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Facebook founder ‘facilitating’ child sex abuse: Dutton

Peter Dutton says Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg's encryption policies "facilitate" child sexual abuse on a "scale most Australians would find incomprehensible".

The Home Affairs Minister slammed Facebook and other tech giants for impeding the global fight against child sex predators as he opened the AFP's state-of-the-art Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation in Brisbane this morning.

 

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton opening the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation in Brisbane. Pic Annette Dew
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton opening the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation in Brisbane. Pic Annette Dew

Mr Dutton signalled the Government was ramping up efforts to beat end-to-end encryption road blocks put up by tech giants that aid child sex predators to evade detection.

He said it was "unconscionable" for Facebook and other tech giants to make billions of dollars from their platforms while making deliberate decisions that prevented abused children from being saved.

"At the same time they're making that money they have an absolute direct knowledge and understanding of the fact that it's done in some circumstances at the expense of children who are being sexually abused," he said.

"Now we know, particularly in Facebook's case, that they are taking a deliberate decision against end-to-end encryption to starve referrals of matters that otherwise, in previous years, would have been made to law enforcement agencies and investigators.

"Children have been saved because of those referrals in the past and they won't be saved in the future because of the actions of Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook and others."

 

 

A blanket knitted from the clothes of murdered Adelaide schoolgirl Carly Ryan which will hang in the entry of the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation in Brisbane. Pic Annette Dew
A blanket knitted from the clothes of murdered Adelaide schoolgirl Carly Ryan which will hang in the entry of the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation in Brisbane. Pic Annette Dew

He said Facebook shareholders had recently attempted to force change at the company but Mr Zuckerberg "took a decision not to accept what I thought was a moral imperative for him to do so".

"Encryption is an incredibly important part of our lives through internet banking, safe messaging et cetera but in the Facebook workplace under no circumstances would they allow a child or a woman to be sexually assaulted on the floor of the business," he said.

"And yet their platform facilitates the sexual assault of children at a scale most Australians would find incomprehensible and the onus is upon them to step up and to be the corporate citizens that they think they should be and this is a fight that is worth fighting and I promise you that rededicate ourselves to do that."

 

 

Originally published as Facebook founder 'facilitating' child sex abuse: Dutton



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