Jeremy Malcolm

Cybersecurity for Trust and Safety Professionals Handling CSAM

Following five years working in trust and safety in the United States, this year I moved back to Australia. While here, I received a notification from Cloudflare’s excellent CSAM Scanning Tool (reviewed here) that a forum post uploaded to a website of one of my clients had been identified as suspected CSAM (child sexual abuse […]

Drawing the Line: Australia’s Misguided War on Comics

Did you know that bringing a comic book into Australia that contains scenes of consensual sexual bondage is illegal? That you could be arrested for doing so, under the same provision of the Customs Act that you’d be arrested for if you brought in real child sexual abuse material (CSAM)? This is just one of […]

Modtools Image: Open Source Image Moderation

Among the many challenges that image moderators face, one is the lack of open source tooling to support their work. Platforms are forced to either fork out big sums for proprietary image moderation dashboards geared at the enterprise (such as Thorn’s, or to reinvent the wheel by creating their own dashboards and their own […]

Trading Privacy for Child Safety

This morning I was privileged to be part of a panel event on Child Protection in an Age of End-to-End Encryption. The event, chaired by Dr Gilian Tenbergen, also featured digital forensics expert Aaron Weiss who gave an excellent presentation that you can also view directly after mine. The slides of my presentation are available […]

AI and Victimless Content under Europe’s CSA Regulation

On November 14 the European Parliament presented its compromise take on the European Commission’s controversial draft CSA Regulation. Commissioner Ylva Johannson’s proposal mandates that Internet platforms operating in Europe conduct surveillance of their users. It effectively requires them to use AI classifiers to sift through a vast stream of private communications to identify suspected child […]

Why the EU will Lose Its Battle for Chat Control

Nobody wants to have their private communications vetted by AI robots. That’s the message that rings loud and clear from the backlash against European Commissioner Ylva Johansson’s proposal for a Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) Regulation. Division over this proposal, dubbed “Chat Control 2.0” by its critics, has only deepened following recent revelations about the extent […]

Child Protection or Privacy Invasion? Examining the Online Safety Bill

There’s perhaps no more important issue than the protection of children from sexual abuse, and certainly none that is more emotive or politically potent. In any other circumstances, proposing to extend mass surveillance to communications that were previously confidential would be politically near impossible. But by invoking the justification of saving children, achieving the impossible […]

Child Protection Professionals Censored on Wikipedia

As a strong supporter and veteran of community-based platform governance, it gives me no pleasure to observe how badly the volunteers on English Wikipedia are managing the platform’s child safety issues. The root problem is that the Wikimedia Foundation – the legal entity that hosts Wikipedia and its sister projects – has delegated tasks to its community […]

Generative AI and Children: Prioritizing Harm Prevention

Among many hot policy issues around generative AI, one that has gained increasing attention in recent months is the potential (and, increasingly, actual) use of this technology to create, as the New York Times puts it, “explicit imagery of children who do not exist.” The concerns expressed are mostly pragmatic, not moral; for example the […]

Three Guidelines for Child Exploitation Policies

One of the specialities that I have developed as a trust and safety professional over the last five years is in assisting platforms to develop policies that accurately and fairly distinguish child exploitation from protected expression. Many platforms find difficulty in drawing this line for themselves, or may end up drawing it in ways that […]

Jeremy Malcolm

Trust & Safety Consultant