Sunday, November 10, 2019

Tech companies may be prodded to check cloud storage of private data for illegality

The New York Times has a booklet-length front-page article, by Michael H. Keller and Gabriel J.X. Dance, Sunday Nov. 10, “Child sex abusers elude flimsy digital safeguards” with the subtitle “A living nightmare for the victims as tech companies fail to stop the images”.  Online the title is “Child abusers run rampant as tech companies look the other way”, which is more likely to provoke a gut reaction in the visitor.

The article notes that tech companies do check what is uploaded to the web or to social media for watermarks, and Google checks images attached to gmail for watermarked items identified by the NCMEC in Alexandria, VA (there was a very visible arrest in Houston about four years ago).  Recently, a major bust overseas added many images.  But cloud storage intended to be private (like your iCloud) is not, and is often well protected by encryption (EFF says not well enough).

Will tech companies be pressured to check cloud storage too?  Could they check for other things, like copyright infringement?  Think now about the CASE Act and connect the dots!  (If you subscribe to a site, you should normally be able to save content from your site on your hard drive and let it back up as long as it is for your own use and not published online for others.) 
The article also a sidebar story maintaining that images of victims are still shared online.


NBC News has a story from Florida about a bust that is quite disturbing. 

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