Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation
The COVID-19 crisis has caused many organizations and schools to conduct virtual meetings/events, some of which are open to the public. Additionally, links to many virtual events are being shared online, resulting in a lack of vetting of approved participants.
During the last few months, the FBI has received more than 195 reports of incidents throughout the United States and in other countries in which a Zoom participant was able to broadcast a video depicting child sexual abuse material (CSAM). The FBI considers this activity to be a violent crime, as every time child sexual abuse material is viewed, the depicted child is re-victimized. Furthermore, anyone who inadvertently sees child sexual abuse material depicted during a virtual event is potentially a victim as well.
The FBI is committed to apprehending any individual who produces or distributes child sexual abuse material and is seeking the public’s assistance to identify the person or persons responsible for these egregious crimes.
- If you are the administrator or host of a Zoom meeting in which CSAM was broadcast, please contact the FBI; do not delete or destroy any of your computer logs without further direction.
- If you recorded a Zoom meeting in which child sexual abuse material was broadcast, please contact the FBI for assistance in removing the CSAM from your device.
- If you believe you are a victim of a child sexual abuse material broadcast during a Zoom event, as defined above, please contact the FBI to learn about your victim rights and possible victim assistance.
- If you know who is committing these most recent egregious crimes, please contact the FBI.
The following steps may mitigate future child sexual abuse material issues during Zoom events:
- Do not make meetings or classrooms public. In Zoom, there are two options to make a meeting private: (1) require a meeting password and (2) use the waiting room feature and control the admittance of guests.
- Do not share a link to a teleconference or classroom on an unrestricted, publicly available social media post. Provide the link directly to specific attendees.
- Manage screensharing options. In Zoom, change screensharing to “Host Only.”
If you are a victim of child sexual abuse material being broadcast during a Zoom event or if you have information regarding the identity of any individual distributing or producing CSAM, please report it to the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324) or anonymously online at tips.fbi.gov.