This map demonstrates the scale of the problem. Investigative software logs individuals actively sharing child sexual abuse material on peer to peer file sharing networks similar to Napster or Limewire. The red icons indicate cases that are not currently under investigation while the blue icons indicate cases actively under investigation by law enforcement. LE agencies need more resources to address the sheer volume of cases.
WHAT IS CSAM?
Child Sexual Abuse Material (legally known as child pornography) is a global pandemic.
THE NUMBER OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE FILES REVIEWED BY THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR MISSING & EXPLOITED CHILDREN.
– Since March 9, 1998 132,000,000+ child sexual exploitation incidents.
The majority of CSAM files depict toddlers.
– Since September 18, 2002, NCMEC has received over 363,000,000+ images and videos depicting the
exploitation and rape of children.
Though child sexual abuse material (CSAM) is a global issue, the United States remains one of the largest producers and consumers of child abuse content in the world. It’s important to understand the true nature and pervasiveness of child sexual abuse material to convey the urgent need to address this crime.
WHAT IS SEXTORTION?
Sextortion is a form of child sexual exploitation where children are threatened or blackmailed, most often with the possibility of sharing with the public a nude or sexual images of them, by a person who demands additional sexual content, sexual activity or money from the child. This crime may happen when a child has shared an image with someone they thought they knew or trusted, but in many cases they are targeted by an individual they met online who obtained a sexual image from the child through deceit, coercion, or some other method. In many cases, the blackmailers may have stolen or taken images of another person and they are communicating through a fake account. The blackmailer may have sent images as well.
- Since 2016, the CyberTipline has received 262,573 reports of Online Enticement, the category that includes sextortion.
- Between 2019 and 2021, the number of reports involving sextortion more than doubled.
WHAT IS TRAFFICKING?
Human trafficking is the practice of exploiting adults and children for use as commodities, or objects, in conditions of sexual and labor servitude. Also known as “modern slavery,” human trafficking is the illegal trade in human beings through recruitment or abduction by means of force, fraud, or coercion for the purposes of forced labor, debt bondage, or sexual exploitation.
CHALLENGES FACED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT
Law Enforcement in the United States works incredibly hard to protect children, but they face an uphill battle. The lack of resources critically affects their ability to address the massive scale of the problem. Under-staffed, underfunded, under-resourced and under incredible pressure, law enforcement struggles to make a dent. Today, most units dedicated to fighting child sexual exploitation are buried in reactive leads without the ability to proactively target the worst offenders. These issues negatively affect their ability to prevent, respond to, and investigate all types of crimes much less Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking. Child Exploitation and human trafficking are crimes that require extensive resources and technologies that the police simply don’t have, from federal agencies down to the most undeserved municipalities across the US.
Operation Light Shine’s main purpose is to create, fund, develop and equip INTERCEPT Task Forces. Operation Light Shine provides everything the INTERCEPT Task Force needs from advanced technology, software, enterprise solutions, public and private partnerships to necessary to support the multidisciplinary model, investigative equipment, coordination between domestic and international HT/CE operations, forensics capabilities, subject matter experts, advanced training, research and development all the way to covering rent, utilities and office supplies at each task force.
Operation Light Shine created the Inter-agency Child Exploitation and Persons Trafficking Task Force (INTERCEPT) to provide the resources, staffing and support required to identify and rescue child victims, apprehend their offenders and reduce the risk through public education and awareness. The state-of-the-art facility will bring together law enforcement, NGO’s, prosecutors, victim services and medical professionals in a multi-disciplinary approach to fight the exploitation and trafficking of our children. The INTERCEPT task force is a world class, first of its kind workspace providing all resources required to conduct investigations, plan and run operations, identify and rescue victims, educate parents and youth, process and analyze seized data and serve its community.