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FBI warns Zoom users about child sex abuse material being shown on the platform

FBI warns of 'Zoom-bombing,' where teleconferences and online classrooms are hijacked
Posted at 5:41 PM, May 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-20 17:41:41-04

CLEVELAND — The FBI is warning citizens to beware of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) that has been shown nearly 200 times in last several months across the United States and other countries during Zoom meetings that some of which are open to the public.

According to the FBI, there has been 195 reports of CSAM being broadcast. The FBI says it considers the material to be a violent crime as every time the material is viewed it revictimizes the child and makes a potential victim out of the viewer who inadvertently watched it.

The FBI said it 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."

The FBI asks the following:

  • 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 FBI has laid out several steps that can prevent CSAM material from being shown during Zoom calls.

  • Do not make meetings or classrooms public. In Zoom, there are two options to make a meeting private: Require a meeting password or 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.”

The FBI asks anyone with information about CSAM being broadcast on Zoom or if you are a victim of CSAM that has been shown on the platform to report it by calling 1-800-225-5324 or online, here.

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