Background

A while ago, Google removed its “don’t be evil” clause from its code of conduct.

Is this decision predictive of Google’s stance on sexual exploitation issues?

In short: it’s complicated.

Google is a vast corporate empire, and there have been some important steps forward that Google has taken to combat sexual exploitation, including responses to NCOSE activism to remove pornographic apps from GooglePlay, ceasing pornographic Google Ads, improving WiFi filtering tools, and improving the visibility of the SafeSearch filtering option in Google Images.

Nevertheless, Google has been named to the Dirty Dozen List because it has failed to proactively address serious digital harms flourishing on YouTube, Google Chromebooks, and Google Images. Further, Google is currently working to roll out large-scale encryption programs that could make it difficult for law enforcement to effectively find and intercept sexual exploiters of children and it could impact filtering for families and schools.


More details about Google’s encryption efforts (known as DoH, which stands for DNS over HTTPS.)

On September 17, 2019, 20 child safety and anti-trafficking organizations sent a letter to Congressional committee leaders raising serious alarms about Google and Mozilla/Cloudfare’s plans to centralize control of the internet’s Domain Name System (DNS) system in a way that could undermine or block online child protection tools and services.

Google and Mozilla/Cloudfare are stating to rout DNS requests from Chrome and Firefox browsers, and Android mobile devices, through their own DNS system using a new encrypted protocol called DoH. In doing so, they will bypass the current DNS system, which is a critical component of ongoing efforts by ISPs, technology providers, and law enforcement to prevent, monitor, and prosecute crimes against children, such as the sharing of child sexual abuse images.

These changes could: 1) Make online crimes against children harder to track by law enforcement and Internet watchdogs, and; 2) Create confusion and make it harder to filter and remove illegal content normally blocked by network operators, ISPs, and other third-party DNS providers, including schools.

To be clear, we recognize the value of increasing security and privacy tools. However, across America and the UK, technology, sexual exploitation, law enforcement and child development experts are alarmed by the unilateral rollout of these changes without sufficient subject matter consultation.

These changes could impact 70% of the Internet and so we must closely examine the unintended consequences, especially on the most vulnerable in the realm of sexual exploitation and abuse.

.@Google and @mozilla / Cloudfare’s plans to centralize control of the Internet’s Domain Name System (DNS) system could undermine or block online child protection tools and services. They need to slow down and properly consider child online… Click To Tweet

Four Areas of Concern

Progress

Safe Search

In 2018, NCOSE met with Google executives and asked for Safe Search to be put in the top right corner of Google Images. Google agreed and placed it in the top right of Google Images. Now more users will know the filter is available to them.

Read More

2018

YouTube Kids App

Feb 23 2015

Google AdWords prohibits explicit content

In June 2014, Google enacted policies for AdWords to no longer accept ads that promote graphic depictions of sexual acts or ads that link to websites that have such material in them.

June 2014

GooglePlay Cleaned Up

In 2013, Google announced that pornographic and sexually explicit apps would no longer be allowed in GooglePlay. This policy was enforced, with hundreds of apps removed from the app store, in March 2014.

Read More

2013

Robust Family Safety Center

Google regularly updates and improves the Family Safety Center with great tools and ways to protect children from exploitation and other online dangers. Check it regularly!

Visit the Google Family Center

Action

Email the Google Play App Store

While the Apple app store does not carry an app for the pseudo-dating prostitution site SeekingArrangement, the Google Play app store does! (learn more about Seeking Arrangement here.)

Email executives to tell them to stop hosting this exploitive app.

Google DoH child safety

Petition: Slow Down Google’s Large-Scale Encryption Efforts to Ensure Online Safety

Google is rolling out large-scale encryption efforts (referred to as DoH, for DNS over HTTPS.)

Sign the petition to stand with us!

These changes could: 1) Make online crimes against children harder to track by law enforcement and Internet watchdogs, and; 2) Create confusion and make it harder to filter and remove illegal content normally blocked by network operators, ISPs, and other third-party DNS providers, including schools.

Have your kids been exposed to sexually explicit content through their schools?

Submit Your Story

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Utilize the Built-in Controls

While we are demanding that Google to automatically turn on safety search and filters for all Chromebooks sold to schools, you can proactively make sure your child’s devices are safe. Share this information with other parents and with your school officials.

 

Tell Google to Remove Graphic Pornography from Images Search

Google: Thank You Petition

Google is a vast corporate empire, and there have been some important steps forward that Google has taken to combat sexual exploitation, including responses to NCOSE activism to remove pornographic apps from GooglePlay, ceasing pornographic Google Ads, improving WiFi filtering tools, and improving the visibility of the SafeSearch filtering option in Google Images.

