techdirt: The Problems Of The NCMEC CyberTipline Apply To All Stakeholders

techdirt: The Problems Of The NCMEC CyberTipline Apply To All Stakeholders by Mike Masnick:

The failures of the NCMEC CyberTipline to combat child sexual abuse material (CSAM) as well –it could are extremely frustrating. But as you look at the details, you realize there just aren’t any particularly easy fixes. While there are a few areas that could improve things at the margin, the deeper you look, the more challenging the whole setup is. There aren’t any easy answers.

And that sucks, because Congress and the media often expect easy answers to complex problems. And that might not be possible.

This is the second post about the Stanford Internet Observatory’s report on the NCMEC CyberTipline, which is the somewhat useful, but tragically limited, main way that investigations of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) online is done. In the first post, we discussed the structure of the system, and how the incentive structure regarding law enforcement is a big part of what’s making the system less impactful than it otherwise might be.

In this post, I want to dig in a little more about the specific challenges in making the CyberTipline work better.

The Constitution

I’m not saying that the Constitution is a problem, but it represents a challenge here. In the first post, I briefly mentioned Jeff Kosseff’s important article about how the Fourth Amendment and the structure of NCMEC makes things tricky, but it’s worth digging in a bit here to understand the details.

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