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The REPORT Act Empowers Law Enforcement, NCMEC & Victims to Help Stop Child Predators Online

Congress is currently considering several different bills related to how Americans, especially children, use online services. While some of them fail to achieve their goals while violating our rights, NetChoice has identified several of the best proposals and raised concerns with others that clearly violate the U.S. Constitution. 

The Revising Existing Procedures On Reporting via Technology (REPORT) Act (S. 474/H.R. 5082), spearheaded by Sens. Marsha Blackburn and Jon Ossoff in the U.S. Senate and Rep. Laurel Lee in the House, is a smart and effective proposal that NetChoice is happy to support. 

It unanimously passed the Senate in December. If passed by the House and signed into law, this bipartisan effort would: 

  1. Require online services to report child sex trafficking and online enticement to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)’s CyberTipline; 
  2. Modernize reporting for law enforcement by allowing NCMEC to use cloud storage and  permitting law enforcement to electronically submit CSAM they have seized from offenders directly to NCMEC’s Child Victim Identification Program; 
  3. Allow victims and their adult representatives to report actual CSAM depicting a child to NCMEC; and
  4. Give law enforcement more time to investigate reported exploitation of children online by requiring online services to retain records for 1 year instead of 90 days, which is the current legal requirement.

The REPORT Act is important legislation to update current standards for NCMEC and online services, help law enforcement investigate these crimes, and provide victims with additional support and resources. 

Today, less than 1% of all reports of CSAM are even investigated. The REPORT Act takes the important steps to address the problems behind this depressing statistic. 

Additionally, the REPORT Act compliments NetChoice’s SHIELD initiative by making tools more useful and accessible for police, victims, and adult representatives, and it better enables law enforcement to hold predators accountable for committing horrific crimes against children. 

NetChoice hopes to see the REPORT Act signed this year. We look forward to working with lawmakers on this issue. 

You can learn more about the REPORT Act here