It also allows users to submit tips about suspected child molestors and pornographers:
The new app, created in conjunction with Homeland Security Investigations’ Cyber Crime Center, lets users submit a tip by phone or by filling out a tip form in the app. All tips can be submitted anonymously.
Because there’s absolutely no room for abuse of the Operation Predator app. At all.
Child pornography and sexual abuse is revolting and disgusting. And so are anonymous false accusations. In the wrong hands–upset parents, vengeful exes, angry teens–this app could wreak havoc on the lives of innocent people. And it’s frightening to think that child porn could be placed on computers via malware…
Scrolling through the news items on the app, it’s really creepy and upsetting to read horrible stories of missionaries sexually abusing girls in indigenous tribes, teachers molesting kids, and more vile expression of humanity. (These news reports are also available on the ICE website). I just hope that ICE and its partners have checks in place and do really careful thorough investigations because false accusations and allegations are wicked and life destroying, and bearing false witness has been around for centuries–witch trials, anyone?
However, anonymous false statements fall under under 18 USC §1001 and
“shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in section 2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both. If the matter relates to an offense under chapter 109A, 109B, 110, or 117, or section 1591, then the term of imprisonment imposed under this section shall be not more than 8 years.
That is theoretically. In reality most are not prosecuted. Even if prosecuted, if there are no prior convictions for the person and other facts in his favor, it is usually a probation sentence.