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Get Started Now. You can always go further than flirting chat rooms. Honey girls Peterborough think of u and the laughs we had with ur flirting being top Sugar sweet spa Sherwood Park Canada the list. If they don't know the consequences they will learn them, unfortunately, probably the same way I did. We need to step up and protect children while they pickering girl sex chat the Internet.
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The Internet is an incredible tool, and should be used cnat all; however, it should be safe. Thank you very much, Katie. It is a nightmare that no family wants to experience, and we certainly appreciate you sharing your experiences with us today. Thank you.
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Our next witness is John Karraker. John, welcome. I appear today before you as a private citizen representing myself and, more importantly, as a father. My oldest daughter was nearly a victim of a sexual predator. I allowed her to engage in chat room conversations and utilize the Internet when I was not home. I found a phone message from somebody who sounded much older than my 13 year old daughter asking her to call him.
When I questioned her about it, she denied having any knowledge of who this person was. Shortly afterwards, my ex-wife took a phone call in which the subject mistook her for my daughter. When he refused to answer her questions, she hung up on him. My daughter, at this point, still refused to provide details, but did admit to a long period of chatting with this person on the Internet and how he had eventually asked her for herwhich she did provide.
I checked the computer for information, but this was not useful. She had deleted any information on identities from her Instant Messenger after being confronted on the first phone call. I believe now that she was trying to protect him, and if I had not disabled the Internet when I was not home and taken its use away except for monitored homework, it would have continued. The experience my daughter had fortunately did not have a tragic outcome, but I have to admit that it was more by luck than by parental intervention.
We tried to instill in my daughter the possible dangers of meeting people on the Internet. We tried to tell her about sexual predators who were out there, people who would say anything to her to try to establish trust with her. Unfortunately, I then relied on the judgment of a young girl to make appropriate decisions. The computer was in its own room and I did not physically oversee its use. Parents must educate themselves and their children with the dangers of the Internet world.
Monitoring must consist of more than just reviewing histories on the Internet. Children quickly learn how to delete histories and they will do it. Reliance on for-profit ISPs will be useless. When I contacted AOL, their attitude was they could care less. I tried to ask them for assistance and they told me that there nothing they could do. Law enforcement was also of no use at that time. Neither Federal nor local agencies would intervene as there was no crime committed.
Even as a police officer who knew some of the type of individuals that exist in our society, I was lax. I thought that I had done my job by warning her. I have to admit that I also felt very frustrated that as a police officer, I could not make the system work for me and get somebody to take action. I would just like to express my opinion on several things that could and should happen. First of all, parents must educate themselves and their children and monitor activity. This is probably the most important piece.
ISPs must be held able for what happens on their service. Laws must be enacted that allow law enforcement agencies to pursue potential predators. Finally, law enforcement agencies must be provided funding for equipment, training, and manpower. I can tell you as a police officer on the street that we do not have the knowledge that we need to have to take enforcement action or to recognize what the problem is. This problem is not going to go away, but it is only going to become larger.
Thank you for your opportunity to address you. I appear before you as a private citizen representing myself and, more importantly, as a father. My oldest daughter was nearly the victim of a sexual predator. I found a phone message from somebody that sounded much older than my 13 year-old daughter asking her to call him. When I questioned her about it she denied having any knowledge of who the person was. Shortly afterwards my ex-wife took a phone call in which he mistook her for my daughter.
When he refused to answer her questions she hung up. My daughter as this point still refused to provide details but did admit to a long period of chatting with this person on the Internet and how he'd eventually asked for herwhich she provided. Checking the computer for information was not useful, as she'd deleted any information on identities from her instant messenger after being confronted on the first phone call.
I believe now that she pickering girl sex chat trying to protect him and if I'd not disabled the Internet when I wasn't home and taken it's use away except for monitored homework, it would of continued. The experience my daughter experienced fortunately did not have a tragic outcome, but that was more by luck than parental intervention. We tried to instill the possible dangers of meeting people on the Internet with my daughter. We tried to warn her of sexual predators who would say anything to lure her into meeting them.
I told her they would try to establish bonds with her to make her trust them. Unfortunately I then relied on the judgment of a young girl to make appropriate decisions. The computer was in it's own room and I did not physically oversee its use. Parents must educate themselves and than their children with the dangers in the Internet world. Monitoring must consist of more than just reviewing histories of Internet use.
