An open letter to the Technology Industry

An Open Letter to the Technology Industry

02-20-2020

At the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children we are alarmed by the continued march toward end-to-end encryption without safeguards for children.

We call on you to implement technological solutions that enhance consumer privacy while prioritizing child safety. Robust safeguards should transfer to a child’s digital experience in an end-to-end encrypted environment. Without proper protections, children will be even more susceptible to potential online sexual exploitation. And countless survivors of child sexual abuse will continue to suffer knowing images depicting their sexual abuse are being shared with impunity. 

We appeal to you to adopt the following Principles to Safeguard Children in End-to-End Encrypted Environments:

  • Do not implement end-to-end encrypted communications for accounts where a user
    has indicated they are under 18 years old.
  • Implement detection technologies, at least as effective or better than those currently available, to prevent offenders from distributing child sexual abuse material.
  • Adopt technology vetted by the child protection community to identify sexual grooming of children by adults.
  • Promptly report apparent child sexual exploitation to NCMEC’s CyberTipline with actionable information to help rescue child victims and hold offenders accountable.
  •  Ensure that law enforcement can use existing legal process to effectively investigate
    the sexual exploitation of children.

 

It is our collective responsibility as a society to protect our children and only you can take these steps to better protect children online. We ask you to commit to these principles and look forward to working with you in our mutual efforts to protect children.

 

John F. Clark
President and CEO
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children 

To learn more about end-to-end encryption and NCMEC's stance on the issue, visit MissingKids.org/e2e.

Download NCMEC's statement here.

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