports made to the national centre, so I mean whenever I tell people these facts, the responses
always, who are these idiots that are trading child sexual abuse on Facebook? I don't know the answer to that, but there's lots of it now, if Facebook Encrypt messenger, which again marks The work has said they are going to do. They will almost complete, we lose the ability to lose the ability to do any kind of automatic image detection, which is what every fundamentally relies on to do this, and while they will say that they are going to use other signals, the experts and people I've talked to anticipate that there will be nearly one hundred percent decrease in reports from messenger. You know me, maybe they'll be able to use some of these other types of indicators, which I would Actually be encouraging them to be using anyways, maybe they are, but to find this in is that these are signals what they call, which her messages sent from one too many people or adults messaging chill
things that are again, I think they should hopefully be using any ways by the fact that they plan to encrypt messenger which J, solving product manager and project management director. I'm sorry for messaging privacy at Facebook, in in the fall of last year and prepared remarks, said private messaging, ephemeral stories in small groups are by far the fastest. In areas of online communication, and so by saying that would he say is that this is what our users one hour, users, one encrypted message in our users went, privacy are used we want everyone to see out of their their living room, teasing analogy that they often used by the truth is- and people are really tariffs. By this that, if the encrypted, not only are they not going to be able to see see SAM they're not can wheels,
All the other kinds of crime and grew and sex stores in and everything else that is occurring all the time on their platform, so obvious Is it a serious conversation that has to be had around its role in this and the incentives and this cult of privacy and its consequences, and we have in that its own ongoing topic of conversation that it will not have certainly not going to exhaust it here. I guess the best use of our remaining time is just to give aid as clear pictures. We can of the urgency and and scope of this problem, make us against. When you give me a a factoid of this. What you did from from New Jersey have up law enforcement officials in New Jersey who says you know, if that nine million people in the state in New Jersey and based upon our statistics, we could probably arrest four hundred thousand of them right. These are four hundred thousand
people who he imagines have looked at this. Material in some way online. Now whether they saw it inadvertently, whether some of them are New York Times. Reporters doing their research discount. All of that. It appears that there is an extraordinary number of people who seek this material out, because this is what gets them off right. This is not. These are not real search papers, and we have a culture and a what. What do we know about the culture of pedophiles end all of the elaborate machinations they have to take to not get caught. Producing this Material trading in it viewing it for she had a predators, get access to kids that they abuse in the making of these videos. May yes, apparently, there's thee there truly evil parents and step parents and caregivers, but am her. How much of this is a story?
of abductions and other horrific details what it? What do we know about what's happening in among the culture of people who produced and consumed this content, Sure, let me know me, I don't want to go on about encryption too much let me just raise what up a few things that I think would be helpful to the conversation, especially with your audience, because off When you come to the idea of encryption, it says of either yes encryption or no encryption right either. Yes, encryption, or some how there can be a backdoor encryption, and I will say that. Do feel that the government- and this is one of the challenges of being a reporter. I do think that, Government is using our reporting and use the issue of child sexual abuse, this kind of the new terrorism that that now, like a week after we put out our first report, Attorney General William BAR held an event at the Department of Justice and the
then was entirely about how encryption is enabling child sexual abuse and how need a backdoor into encryption because of this right now. What that event did not discuss all were the multiple other failures of the federal government in dealing with this issue. So I do feel like there is some disingenuous. Behaviour, not only on their part, are also on the part of people who there there's a lot of. This is becoming a weapon eyes. Topic near around around encryption were so grand because if ever there were an attorney general who did not inspire confidence for his ethical and political intuitions in his commitment to protecting civil liberties, its William BAR so yeah minute. That just makes me think that
the answer has to come more from tech than from government leaders government in this moment. Right now, obviously government has to be involved because we're talking about crime in the end, but yeah, it's easy to see how fans of Edward Snowden- and you know, everyone else who wouldn't trust the current administration is to as far as they can be thrown will just say: this is completely unworkable. You can't let these people in because they obviously can't trusted to protect civil liberties right and even Snowden his waiting on their series, specifically about saying, now one of the stories we row is particularly credulous to law enforcement and today's argument against it, but you're right. I do think there are things to be dynamo folk on Facebook solely because of this messenger example right now, I think one of the most compelling things I've heard from people