Children quickly learn how to delete histories and will do it. Reliance on for profit ISPs will also be useless. When I contacted AOL their attitude was they could care less. Law enforcement was also of no use. At that time neither local nor federal agencies would intervene when no crime had yet happened. Even as a police officer who knew of some of the types of individuals that exist in our society I was lax. I thought I'd done my job in warning her. I also felt very frustrated that even as a police officer, I could not get anybody to take action.
In my opinion several things must happen: Parents must educate themselves and their children and monitor activity. Laws must be enacted that allows law enforcement agencies to pursue potential predators. Law enforcement agencies must be provided funding for equipment, training and manpower.
This problem is not going to go away but only become larger. Thank you very much, John. Our next witness is a prosecutor in Gril County, Jim Gregart. Chairman, Congressman Bass, my name is Jim Gregart. I have been in criminal justice for over 40 years. At the beginning of my career, I would have thought this pickering girl sex chat of me testifying about computers and something called the Internet would have been as much lunacy as thinking of putting a man on the moon, but my, don't things move quickly?
We have cases in Kalamazoo. There are not as many as large metropolitan areas, but we have some. In a variety of different ways, the computer and technology have become part of America's criminal justice system. So in order to get an average fact pattern, I went through the cases we had. And then last Thursday at pickering girl sex chat p. This kind of crime emanating, having its origins in chat rooms is not a widely reported phenomena, and yet it is occurring much more than we would like to admit, I believe, in America, somewhat like the status of domestic violence many years ago.
There was a proliferation of it, but our polite society kept it below the genteel surface of public acknowledgement.
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Today there are many, many, many, many children being subjected to pifkering assaults emanating originally from a contact made in an Internet chat room. Most of those instances are not being reported to the authorities for a variety of reasons, many of those articulated well by Katie. By the way, not only are you a survivor. You are a winner. You do not have to worry about your future.
You are going to do exceptionally well. But here is the latest one from Kalamazoo. A 34 year old Kalamazoo County resident posing in an Internet chat room as a 17 year old high school student begins a relationship with a 14 year old high school freshman from another county in Western Michigan. Over a period of time, it in a gitl, a personal meeting, and ultimately a sexual relationship of a 34 year old adult male with a 14 year old female.
That particular defendant now faces up to 35 years in a Michigan prison upon conviction. And we intend to convict the defendant. Do not talk to strangers, and yet everyday in this Nation, in this state, and in this Middle American, quasi-agrarian community of Southwest Michigan, we have parents who repeatedly let their children talk to strangers. As John indicated, and I reinforce and validate, parents have to learn technology.
I am a dinosaur. I am not hard-wired like young people today. I tried to stave off the tsunami of computer technology beyond my professional career. And then 1 day I was just swamped. Technology came over the pickerinng of my personal ship. So I had to learn technology. I have and I am now an information junkie on the Internet. Wow, it is a sad day when somebody like me starts learning about technology.
Nevertheless, a lot of parents today intentionally remain removed. They will buy a computer. Perhaps they, too, as I once thought, think that they are too old to learn about technology. Well, not taking the time to learn about technology is to do the equivalent of putting their children untrained, immature, behind the wheel of an automobile because that is the potential harm that can result.
Nobody today in their right mind would think about letting their child without any kind pixkering training, without any kind of experience, without pickering girl sex chat kind of guidelines, at the age of 12 or 13 get behind the wheel of a car and just take off wherever. Well, that is what happens when you get on the Internet. It is a cyber-playground; you can go anywhere in the world.
You are a mouse-click from Europe. You are a key stroke from the Pacific Rim countries or you are a nanosecond from an adult pedophile predator. And sec are lurking out there, believe me. Who would think that this is not Silicon Valley?
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This is not a big major metropolitan are. This is Kalamazoo; this is Southwest Michigan. But they are here. Tirl, they are not in cars on our streets. They are not walking around our playgrounds. Instead, they are in your own child's bedroom, if that is where you happen to keep a personal computer, or they are in your family room or they are in your den because they come to you almost close enough to touch your child via the Internet. I remember how proud I was in the early 's taking my two children to a seminar about the Internet because in the early 's it pikering truly an emerging technology.
