Penn State police, FBI investigate 'Zoom-bombings' involving child pornography

May 27, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State University Police and Public Safety encourages Penn State students and employees who have hosted Zoom meetings or classes and witnessed criminal activity, including the display of child sexual abuse material, and have not yet reported those incidents to Penn State police, to do so immediately.

Penn State police and the FBI are investigating at least six "Zoom-bombing" incidents involving child pornography during Penn State remote meetings, classes and events during the past several months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you are a victim of child sexual abuse material being broadcast during a Penn State-affiliated Zoom session, and you have not yet told authorities, report it to Penn State by contacting your campus police station or report it online. If you have information regarding the identity of any individual distributing or producing child sexual abuse material, report it to the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324) or anonymously online at tips.fbi.gov. Additional resources from the FBI are available here

Since mid-March, as more businesses and institutions have conducted operations virtually, the FBI has received more than 240 reports of incidents in which a Zoom participant was able to broadcast a video depicting child sexual abuse material.

Penn State police and the FBI consider this activity to be a violent crime, as every time child sexual abuse material is viewed, the depicted child is re-victimized. Additionally, anyone who inadvertently sees child sexual abuse material depicted during a virtual event is potentially a victim.

Penn State police and the FBI are committed to apprehending any individual who produces or distributes child sexual abuse material and is seeking the public’s assistance to identify the person or persons responsible for these egregious crimes. Review these important tips:

  • If you are the administrator or host of a Zoom meeting in which child sexual abuse material was broadcast, contact Penn State police at your campus and the FBI; do not delete or destroy any of your computer logs without further direction.
  • If you recorded a Zoom meeting in which child sexual abuse material was broadcast, contact your Penn State campus police station and the FBI for assistance in removing the material from your device.
  • If you believe you are a victim of a child sexual abuse material broadcast during a Zoom event, as defined above, contact your Penn State campus police station and the FBI to learn about your victim rights and possible victim assistance.
  • If you know who is committing these recent crimes, contact the FBI.

Learn steps that may mitigate future "Zoom-bombing" issues during virtual meetings and events.

 

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated May 27, 2020