when really who are really willing to engage on this issue is. Maybe encryption should not be deployed against all types of platforms? So, for example, Facebook is a platform where children are at a distinct disadvantage to adults, not only for all the reasons that children are always at a distinct disadvantage. Their younger didn't learn as much. They don't have much life experience but literally I found dozens, at least and in the end, by far from an exhaustive search of examples of adults going on Facebook, creating profiles that say their thirteen or fourteen befriending others. Dream getting that child to send them an image of what is child sexual abuse, self generated or not coercing them into it, sometimes by sending that child other images of child sexual abuse it they ve collected as and then as soon as the child sends them an image. Those
they actually I'm a twenty five year old guy and if you semi more images, I'm going to pose this image on your facebook wall and tell your parents. So then you have a twelve or thirteen year old. I guess you're nuts was be under thirteen on Facebook, although we know those roles get bent and broken all the time now, having a twelve year old thirteen year old, saying holy shit, I don't know what to do harm
we send a more photos, I'm so terrified. If they tell my parents if they show if they posted on my wall. This happens all the time it's called sex torsion, it's one of the biggest issues coming up so soon. I have this platform where adults and children can interact at a distinct advantage to the children. Children are discoverable. Despite the fact of Facebook says you can search form in certain ways, which is true. There is still plenty of ways for an adult to find children on Facebook and message them, and course them and Facebook knows it's a huge problem, we're not starting from a place where they don't know it's a prompt. They know it huge problem now. At the same time, Facebook has an encrypted messaging service what's up, and if we look at the number of reports from the National Centre from what's up versus Facebook. Of course, it's not even close, what's abbeys, even a fraction of a per cent of the report's it facebook sense, but that said Facebook could in in this one ipod
is one possibility, not something I am advocating a surly, but an interesting thought. Facebook direct people say, look messenger is not encrypted, were not encrypting. These are not encrypting messages. Law enforcement has access. These messages shouted from the house. Everybody ass? If you want to, have an encrypted chat, we we own a company. What's that go use. What's that will kick you right over to what's up use, what's that now that would make it substantially harder to coerce. Children, because at that point, where you have to do in order even have what's up you have. If you have to have a phone number, so the child has to have a phone. The child s have what's up on it and what's up as opposed to Facebook is not doesn't have the same sort of discover ability issue, you can't just go on what sap and start finding children.
Certainly not in the same way you can on Facebook? So maybe there should be more discussion around what types of platforms should be encrypted. What types of platforms are children at a distinct disadvantage like do? I believe I believe privacy is a fundamental human right, so I absolutely believed that there should be encrypted messaging, but do I has this course of reporting shaken to my core, how that should happen absolutely, and has it caused me to say like well, how do we, how do we have the technology such as encryption. Which, by definition, cannot have a back door and still protect children and in what I find to be counter productive. When I start talking about these discussions, him is that privacy, absolutist, which is a term I use for them,
who have been thinking about this issue for years. They will immediately chastise me. I mean I tweeted out idea, probably in October after we had started thinking about developing at my colleague and I and I'm sure, I'm sure we're not the first people to think about this, but I said you know soon. There be a discussion around what platform should be encrypted and I was attacked. I was attacked by people who said, I've been thinking about this problem for twenty thirty years. I've analyzed it from every single point of view. I've run every. Scenario down and every single one ends in encrypt everything. Now I don't know if that's the right answer, I r, I don't know what the right answer is, but what I do know is that at this point in time, when the general public is just starting to become aware of privacy and bouquets
on just starting to understand what it means to have private messages, what it means to have social media platforms, what it means to broadcast your life to everybody or choose not to the worse thing: you can do is come in and tell people their idiots for thinking about these things out loud, and so I would just like offer that message to the community that I very much respect and enjoy communicate my sight again, I helped start the New York Times. Tipp lie like we implemented secure drop technology which is encrypted technology. You can send us messages on what's up and signal you can get to us in untraceable ways. I very very much understand the importance and value of encryption and private communications, but I do think there