Somebody in South Africa, somebody in Japan, somebody in countries all over the world. What a cultural opportunity and education. I guess this is True Confessions time. I never thought in the early 's about what could happen. There are hundreds and thousands of parents today, who have not yet realized the potential risk that their children are at. Katie's folks know; John knows; I know.
Hopefully the majority of people in this room know. But yet there are hundreds and thousands of parents who still today pickering girl sex chat their kids get behind the wheel of a Ferrari at the age of 13 or let them talk to the stranger who opens the Internet door in the chat room and become inveigled. Kids at 13 and 14 are vulnerable. Let's admit it. Katie, you well articulated the vulnerabilities of an average youngster in America today.
Are there lessons to be learned? Yep, from the old, grained prosecutor in Kalamazoo. You cannot blindly and blithely raise children without having some awareness of the benefits and the harms that are out there. Children, themselves, ought to be given some sort of training as to the appropriate use of the Internet and chat rooms. Third, a matter of sensitivity, and that is called monitoring.
There are a variety of ways to monitor 's use of chat rooms. Some of them are rather explicit and express. In one recent case in Kalamazoo County, I have here the instant messaging printouts that a parent took off of his child's computer. This relates to a charge of sexual assault against an adult male preying upon a young juvenile.
But there are software programs available where parents can not just monitor keyboard strokes and track that, but even instant messaging now. Don't let my ponytail fool you. I first began my dex in criminal justice just two years after the Detroit Lions last won an NFL championship. That fact alone gives you some idea of my professional longevity and the vast changes I've experienced in the nature of crime in America. When Congressman Upton asked me to testify at today's hearing, I had my staff pull our closed and pending files on computer crimes.
To be honest, there weren't that many. You see. The lack of victim reporting is the first impediment to the successful prosecution of adults who use Internet chat-rooms to prey upon children. All reasonable people acknowledge that this type of crime occurs in America. But, the reporting of it to law enforcement officials can be likened to an iceberg, i.
Untold s of chat-room pickerihg sexual assaults of children pickrring not reported to the police because either 1 the actual child victim chooses not to disclose the offense, or 2 parents or guardians are unaware that the gir, occurred, or 3 giro Constitutional right of a criminal defendant to confront and cross-examine their accuser in puckering public trial sometimes acts as a subtle deterrent to reporting the crime. It takes genuine courage for a victim and their family to do what's right; even though it may be difficult and personally embarrassing.
I'm aware of cases in my jurisdiction where victims and their families have chosen not to cooperate with law enforcement investigators. Thus, their alleged assailants have never been brought to justice. However, that was not the decision made by one West Michigan child and her family only last week. This 14 year old high school student and her family are cooperating with local law enforcement officials. Because of their cooperation, this child's 34 year old Kalamazoo sexual assailant now stands charged with a violation of Michigan's law prohibiting the Use of Internet Communications to Commit a Glrl and two 2 additional Counts of Criminal Sexual Assault.
Upon conviction, this pedophilic cyber-predator will face up to 35 years in a Michigan prison. To some folks, Southwest Michigan may seem far removed from the threat posed to children by adult Internet chat room predators. However, nothing could be further from the reality of today's technologically shrinking world. Anyone sitting at a computer in Kalamazoo is merely a mouse-click away from anywhere in the world. Any child could be merely a keystroke and nanosecond removed from the chat room babble of a masquerading adult bent on predatory sexual assault.
In my community, we've had adults travel from other states to sexually assault local children whom they've first encountered and deceptively cajoled via Internet chat rooms. Last week's case, however, is uniquely Michigan.
The defendant lives in Kalamazoo county while the 14 year old victim resides in another West Michigan community. Late last year, the chat-room phenomena brought them together in cyberspace. This 34 year old adult identified himself to the victim as a 17 year old high school senior.
The victim, however, readily identified herself to the dhat as only being a 14 year old high school freshman. Over a period of time, their keyboard communications transmuted into a personal meeting and, ultimately, repeated acts of sexual assault. Fortunately, this young girl has the personal courage and strong support of her family. They evidence a determination to pursue justice. Since this criminal prosecution is currently pending in our local courts, I'm not at liberty to publically provide details of the offense.