Sign the Petition to YouTube

Help us urge YouTube to change the way they operate. They must use the necessary resources to decrease the sexually graphic content on their site.

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NCOSE's 2019 Victories and Highlights
Document explaining Google/Mozilla/Cloudflare's plan for DoH
proof-google-tech-cda (1)
Google lobbyist backpage sex trafficking

Updates

7th Grade Girl Exposed to Porn on School Device

Excerpt from ky3 Some Springfield parents are concerned about inappropriate material that’s accessible on their children’s school-issued Chromebooks. They contacted KY3 News about those concerns, specifically that pornography being viewed by young children in an ad at the bottom of a web page. “I started teaching in public schools over 20 years ago, and for…

2020 Dirty “Baker’s Dozen” List of Mainstream Contributors to Sexual Exploitation Announced by National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Seeking Arrangement, Amazon, Twitter, TikTok, Among Top Contributors to Sexual Exploitation in America Washington, DC (February 6, 2020) – The National Center on Sexual Exploitation today announced its 2020 Dirty Dozen List, a list of mainstream entities that are major facilitators of sexual exploitation in the United States. Watch the video announcement at DirtyDozenList.com. The…

2020 Dirty Dozen List graphic

Meet the 2020 Dirty Dozen List

In 2020, it is intolerable for a mainstream company or entity to facilitate, profit from, or normalize sexual exploitation—and that’s why the Dirty Dozen List exists. This list ensures that their promotion and collusion with sexual assault, sex trafficking, pornography, the eroticization of incest, and more, becomes public knowledge, and equips concerned citizens with information and…

2020 Dirty Dozen List graphic

Will YouTube’s COPPA Improvements Address Pedophile Comments on Kids’ Videos?

YouTube has long been criticized by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation for its inefficient efforts to remove sexually graphic and grooming material. In 2019, NCOSE researched claims of pedophile rings, child erotica, and child exploitation on YouTube and found alarming results confirming the original reports and continued use of the platform for exploitive purposes. Learn more…

Encryption Blocked Justice for This Sex Trafficking Case, These Companies Don’t Care

Below is an excerpt from the written testimony of New York County District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. before the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary in December 2019. The single most important criminal justice challenge in the last ten years is, in my opinion, the use of mobile devices by bad actors to…

Google Images Returns Pornographic Results in Less Than 1 Second

When someone types a keyword into the search bar of Google Images, they don’t expect to see pornography and sexually explicit images on the first page of results. But unfortunately, despite some steps forward, that’s still happening. PROGRESS We thank Google for recently making a change we have long asked for–placing the SafeSearch option in…

Parents Outraged as 11-Year-Old Student Exposed to Porn on School Computer

Excerpt from wsoctv. Parents from Union County in North Carolina are furious after learning children were able to access pornography on their school-issued laptops in class. A mother called Channel 9 after two separate incidents at Parkwood Middle School, in Monroe, last week. The mother, who did not want to be identified, said her 11-year-old…

Google’s Centralized DoH Plan Could Grow Online Child Sexual Abuse and Break Safety Filters

From high speed Internet, 4G/5G, smartphones, streaming media, social media apps, to TOR and centralized DoH the amazing technological advances revolutionizing our daily lives have also been adapted—with incredibly devastating “success”—to further criminal and sexually exploitative ends. It’s been more than 20 years since I first became involved in the movement to end sexual exploitation….

Person using laptop in the dark with shadow behind them representing the shadowy and looming threat of Google and Mozilla/Cloudflare's move toward centralized DoH

20 Child Safety Groups Call on Congress: Stop Google Before It Jeopardizes Online Child Safety

On September 17, 2019, 20 child safety and anti-trafficking organizations sent a letter below to Congressional committee leaders raising serious alarms about Google and Mozilla/Cloudfare’s plans to centralize control of the internet’s Domain Name System (DNS) system in a way that could undermine or block online child protection tools and services. Google and Mozilla/Cloudfare have…

Campaign to #FixAppRatings Highlights Danger of Grooming and Sexual Abuse on Apps

Last December, we sat down with survivors of domestic minor sex trafficking. They knew about our work at NCOSE trying to change policies that facilitate sexual exploitation and said they had something they wanted us to understand. The oldest was 15. These young girls shared their heartbreaking stories with us, all of which included the…

fix app ratings