WASHINGTON—Tomorrow, the CEOs of Meta, X Corp, TikTok, Snap, and Discord head to the Senate Judiciary Committee to discuss keeping kids safe and secure online.
Many of the proposals so far from Congress sadly do nothing to keep kids—or any American—safe online. Bills like the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA) and COPPA 2.0 are riddled with constitutional problems and serious privacy and security concerns.
“Lawmakers should use this hearing to find ways that they can work with industry to Americans online in a functional, constitutional way. Some members of Congress have been wasting time by trying to prop up proposals that violate the privacy and security of all American families and the U.S. Constitution,” said Carl Szabo, NetChoice Vice President & General Counsel. “By embracing proposals like NetChoice’s SHIELD and the bipartisan Invest in Child Safety Act instead, policymakers can produce long-term results that will equip parents, children, cops and government with the tools, information and resources they need to keep Americans safe and secure in the digital world.”
Today, social media platforms remove and report child-sexual abuse material. Unfortunately, less than 1% of those reported instances result in as little as an investigation from law enforcement. This is because law enforcement does not have the needed resources to be able to properly investigate these reports. We don’t have a reporting problem, we have a law enforcement problem. Congress has not yet provided the needed resources to investigators so they can put child abusers behind bars.
Social media can kick criminals off their platforms, but only the government can put them in prison. Tech is not—and should not—be the police.
Instead of focusing on deficient proposals like KOSA and COPPA 2.0, NetChoice calls on Congress to embrace SHIELD and work with these CEOs and the rest of the tech industry to implement it. Working together, industry and government can SHIELD kids and create a positive online experience for all Americans.
One of the key provisions NetChoice endorses in SHIELD is the bipartisan Invest In Child Safety Act, which was just reintroduced to the 118th Congress. This is one of the best provisions Congress can pass to keep kids safe. If implemented, it would give law enforcement around the country the resources they critically need to prosecute and imprison predators abusing children online.
Please contact Krista Chavez at email@example.com with inquiries.
More information on the components of SHIELD:
By embracing SHIELD, lawmakers can help keep kids safe and secure online, empower parents—not government officials—to make confident decisions for their families, educate people in digital literacy and security, and ensure constitutional rights are respected online.
SECURE—Secure data privacy for all Americans with federal legislation and public-private partnerships.
Congress must pass a federal data privacy law that preempts state laws and respects the many beneficial uses of data that folks use every day.
HOLD—Hold child abusers accountable by prosecuting more of them, as far too many reports of CSAM offenses are insufficiently investigated and prosecuted.
Law enforcement only currently has the capacity to investigate less than 1 percent of reported CSAM violations. But when these cases are properly investigated, 75 percent of them are successful at putting predators in prison.
INVEST—Invest in child safety by equipping law enforcement with the resources required to properly investigate reports of abuse, both on and offline.
The bipartisan Invest in Child Safety Act, if enacted, would provide federal, state and local law enforcement with the resources they need to combat the abuse of children online.
EMPOWER—Empower parents with educational materials to understand the safety tools available to them right now to keep their kids safe so they feel confident in making decisions about their family’s digital presence.
Companies and the government should inform parents about the children’s safety tools offered to them right now on digital devices and platforms.
LAUNCH—Launch easy-to-use resources about digital safety and security best practices.
Americans have the power to control our unique, individual uses of all types of digital tools. Easily accessible resources can help us understand the best ways to keep our data secure and our private information safe.
Developing educational resources is key. Kids can learn about digital tools and form an understanding of healthy online practices in a classroom environment.