That would be prejudicial pivkering the defendant's Constitutional right to a fair trial. However, I can tell you that, with a court ordered Search Warrant, we've seized the defendant's computer and allied records. ;ickering police now have a list of approximately 20 additional female names that they've starting checking. Right now, we have no idea of the ages of these females. But, we will soon find out. Secondly, parents and guardians can no longer blithely ignore the tidal wave cht technology which has engulfed our society.
Boy, was I ever wrong! And today, any person responsible for the well-being of would also be wrong to not educate themselves about both the promise picketing perils of computers and the Internet. When the automobile was first invented, it changed the world much gigl the better. However, when driven recklessly by young people, that same automobile can become an instrument of peril and death.
Most adults would not place their child behind the wheel of this potentially dangerous machine without first providing adequate education, training and constant monitoring of their child's driving performance. Well, computers and the Internet hold the same promise for both positive and negative outcomes for children. When used properly, the Internet and chat rooms can be a wonderful experience for children. But, without adequate preliminary education, safeguards and pickerig, they can cuat the equivalent of putting an untrained youngster behind cht wheel of a Ferrari piciering hoping for the best.
In today's world, the technological speed of a computer chip almost seems to be rivaling that of a Ferrari. The reckless use of a motor vehicle can hurt. That same reckless and uncontrolled use of the Internet and chat rooms can likewise pickering girl sex chat children at risk of physical and emotional harm. That was good advice back then and I gave my own children that same constant admonishment. My kids are now in their mid-twenties. But, as I look back to their teen-age years, I'm chagrined oickering admit that I knowingly permitted them to violate my own warnings.
As a matter of fact, back then, I was ignorantly pleased when they told me about their new young cyber-friends in far away countries who they met pickeging Internet chat rooms. Fortunately for everyone, my children benefitted immensely from their early exposure to foreign kids and cultures. For them, it was a meaningful educational experience.
However, ten years ago, it was also a risk of harm that I didn't fully comprehend or appreciate. They live behind the innocent facade of a computer screen and talk to your children in chat rooms on the Internet. They now use a keyboard to probe for the emotional vulnerabilities of unsuspecting youth. They're the same predators of yesteryear who now use Internet chat rooms in lieu of an open car door and an offer of candy or a lost puppy. Thank you very much, Jim. Ruben Rodriguez, thank you so much for coming out from Washington today.
It was my pleasure, Mr. Chairman, Mr. I have written out a bunch of the things that I wanted to talk about. But listening to Katie's story, I have had the pleasure of appearing with Katie before, and I echo the earlier comments that she is a very brave young lady and we hope to work with her in xhat future, absolutely. Let me tell you a little bit about the National Center.
The National Center has been in creation since While everybody knew for many, many years that the center was the clearinghouse for missing children, nobody really knew about the other resources and the other issues that we have dealt with, gir, that obviously was the issue of the exploitation of children. Before coming to the National Center 12 years ago, I spent 20 years in law enforcement in Washington, DC, working with traditional crimes. And only when I started at the National Center did I really ever work on children-related issues, more so in when I took over the unit, and I started seeing the problems that are out there on the Internet.
When Gorl was in law enforcement back in the 's and 's--I am dating myself now--there was no such thing as the Internet and computers. We were still using typewriters and word processors for computers, and most people did not even know to spell the Internet, other than use it, cbat that was in law enforcement. And I thought that we were cutting-edge in Washington.
Since I was able to work on data bases, it was very helpful. But then the Internet was another world that we knew nothing about. When I started at the Center, still the Internet was not an issue. The National Center's Web site did not go into production until anyway or In we developed the Exploited Child Gril. And pickerinf we developed the Cyber Tipline to chaf the public to report incidents of child sexual exploitation.
In the first year of operations, we had over 17, reports. Today we have over 71, reports; of those have to do with chat.
So we can take care of it. It is not a problem. We have already reported it to the on-line service provider. We have, you know, put in software to stop access to the Internet and block access to the Internet. The problem is solved.
They have been out there for gidl. They have been sitting there doing this via mail, on the playgrounds, and now they have this medium, this anonymous medium, to communicate among themselves and also go into predicated areas to find children. I use the analogy of if you want to go to buy pickering girl sex chat, you go to a meat market. When you want to go find children on the Internet, you go to areas where children congregate.
These individuals are experts in the seduction of children. They spend hours and days sitting on the computer. Katie mentioned that this individual knew everything about music groups, songs, name albums.
