Why ICFO War On Internet Crimes Against Our Children?
The Internet Crime Fighters Org ICFO [a consolidation of all efforts since 2004] has been focused on Children’s Safety Online; however, faced a declining interest in such a subject as others have reported.
Name Why ICFO War Internet Crimes Against Our Children? NYTimes We had no idea how dark this story would get. Answering your questions about our series on online child abuse. Reading hundreds of graphic descriptions of images and videos found in court cases was disturbing. Speaking with survivors of abuse was also difficult, but it was important for us to hear their stories. And we found that these conversations seemed helpful for many of them.
There were times during interviews when mothers and daughters would speak with one another for long stretches, without us even asking a question. We also spoke with dozens of people who have been working on this issue for years, particularly at children’s rights organizations. One of the emotions they consistently conveyed was frustration over inaction and people turning away from the issue. And so knowing that we were drawing attention to an issue that deserved it became a major motivation for reporting on such a tough subject.
Has the reporting triggered any changes within the companies, organizations, or law enforcement agencies you focused on in the episodes?. Yes. Let’s start with the government. Immediately after our stories were published, a bipartisan bill was introduced in Congress that would require tech companies to retain information on accounts found with illegal photos and videos for a longer period of time to assist law enforcement with investigations. Lawmakers say this is part of a larger package of bills they intend to introduce to address issues raised by our reporting.
Companies have responded as well. Several have said they will begin to look for the imagery more aggressively. For instance, spokespeople from Dropbox and Cloud flare said that they would implement more rigorous measures to find and remove the imagery. Others, including Yahoo, have changed their practices around video scanning. Microsoft, which we talked about a lot in these episodes, has expanded the team of employees that monitors this kind of activity and also unveiled a tool to detect adult predators trying to lure children into dangerous situations. Then there are the advocacy groups. They’ve told us that our reporting has been crucial to raising awareness of an issue that they’ve felt has been under-reported for years.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which for the first time released the number of reports filed by each company as a result of our reporting, told us that the stories have brought more attention to the issue than anything else in a decade. A lot of listeners, moved and outraged by what they heard, have asked what they can do about the crisis of child sexual abuse imagery and how they can help victims. What’s the answer?.
One of the gratifying things about reporting on an issue like this is seeing the response from readers and listeners who want to help. Foremost, it’s important to educate yourself and your children regarding the perils of the internet. We wrote a bit about that here. There are several domestic organizations working to help end this terrible epidemic, including the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Thorn, RAINN, and the National Association to Protect Children. Here are also international organizations, including the Canadian Center for Child Protection.
One survivor we spoke with on the podcast, Alicia Kozakiewicz, is working to secure funding for law enforcement teams across the nation tasked with investigating these terrible crimes. References ‘We Had No Idea How Dark This Story Would Get’ Answering your questions about our series on online child abuse. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/21/podcasts/daily-newsletter-child-sex-abuse-investigation.html
The Internet Is Overrun With Images of Child Sexual Abuse. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/09/28/us/child-sex-abuse.html Images: source unknown, if identified appropriate credit will be added
Dr. Don Yates, Sr Ph.D.,
Helping others online since 2004
Founder, The Internet Crime Fighters Org [ICFO]
Sponsor ICFO’s War on Crimes Against Our Children.