is room to discuss where those are implemented, how those are implemented. Should those be implemented when you know there is a problem, should those be implemented when you no children are at a distinct disadvantage, instilled answer. Maybe yes, I don't. I don't know the answer, but I would say that now is the time to to help people start having these conversations and if you ve, already run every scenario, and you know the answer will help people get there in a way that constructive, because the other ways, are going to drive people away from him. I should echo a few of those thoughts in that you know. I am also very concerned about privacy and would be the first to recoil from the process. If someone like you, know Agee BAR having any more oversight of our lives, then he currently has right. So it's just is easy to see how a bit
they to pry into our private lives can be misused by an ideological government and yet we're talking about more than that. We're talking about the fact that at this moment you have some sadistic lunatic, mistreating children who, for whatever reason, he has access to and shooting his ex. What's on an Iphone uploading it to a w ass? You know posting some of this stuff. You know on tumblr or wherever else and Apple built, a phone and Amazon runs the server and tumblr just go. Acquired by automatic, and you have people getting fantastically wealthy on this technology and this too now this is what is enabling the
loan maniac in his basement to accomplish all of us. If you just had a Polaroid camera. Yes, he could walk that single photo in a brown paper. Bag to the the parking lot of a shopping, mall and traded for A hundred dollars with some other nefarious stranger and risk getting caught that way, but these companies have built the tools to bring all of this to scale. So, presumably people are making a fair amount of money trading this material now and their managing to essentially groom a very large audience of vulnerable people, and is you have to imagine that the audience for this? is growing in the way the audience for we can a weird adult. Porn is also apparently growing biggest. People are getting numbed. You know to various stimuli riper, you have access to
every possible image online and certain people are vulnerable to judge needing more and more extreme images to even find them to be salient right. So I would imagine, reference for talking about four hundred thousand people in New Jersey, downloading stuff. Not every one of those people thirty years ago would have been trying to find who they could exchange polaroids with and a parking lot, and so this is a kind of cultural goods.
Emanation again, much of which is redound into the bottom line of these companies that are getting fantastically wealthy for the use of their bandwidth for these purposes? So you can't be a privacy absolutist here we have to figure out how to change the incentive structure around all this, so that the companies themselves find some way to make this much harder to do and to make it much more likely that someone will get caught for doing it again and- and- and I know that I do want to speak bout pet of housing, education and finish up there, but we haven't even discussed a few things that when you're talking about white people could use their timber centred twenty percent timer just what these extremely bright people who work in these companies right. We have a part of one of our stories. It's just almost too terrible to talk about about live streaming, and this live streaming is going on and zoom, where there's over a dozen men sitting around, why
Jeanne another man, re Pretrial and cheering them on. And the only reason The only reason I was able to report this case out is because it can aid in under cover officer happened to be sitting in the zoom chat room because it was known that this was a problem and zoom and recorded it and the police the next day when and saved that child rights. That's a wonderful story, but the fact is when that case went to trial, which is kind of unbelievable that it went to trial, but it did go to trial what the prosecutor said: the federal prosecutor. Austin Bury he said that the offenders know that lives. Dreams are harder to detect, and that day leave no record- and I quote that's why they go to resume it's the Netflix of child pornography,
So there's things we haven't even discussed like live streaming and new content and class of fires need to be built, for that did it to bear its heart. You know like this is a hard, complicated technical task and end the implications and in what people were so you can respond to the idea of walking into a surveillance state, which I know you hadn't multiple conversations and that is why we did the reporting on this subject. That is why we did it because it brings these questions to a head, is how do we deal with this? Not nodded the answer for you of how we deal with this right now. As far as I'm concerned, is education, so I was in Amsterdam, has actually in the Hague in the Netherlands, lay ask your doing some reporting, because this is an internet
no problem in some of the laws in the Netherlands. Make this make it more common for this type of material to be stored on servers in that country. But that said, while I was there, I ran into some law enforcement of international law enforcement. I ran into a finnish basically Homeland security agent and we are having a couple drinks, and I was talking to him and told him what I was there for. You didn't believe me for a while. I thought I was a russian spy that was interesting once I find convincing, that now, I'm actually a reporter your on this subject, he told me that he was actually there for a conference on that subject, which I knew I was there for the same reason, and he said he had two small children, and I said, I'm man, you know. So what do we do likewise is the answer to this, and he said the only thing you can do is educate your children You need to sit down with your children. You need to explain to them that
