Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 8:28 EDT

Google Technology Makes Reporting Child Sexual Exploitation Easier

December 28, 2011

National CyberTipline for Reporting Child Sexual Exploitation Experiences Dramatic Increase in Reports Since 1998

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Dec. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — This week reporting suspected sexual exploitation of children 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 (ESPs). 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, ESPs 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

Reports to the CyberTipline are organized into eight categories: Child Pornography; Child Prostitution; Child Sex Tourism; Child Sexual Molestation; Online Enticement of Children for Sexual Acts; Unsolicited Obscene Material Sent to a Child; Misleading Domain names and Misleading Words or Digital Images on the Internet.

According to NCMEC, the possession, manufacture and/or distribution of child pornography has remained the highest reporting category representing 91% or approximately 1.15 million reports.

Total Number of CyberTipline Reports Through November 30, 2011

    Type of Incident                                   To Date
    Child Pornography                                          1,151,419
    Child Prostitution                                            10,928
    Child Sex Tourism                                              3,869
    Child Sexual Molestation (not in family)                      20,689
    Online Enticement of Children for Sexual Acts                 54,729
    Unsolicited Obscene Material Sent to a Child                   9,289
    Misleading Domain Name                                        10,197
    Misleading Words or Digital Images on the Internet             7,266
    Submitted Without Incident Type                                  865
    Total Number of Reports                                    1,269,251

Comparison of CyberTipline Reports for 1998 and 2011

    Type of Report    1998 Reports              2011 Reports
                      (Mar. 10 - Dec. 31)       (Jan. 1 - Nov. 30)
    Child Pornography
     manufacture and
     distribution)                        3,175                   267,468
     Prostitution                           142                     1,563
    Child Sex Tourism                        79                       244
    Child Sexual
     Molestation                            365                     1,718
    (not in the
    Online Enticement
     of Children for
     Sexual Acts                            707                     3,306
     Obscene Material
     Sent to a Child                        NA*                       453
    Misleading Domain
     Name                                  NA**                       406
    Misleading Words
     or Digital
     Images on the
     Internet                             NA***                     1,558
    Submitted Without
     Incident Type                           92                         3
    TOTAL REPORTS:                        4,560                   276,719

*This category was added in 2002 to reflect reports received; **This category was added in 2004 to reflect reports received; ***This category was added in 2008.

About the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1984. Designated by Congress to serve as the nation’s clearinghouse, the organization has operated the toll-free 24-hour national missing children’s hotline which has handled more than 3,472,740 calls. It has assisted law enforcement in the recovery of more than 169,840 children. The organization’s CyberTipline has handled more than 1,290,050 reports of child sexual exploitation and its Child Victim Identification Program has reviewed and analyzed more than 60,381,370 child pornography images and videos. The organization works in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice’s office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. To learn more about NCMEC, call its toll-free, 24-hour hotline at 1-800-THE-LOST or visit its web site at www.missingkids.com.

SOURCE National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

Source: PR Newswire