And this is what they do for a living. If I am looking for a 15 year old child on the Internet, I am going to learn what are the interests of these individuals. What is the interest? How can I get to them? How can I get close to them? They will spend days and hours. What most people do not realize about chat is that it is a one dominion environment. You can have simultaneous conversations with dozens of people at the same time, different levels of seduction. They do not mind spending months, weeks, and years going after pickering girl sex chat because there are so many of them out there that they do not mind investing the time and the effort.
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All they have to do is hit one and they have dealt with their fantasies. They have taken it cgat that. Mechanism srx chat is made to order for pickering girl sex chat individuals. Direct text communications: you have a captive audience. is looking at a computer screen and so you have their full-time attention. And you can manipulate, build trust relationships, as Katie mentioned.
They want hirl be your friends because the ultimate conclusion gilr them is sexual motivation. They want to go meet this. Most individuals enjoy just the fantasy of it. Unfortunately, there is an all-too-large group that want to go beyond that and actually meet the children. The s are growing. Federal law enforcement officers, State and local law enforcement agencies are getting funding to do these programs.
It is not enough. Not so much for the Federal entities, but the State and local law enforcement officers, as he mentioned earlier. Your victim is local. Your law enforcement agencies are local. You have over 17, law enforcement agencies in the United States. You have three major law enforcement agencies: the FBI, U. Customs, and the U. Postal Inspection that work child pornography related issues, traveler cases, whatever.
But it is your State and local law enforcement agencies that have the areas where the suspect lives and where the child resides. So I would obviously encourage the use of Federal funding to go into those initiatives. Thirty regional sites throughout the United States are working this issue. Michigan has an I-Tec task force that is very gilr. I would like to see many of those throughout the United States to help State and local law enforcement agencies, to train them.
It is not really investigation they are involved in. They are also involved in outreach to the community. There are several programs that work effectively throughout the Pivkering States. I can sit here and spit out s, and it does make some sense when you are looking at the totality of the problem. But we are just touching the tip of the iceberg.
The problem is much bigger gjrl most of us realize. There was a study done by the FBI in North Carolina at a rehabilitation hospital, where they talked to offenders who had pickernig children. And the first time they talked to the offenders, they admitted to doing 4 or 5 children.
They were talking to, I think, 30 offenders. When the study was over, they averaged that each one of these offenders were doing at least children before they were apprehended. So the problem is getting bigger. As the Internet fueled this, it has allowed access. These individuals used to go to the playgrounds, used to look at children, follow them, stalk them. Now they have a piclering where they can do it without any risk to themselves. The risk is when they actually go to meet the.
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In dhat cases, as I mentioned earlier, fantasy is sufficient for them. Unfortunately, there are those who take the fantasy beyond that. They use child pornography to lower inhibitions of the. It is not gil bad. The child is smiling. Different levels of undress. All of that pickering girl sex chat used by chat. You can append images and add information, URL information. It is a community where kids are curious.
They go out there and put themselves in harm's way unfortunately, and because of their curiosity, they are very trusting, as Katie mentioned. I am 18, 19, 23,'' when unfortunately the gentleman is 45 or 50 years old. We see it all too often. At the National Center we see this information coming on in avalanches now. I say the first time that we started this, we had 17, reports.
In less than 4 years, we have 71, and we are just touching the tip of the pickeirng. The ISPs have come to the table because they were forwarding information to us on not only child pornography, but also on unsolicited E-mails and chat complaints which is great for us. Of course, it is making my work load much higher and hard, but, again, that pickerint our job. I could go on and on, but I just wanted to agree with many of the things that were said here before me: effective prosecution, funding for law sed, and outreach programs for children and parents.
The first line of defense is the home. You praise them when they do well and correct them when do wrong.
People do not think of the Internet and the computer as the pickering girl sex chat. It is. You turn on the computer and you let the world into your home. Rodriguez follows:] Prepared Statement of Ruben D. Rodriguez Jr. Chairman and members of the Committee, I am pleased to appear before this subcommittee today to express my views on the char dangers of unsupervised online chatting by our nation's youth.
As a way of introduction, I have been involved with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the issue of missing and exploited children since my retirement from the Metropolitan Police Department of Washington, D. One of the mandates of this unit was the creation and development of an online reporting mechanism for the public to report incidents of child sexual exploitation.
