Civil Liberties

Teen Sexting Investigators Have Their Heads in the Cloud

Missouri cops seek to search student Dropbox accounts after seizing cellphones turns up no nude pics.


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Just when you think the misguided war on teen sexuality can't get any sillier … Missouri law enforcement is serving cloud-storage site Dropbox with a search warrant for an account used by area teens suspected of sexting. The cops were called to Missouri's Joplin High School earlier this week after school officials heard rumors that students were sharing nude photos via phones and Dropbox.

According to local news station KY3, the cops interviewed students and seized some of their cell phones. And what did they find? No pics. But Joplin's Cyber Crime Task Force is undeterred! With just a little more privacy infringement, they're certain they can turn up some nude teen photos. From KY3: 

No arrests have been made, but the Cyber Crime Task Force based in Joplin is only beginning their investigation. 

Police are sending a search warrant to Dropbox so they can stop further access to the images and determine whether any minor students are indeed depicted in the photos. If so, the parents of all involved will be notified and a prosecutor will determine if any child porn laws have been violated.

Corporal Chuck Niess of the Joplin Police Department said selfie takers wouldn't likely be prosecuted, but teens who took or shared nude photos of each other could be. 

Every week, stories from around the country reveal a ridiculous amount of energy going into criminalizing such youthful indiscretions. But charging teens who sext as child pornographers is just a small part of the school-to-prison pipeline we're assiduously building. Earlier today Robby Soave wrote about how schools are increasingly calling in the cops to deal with mild misbehavior such as grade school temper tantrums.