RAINN APPLAUDS INTRODUCTION OF THE CHILD ONLINE SAFETY MODERNIZATION ACT

August 9, 2023
Contact: Erinn Robinson
Director of Media Relations
erinnr@rainn.org

 

RAINN APPLAUDS INTRODUCTION OF THE CHILD ONLINE SAFETY MODERNIZATION ACT

Legislation Could Aid Investigation of Reports of Online Sexual Exploitation of Children and Prevent the Further Spread of Child Sexual Abuse Materials (CSAM)

Washington, D.C. (August 9, 2023) - Today, U.S. Representatives Ann Wagner (MO-R-2) and Sylvia Garcia (TX-D-29) introduced legislation to aid law enforcement in effectively investigating reports of online sexual exploitation and abuse of children. More than half of reports submitted to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) CyberTipline lack the necessary information for law enforcement officials to proceed with an investigation. The Child Online Safety Modernization Act requires technology companies to support law enforcement in their investigations and prevent the further spread of CSAM.

The Child Online Safety Modernization Act will:

  • Require internet service providers (ISPs) and technology companies to preserve the contents of reported CSAM for one year, to facilitate law enforcement investigations.
  • Require ISPs and technology companies to include information within their reports that would help law enforcement identify and locate the children and individuals depicted in CSAM.
  • Update federal statutes to use the term child sexual abuse materials instead of child pornography. RAINN has successfully championed the use of “child sexual abuse materials” as child pornography fails to describe the true nature of the videos and images and undermines the seriousness of the abuse.

“We cannot expect law enforcement officials to successfully investigate the distribution of child sexual abuse materials without the full support of ISPs and technology companies,” said Stefan Turkheimer, RAINN’s interim vice president for public policy. “The Child Online Safety Modernization Act is a step towards greater cooperation between law enforcement and internet service providers that will support the efforts to investigate, identify, and locate the children depicted in child sexual abuse materials.”

In 2022, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received over 32 million reports of online child sexual exploitation and CSAM. This is an 89% increase from pre-pandemic levels in 2019 and equates to approximately 87,600 reports of online child sexual exploitation per day. In order for law enforcement officials to effectively investigate the online dissemination of child sexual abuse materials, it is imperative they receive the support and cooperation of technology companies when investigating these cases.

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About RAINN

RAINN, the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization, created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help survivors, help organizations improve their sexual assault prevention and response programs, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice. If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence, free, confidential help is available 24/7 by calling 800.656.HOPE (4673) or visiting online.RAINN.org.

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