they don't know who they are talking to online, that they cannot assume that that's another child that they should not be sending images of them. They should not be live streaming images of themselves and an even more importantly. If they do, they should feel totally. Furthermore, knowing that you will protect them and support them, even if they ve made that mistake that as of right. Now, there is no tax solution to this problem and and honestly, it's not the near future. We we all sitting at the obtained hungry much about survivors, and that is I mean absolutely huh breaking. I remember I spoke with a seventeen year old girl who had been raped by her father, who invited another man rape her when she was seven years old, video taped it and put it online confusion. This young woman feels that her father would do something. She then lost her father and not many people notice. People who have been identified in these images. Videos
time their image or video is found on it on an offenders. Computer cloud driver whatever they get a notice from the FBI. And this notices to allow them a chance for financial compensation during the trial, which is often a few thousand dollars, maybe, but they get these hundreds of note, is a year so every year there are every day their parents, or often a lawyer, because their parents cannot bear it. Get these notices saying that there's it's been found again. It's been found again, it's been found again, so it's really important We talk about the technology companies and in the efforts and need to be made in everything that the first generation of children who have been sexually abused and now have to deal with that every day of their life. Constant reminders
This isn't a reminder they like one. You were once physically assaulted, like in a fistfight and that videos online, which I'm sure would be terrible. This is the knowledge that you being sexually assaulted as a child is serving the sexual pleasure other deviants online- it's just I mean I came out. I interview and I was devastated, and so it's very important. We keep the survivors in mind, because it's not just the child that it's happening to when it's happening. It's the again a whole generation now the children who are growing up every day I mean they change their appearance, because people try to find them later in the future. They can't speak out about it because it is such a stigmatized thing. It's just it's an unbelievable pain and so the thing that we in law enforcement
Yes, we hope TAT companies and there are huge battles ahead, whether be encryption, whether be building class fires, it can detect new content, whether be trying to figure out how to stop children and young adults from sending photos are themselves. They can then be weapons used against them all of those things fundamentally for the next few years. Very least the onus is on the parents to do a better job, educators, children to realise that when their children are plain and craft or fortnight that there are doubts on they're trying to coerce stand that, no matter what platform your child is on, the unfortunate truth is: there are monsters on that platform trying to do terrible things, and so, while the tech companies, which I really hope fig how to deal with this. It is on the parents to educate themselves and their children on how to be aware and avoid these problem.
He also that really only a dream This is a peripheral problem here. This exploitation thing is a problem I'll grant you and obviously any parent should communicate with their kids around this. You know: don't send images of yourself realise we, you could be talking to an adult, obviously don't agree to meet people in the physical world based on these online contacts in all that, but apart from the problem of possible stranger abduction been facilitated by that kind of online communication that doesn't really bring us to the the bottom of this hell Scape, which is the sort of thing you described happening on zoom right, where you have an adult who, for whatever reason, has access to a child who is then raping that child
to produce video for people who have happily gathered to consume it right it a culture of this here- I'm here I it doesn't address at, but I dont want to stray from the idea that a large part of the community field any of these types of videos and images, the more that circulate whether their coerced herself produced the more it drives people down that whole that we just discussed you to more and more extreme content and be. There are several examples. Many examples of Chile, and again it's almost impossible for meat. Even imagine Bay, being eleven years old. Having made the mistake of sending image of my genitals to somebody, when they were twelve and then having them, say that they're gonna tell everybody in my whole world that I've done this, and I that show them that This resulted in children, abusing often it is very common to bring in their siblings
I mean the amount, the way it spreads and then to actually sexually abused their own siblings and which then leads to more extortion. So I completely agree with you. It does not solve the dark, dark, dark, depraved things that we mention quite been articles, but sex, plantation and extortion are the fastest growing number of child sexual abuse images online. So as it is in no way a panacea, but it is one opportunity to help stem the problem. So take me back to the disease case. What was revealed about ever more. They were the people who are watching also arrested or was adjust the perpetrator. Now they were, they were so me. I have it in front of me here So what happened was it was? It was a man in Pennsylvania who is? It was not the first time this has happened in fact than he had. I believe it was his nephew on us,
