FBI Warns of Zoom Meetings Broadcasting Child Sex Abuse Material

By Benjamin Cox on May 26, 2020 at 10:40am

The Springfield FBI Field Office is warning that teleconferencing has caused an uptick in the incidents of child pornography and videos depicting child sexual abuse. 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 field office says that if you are 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.

The FBI says that to mitigate future intrusions into video conferencing meetings don’t make classrooms or meetings public. Require a meeting password and use a waiting room feature to 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. They also advise to manage all screen-sharing options through your host program.

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 Child Sexual Abuse Material, please report immediately to the FBI at 1-800-225-5324 or anonymously provide an online tip at tips.fbi.gov.