To date we pickring received over 71, reports, 1, of those reports are attributed to the use of chat to entice, seduce and exploit children. While this medium has offered great opportunities ssex children and adults alike to conduct research, communicate, meet and chat with new friends throughout the world, unfortunately in srx instances it has also become a vehicle for those who prey on the unsuspecting.
Oftentimes, criminals misuse new technology before law enforcement acquires the tools and expertise to counter such uses.
The Census reports that 9 out of 10 school age children, ages years of age have access to a computer. In addition, 4 in 5 households with access to the Internet had one or more members using the Internet 44 million households. Recent figures put the current of children online to an estimated We at the National Center's Exploited Child Unit are aware of serious incidents where children who communicate in web-based Chat Rooms, IRC or Instant Messaging with individuals who they believe are peers or friends, who eventually turn out to be individuals who are not who they say they are.
All too frequently, we see children traveling or meeting these individuals and find out all too late that they have put themselves in harm's way. Law enforcement and organizations like the National Center's CyberTipline only get involved when it is too late. We believe that a comprehensive education program should be instituted in the home to address these issues. In this respect the National Center has created NetSmartz, which is the Center's proactive, educational ;ickering to fighting online predators.
The materials developed by the NetSmartz Workshop are deed to be a proactive, educational approach to helping children build self-confidence in order to better handle and protect themselves in all types of situations. They pickeering that their children are at home, often in their own rooms, doing pixkering positive and useful for their future. Many parents have little knowledge about computers and what their children are doing online, and feel that there is little risk.
Similarly, many children view cyberspace as a variation on their computer or video pickering girl sex chat. Further, chat is one of the most popular pastimes of children online. s are hard to come by, however on American Online, overpeople chat simultaneously in over 20, chat rooms. This, combined with a lack of guidance by parents and the grooming and seduction by a sexual predator, may lead to 's victimization online. Just as teenagers enjoy the anonymity offered to them through chat, pedophiles also use this avenue to their advantage.
Pedophiles organizations were one of the first criminal groups to exploit Internet technology. The predator may send adult and child pornography xhat lower the child's inhibitions and eventually arrange a face-to-face meeting for sexual purposes. Therefore, chat rooms often become distorted playgrounds for these predators. They can pose as someone else, approach children with seductive offers, and eventually violate 's privacy and security. Distribution of Child Pornography and Pedophile Materials: The of pedophiles pickeering child pickerimg using the Internet is unknown, but the IRC, in particular, is an ideal medium for numerous pedophile activities: Distribution of Child Pornography: According to some police estimates, as many as 80, child pornography files are traded online every week.
Exchange of Pedophile Materials: The IRC provides pedophiles the opportunity to engage in discussions regarding their sexual deviance and exchange pedophile information in a relatively anonymous forum. This only serves to assist pickeriny to validate and rationalize their behavior. Also, it has been hypothesized although not scientifically proven that the easy access to child pornography pickerinv and increased ability to locate those individuals who have similar interests in children may contribute to an individual with latent tendencies to act out and sexually victimize.
How does the IRC facilitate the victimization of children? Lack of monitoring: Operators of IRC servers do not maintain any type of logs of what occurs on the channels of their servers. Unless turned on by users through their client software, whatever is said in a channel is lost after an individual logs off of the server. Channels can be easily created: Channels can be instantly created and can be pickerinng only requiring a password to enter.
Since there is pickerihg governing body of the IRC, it is easy to establish private chat channels for the exchange of pifkering, pedophile materials and private one-on-one conversations. Nicknames can be easily changed: Once in IRC, it is extremely easy to create a channel. Unlike chat rooms through online service providers which have unique and traceable screen names ased to theman Gidl user can instantaneously change their nickname and re-enter the chat room as someone else.
This makes identifying and tracking IRC users more difficult. This, coupled with the ability for a user to download free client software, makes it extremely difficult to regulate. However, individuals within a sexx can be held able for criminal plckering. Messages and files sent via DCC are sent by a direct connection not part of the IRC network between two individuals; pixkering, they are difficult to track unless you are one of the recipients of the message or file.
Although it is possible to trace the identities of those using IRC for illegal purposes, evaporation of electronic audit trails, the use of encryption and steganography, and the ease with which predators can avoid detection through fake cyber identities and other computer tricks are challenges law enforcement face every day. In addition, most law enforcement is ill prepared to address computer-related crimes due to lack of training and necessary equipment e.