but it was a six year old boy, and there was, I think, about where then it does a man, and these these men were from all around the world. Speaking to the point of what retirement technology there all around the world. Now I think, a dozen or so we're in the United States, but all the world, and what was this was his mom ties in some way him. How does know now fact a lot of its not monetize. Once you get to the dark web Sometimes it can be monetize in a variety of ways, but that's actually one of the world one of the ways Dave Help shut down other types of dark market crimes like drugs and some of those things that are traded on and on the dark market. Which is by Bitcoin transactions like whenever, even even those can be traced to a certain extent. So there is a certain type things that go on like coin, meaning that they leverage other pupils compeers do they do sell some of this stuff online, but actually what we found
certainly in the open web and on the platforms we ve been talking about, is a much greater predilection to just share it with one another to share and stockpile so they creating huge huge stockpiles, often store on their cloud storage, I mean we found cases where there are millions of files on their cloud storage by these people I mean. Truly her and ass, the men are sitting around. Always man sitting around. Have they have a rule, ok in these its known that they have to have their their webcam on because in their minds. A police officer would never sit there with their webcam on its rule cams on so they're all sitting reading this man on my ribs, the boy there masturbating as they do it. The detective. I think it's detective constable genetic blacker, who is a Toronto police department. She was in the room she recorded the stream that night
She sent the file to special agent, Lawson Barrier, homeland security investigations they then subpoenaed zoom, who is very comply. I mean when the company's learn about this day almost always are very quick to react. Zoom sent him information turn at the man is in Pennsylvania man's name is William Buyers Augusta twenty years old, the next day, homeland security shows up is able to identify the setting, based on the video footage ape seen ain't identified certain objects. There were also in the room saved a six year old boy. Fourteen men from multiple states have been arrested and sent to prison and Mr Augusta who he received a sentence of up to ninety years in prison. Ok, who had worked in that case, but it didn't work because the tech companies caught it right. It worked because law enforcement got exactly and
my first about suggested, say something to the privacy absolute as hear me: wouldn't you, as a user of zoom, be willing to let your conversations be search If you knew you could prevent this sort of thing from happening or you could actually bring the people who are doing this sort of thing to justice. For me, it's just. It would be trivially easy to agree to that in the terms of service Of course, I just don't understand how you get to what is it that you are doing in your life that you think absolute privacy under any conceivable scenario is important,
to you. What are you doing in here and zoom that you can't imagine the government or the tech company ever being able to search it even just algorithmic early to vat, its content, it's a religion, it's a fetish of some kind of absolute fruitful is just if nothing that human rights, games had ever had a right to this kind of privacy. I'm there's no place in the real world where you ever done anything or said anything that has given you an absolute right to privacy is fish the impossible right, there's no room in your house. They could hold all your secrets and never be unlocked by a third party, no matter what you had done in the world right and yet is somehow in digital space. Some of us have convinced themselves that we need these rooms right and it's again for the purposes of this conversation, I've completely lost touch with the ethical intuition,
that suggests that we need an absolute right to privacy and it's the reason we do it it that's the reason we're doing this reporting is because again it was a short cut to the conversations that I think Need to be have around privacy on the internet around you know. Should companies be scanning people's photos? Should companies be scanning pupils videos, Baby, detecting doing natural language processing to detect grooming they be doing all these things like. Let's, let's have these conversations and as your same should zoom at what point does your expectation of privacy go away like so you're in a room with sixteen people around the world is there an expectation of privacy up until thirty people up until fifty people? At what point I am in again, these are just quit, I'm sure
people are gonna attack me for even raising these questions, but their honest questions about at what point do these things start you affect people in ways that are, in fact detrimental. If that is the case, if that would happen, but I think we need to move beyond a little bit of the conversation. Yes, there's some harm in Facebook I'd say giving our likes to Cambridge Analytical, but there's far
are far greater harm. I think we'd all agree in people being able to trade child sexual abuse material under the cloak of encryption. Let's have that conversation, one of the question here which trips a lot of ethical intuitions one way or the other. What do you think about the prospect of allowing entirely fictional production of similar material? You know animated child pronography or two cgi version of it such that it could answer to this apparent appetite in men, people without being at all derived from the the actual victimization of children at the moment, I'm on assume all that material is just as it illegals anything it is a real record of a crime- is anyone arguing that if we can only produce this stuff fictional lay, the real problem would would be at least a mini.
