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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

GOOGLE TECHNOLOGY MAKES REPORTING CHILD SEXUAL EXPLOITATION EASIER

ALEXANDRIA, VA –  Reporting suspected sexual exploitation of children just became easier.  The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) said today that the CyberTipline reporting form used by the public has been redesigned with the help from global technology leader Google.  The CyberTipline is operated by NCMEC and serves as the national reporting mechanism to report suspected sex crimes against children including child pornography, child sexual molestation and online enticement.

Thanks to Google’s assistance and technology, the redesigned CyberTipline is more user-friendly and easier to navigate.  By improving the instructions and simplifying the steps necessary to file a report, both organizations are hoping more people will come forward with information and report suspected child sexual exploitation.

An estimated 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 10 boys will be sexually victimized before they reach the age of 18. 

With the increase of social networking, online gaming, webcams and other technologies, children today have more access to the Internet and these devices than every before and there are more opportunities for potential offenders to engage with children.

“The public needs to be vigilant and active in reporting suspected abuses against children,” said Ernie Allen, President and CEO of NCMEC.  “We have a responsibility to protect children.  If people witness child sexual exploitation, know about it, or just suspect it, they should report it immediately to law enforcement and to the CyberTipline.”

Created by Congress in 1998, the CyberTipline serves as the nation’s 9-1-1 for reporting suspected child pornography and other sexual exploitation crimes against children.

The CyberTipline receives reports 24 hours a day, seven days a week.   Trained staff analyze and develop the leads and then refer the information to local, state and federal law enforcement agencies for investigation and prosecution.   

Since it was created, the CyberTipline has seen a dramatic increase in the number of reports received.  For example, in the first 10 months of operation in 1998, the CyberTipline received a total of 4,500 reports.  For the 12 months during 2010, the number of reports received that year had increased to 223,374.  Through November of 2011 the CyberTipline has already received 276,719 reports.  Since it was created in 1998, NCMEC has handled more than 1.25 million reports.

Reports about child sexual exploitation come from the general public and U.S. based Electronic Service Providers (ESP’s).  Each report may involve several dozen or even hundreds of images.  Reports are submitted electronically via www.cybertipline.com or by calling NCMEC’s 24-hour call center at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).

Since inception, the general public has been responsible for making 45% of the reports with 55% from ESPs.  To date, ESP’s have reported more than 9 million images of child pornography to the CyberTipline. 

The CyberTipline is operated in partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Department of Homeland Security’s Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, the Military Criminal Investigation Organization (MCIO), the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces (ICAC, as well as other state and local law enforcement. 

CyberTipline Statistics

[Source: NCMEC

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