In most countries, law enforcement is playing catch up to an exploding epidemic of computer crime. Recognizing the need for resources to combat Internet crimes against children, the United States government has taken an active role in assisting federal and local law enforcement. Inthe Federal Bureau of Investigations FBI created the Innocent Images Task Force to conduct and coordinate online undercover investigations on cases in which individuals use computers to lure children into illicit sexual relationships, pickerlng to investigate those individuals who produce, manufacture and distribute child pornography.
The United States Customs Service also plays a crucial role in investigating child pornography trafficking and pedophile organization cases. They were the first federal law enforcement agency to initiate a comprehensive computer child pornography case. During fiscal years of throughthe United States Customs Service investigations produced pickrring. What Can Hotlines Do? To provide a reporting mechanism for the public to report incidents of child sexual exploitation: On March 9,key public and private sector leaders ed with NCMEC sec launch the new CyberTipline, www.
The Tipline was created for parents to report incidents of suspicious or illegal Internet activity, including the distribution of child pornography online or situations involving the online enticement of children for sexual exploitation. Seven days per week, 24 hours per day, NCMEC is fully staffed to handle le, and then distribute those le to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.
Thus, these primary federal law enforcement agencies are immediately able to receive, access and review cjat CyberTipline le. The CyberTipline is also uniquely positioned picjering gather important data on these types of Internet crimes against children. It is the hope of NCMEC to be able to conduct in-depth analysis of trends and patterns in these types pickeing cases in the near future.
Through two publications, Child Safety on the Information Highway chxt Teen Safety on the Information Highway, NCMEC's message for parents focuses upon strong parental involvement in pic,ering children's lives, increasing parental knowledge and awareness about computers and the Internet, and the importance of parent-child pickerng. Likewise, NCMEC is reaching out to children with basic rules for safety on the information highway, including cautions not to give out personal information online, and not to meet someone they encounter online.
The program goals are to: enhance 's ability to avoid victimization, reduce the feelings of guilt and blame that are often associated with victimization, encourage children to report victimization to gjrl trusted adult, support and enhance community education efforts and to increase communications between adults and children about online safety. To advocate help for parents through the development of technology tools and access controls: NCMEC supports efforts to provide help for parents gkrl blocking software and girk control tools like SurfWatch, Net Nanny, and similar products, enabling parents to limit areas of the Internet to which their children have access.
While such tools should not be viewed as substitutes for basic parenting, nor do they prevent adult predators from going to where the grl are on the Internet to seek their victims, nonetheless they are useful tools for parents to provide an extra layer of protection for their children. To target and educate those who are most at risk: Parents and teachers are often surprised to learn that young children are not the most common victims of abduction and sexual assault. In fact, twelve to seventeen year old teenagers especially girls are the most victimized segment of the United States population.
As a result, the Know the Rules Campaign was launched in March as a national public service campaign targeted to girls ages The educational messages in this campaign convey strength and are deed to leave girls with a sense of empowerment. To promote a national campaign of aggressive enforcement: NCMEC feels pickernig the most important element of its Cyberspace Strategy is aggressive enforcement by federal, state and local law enforcement, directed against those who misuse the Internet for criminal purposes.
To assist law enforcement, NCMEC is involved in the two courses specifically targeting Internet crimes against children. Topics covered include: recognizing and identifying computer crimes against children, orientation to computer technology, conducting the investigation, legal issues, case preparation and follow-up, and resources and prevention.
The purpose of this training program is to provide law enforcement unit commanders with an understanding of the key management issues for the effective investigation, prosecution, pickeribg, and prevention of computer crimes against children. Cjat establish relationships and work closely gir the online industry: One of the exciting elements of this initiative is that the online industry is a strong partner.
SurfWatch is creating an online capability on its website for its users and customers to report child pornography or child exploitation directly to NCMEC and its CyberTipline. We are hopeful that other companies will follow this example, helping NCMEC promote the CyberTipline and provide the most direct linkage for users, so that when they encounter inappropriate or questionable gir, they can easily and immediately link with NCMEC's CyberTipline and provide their information. It xhat our vision that this effort will become a kind of two-way communication vehicle using cyberspace.