There are people arguing that I'm not going to say the name and accompanying, because I think that is very question it is illegal in the United States, for any kind of like drawings are depicted imagery. I believe, but I I I I think this gets to a very interesting point, and I want to talk specifically about pedophiles and so before we did this reporting and even in our first story as soon as we publish, we got lambasted by several people, saying that we had used the term pedophile and appropriately so to speak. Specifically, pedophiles are people who are attracted sexually attract two children. There is a whole another group of people who look at child sexual abuse, imagery the people who are not necessarily attracted to children. They are extreme, as they are
wandering down rabbit, whores their attics, and they are a huge part of the problem. But let me speak about pedophiles, because I do think there is when I'm talking with child advocates and from the other people I say and grappling with this problem. I think the same way the year strain grapple with it or have been grappling with it, which is holy shit. What do we do? I think you have to think about tat. From all angles right- and that also means dealing with the people whose Natural attraction is to children. I do want it. I mean sympathy is probably the only word I have for it. There is a group of people. Are going to get in deciding any of the studies. As soon as you say to study you have, a million tell you why that study was garbage, but there is a group of people. Who, when they go through puberty, begin to realize it
they remain attracted to children of a certain age and that that is the very very common report of a true pedophile is that they turn one thousand two hundred and thirty fourteen and as they continued grow older as they can go through purity. They realize something is wrong. They realized there still attracted to children. So how do you deal with that? First of all, according to some of these studies, you then have a few years right where this child this young adults now knows that they have some sort of issue, and so that's an opportunity. That's an opportunity to intervene. If we can, if we can find out a way to do that and. The second thing that I often think about- and this is a bit tangential- form Saying I don't know- and I put the same question is a good question. I put the same question of these people about. Should there imagery, that would help satisfied. Is I mean imagine
since soon as we get to virtual reality, the different types of implications- air- I don't know- I think it's worth talking, Two scientists talking to people who study this to see. If that would, if that would stop them from offending, then perhaps adds a path where his walking down. I think other people would say did that would simply drive the number of people interested in this higher now, if there is still no actually, I salting children, that's a good thing, but I could see the argument or perhaps if his study were dancing and it would drive them to actually want to do this in real life. I'm not really sure, but what I do think adds another layer of complexity, because it's very easy, but I just told you is there a bunch of these men who were arrested for watching another,
man assault, somebody and zoom. They received very lengthy sentences. I mean they're getting sentences of thirty forty fifty years, furs for simply consuming and trading this material- and I dont mean simply too say that it's not serious. I just mean they're not actually doing the abuse right now, many out I will get jumped on for those. Well, yes, their re victimizing, the person in it, but simply to say they are not the person abusing physically abusing the child and they're getting prison sentences of thirty forty. Fifty years previously, I worked at a place called. I helped start something called the marshal project, which is a criminal justice website, and we dealt a lot with this idea of rehabilitation, crime punishment, rehabilitation, I do not know if a troop had a file smooth, truly attracted to children is going to be any less attractive to a child or any less able to constrain them.
Sounds from doing this type of thing when they get out of prison. Thirty years later- and in fact we have descended scene is all over the map weathered sent state or federal level. So some of our survive two we spoke with, they had somebody who went to prison. Remember they get. These notices went to prison because they had he their Adrian on his computer, got out, went to prison again and again there imagery was found on it. So don't know exactly how to honestly help people who have attractions two children, because. As if it was your eye, and I think about the people, I'm attracted to eight there's nothing. I do to be attracted to that and I don't think there's anything I could do to not be attracted to summon the Beaver on track. To I mean this is instinct, its natural, its whatever it is, and I do feel so
busy for people who, for whatever reason, are attracted to children, and I see that as an opportunity to somehow get in front of the issue at that point and whether it with animated three models: virtual reality whatever may be, to help them live as normal life as possible and in with the number one absolute of not harm a child. Then I think does option should be explored. Yeah! Well, I think we again we have to differentiate pedophilia from some of the rest of what we're talking about so it cuz pedophilia is. This is a very unhappy sexual orientation, essentially right, it's one of the implications of which pitch you into something: that's illegal, non, consensual and therefore non actionable. If you're, an ethical person writes you, you didn't pick who you're attracted to. As far as I know, the research on this
that its and downloads partially genetic, but I think it also has to do with what happens to babies in utero. I think there's I think it's developmental, but I was we don't understand exactly how someone becomes a pedophile, but we should understand that they didn't make themselves said they have this there, there profoundly unlucky on some level to find that their their sexual attraction never matures to being attracted to adults who could consent to have sex with him, and yet that doesn't boy capture or even explain. The picture were seen when you describe somethin like that zoom atrocity, which, as you have people who know that they're watching a child getting raped and they're happy to do this I mean that's, that's analogous to a heterosexual man being invited to watching
a woman who he away he's attracted to women? He can be invited, to watch a woman being raped on camera. You know in a zoom. What's up, Heterosexual man is a part of that project. Right, that's the culture of unethical pedophiles that pass to exist for this whole problem to exist. You have to know that you're, what you're doing is is is fulfilled, tearing motivating enabling the mistreatment of and in many cases torture is not the wrong word for it: torture of children. That's where we can be far more judgmental of what but in here and have you anything to add an absolute knobs at just absolutely out. I don't mean in any way for me saying that I have sympathy for somebody who noticed I wasn't taken it that way. I assure you that at the end- and I totally agree that even if some
He is born out of up there no room to trade we share or actually abuser child. I am deeply sorry if that is your position. If you are pedophile, I am sorry. I still feel extremely strongly. There is absolutely no circumstance in which it is ever: ok, whether you film it or not, to abuse a child there is no consent. It's right where we started. There is no consent. There is no opportunity for this child to agree. They were, I mean some of these and whether they're pedophiles or just terrible people, not Does the same thing whether their terrible people are not some of the moment, over backwards to say that the children like it, then this is called having a child that these are things that, if you could only
see it- I mean when imaginary man times it. Some of these people told me if you could only see it, you would see how much they enjoy too, that I say you're doing terrible things and you need to be punished form and we need to figure out. A system will clearly show the people who are saying that sort of thing that that's why I have this questions around round the culture of this, because anyone who sane listen, we pedophiles or a happy lot and we treat children well and if you go back to ancient Greece, this was a norm right, you know. Presumably Plato was doing this to the boy on the block and no one minded so in a get over yourselves twenty first century people. Presumably even these people can say with a straight face that as your report- and we in one of these because you know an infant being, ain't only raped is enjoying this right
mistress like there's no way, I put the question to you, I mean: are their pedophile, who are saying or acknowledging that part of this picture is every bit as horrific as we think it is then there pointing to some other part of the picture that they consider benign or or they not making those concessions. I mean the one who I spoke with most extensively insists that the children enjoy and the only distinction I could start to get them to dries prepossessing versus post pubic tonight, I mean- I said: ok, let's leave aside posts, be Besson, even though it still incredibly wrong to take advantage of any child. But let's level aside to people like how can you say that these preview children are consciously making the decision
and understand the ramifications and even further enjoy this activity- and if I mean if there's something is privacy absolute as there are child sexual abuse are absolute, is actually it's a big part of the culture, its similar to many other internet cultures, where they radicalized when another. That's what's going on in that zoom room, that's what's going on in there, radicalizing one another. They are true to normalize their behaviour they're trying to share it amongst other people in order to make themselves feel like it's more normal, and when I was given that this person and he finally came to understand that there is no way in Hell. I was gonna look at any of this type of air imagery and that all I was trying to do. Honestly, I was trying to do is find out more information about how he was managing to keep his sight up and running, and listening to his beliefs, system happened to, unfortunately, come along with that bit of reporting
there are people who fundamentally you're telling themselves that this is an ok thing. Well, Gabe we ve gotten deep into the darkness together, and I just want to thank you for taking the time to educate me and are less nurse and again anyone out there who has any even a semblance of a privileged position with respect to working in tech having a brother or sister who works in tech please start putting your shoulder to the wheel here and figure out how to make this a a prominent problem that will be emphatically solved at some point in the near future, because clearly, if we don't have the technology that can solve it today, that's come in and if we incentivize ourselves to produce it will do so. Get the policy right, but clearly what we have now is something bordering I'm a moral catastrophe so again gave them.
Give for all your hard work on this. Thank you so much say. I am sincerely grateful for the opportunity to discuss it with you. As I said at the top, his conversation was a few months old and I ve gone back and ask Gabriel if anything has happened. In the meantime, the biggest update was actually the results of all the New York Times Coverage Gabriel produced. Apparently there are two additional bills that have been introduced: in Congress. The first was introduced by Lindsey, Graham and Richard Blumenthal, and is called the earn it act and if it passes in its current form, companies, will lose their section two thirty protection when it comes to child pornography. The second bill
was introduced by IRAN widen and it seeks Five billion dollars in funding should be amazing for law enforcement. And others who are on the front lines, and I believe that funding would be over ten years. So this is a hopeful sign once again, thank you to Gabriel colleagues for doing so. Much work here is really brought this problem to my attention and now brought it. Thank you listening
Transcript generated on 2020-08-04.