This Week the One Millionth Report of Child Sexual Exploitation Will Be Received by the CyberTipline
The CyberTipline Serves as the Nation’s 911 Reporting Mechanism For Sex Crimes Involving Children
ALEXANDRIA, Va., Jan. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The CyberTipline, the nation’s reporting mechanism for suspected sexual exploitation of children, will receive its one millionth report this week. The CyberTipline is operated by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) which processes the reports of suspected sex crimes against children, some as young as two weeks old.
Estimates are that 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 10 boys will be sexually victimized in some way 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 ever before and there are more opportunities for potential offenders to engage with children,” said Ernie Allen, President and CEO of NCMEC. “We encourage the public to continue to be vigilant and active in reporting these possible abuses against children.”
Created by Congress in 1998, the CyberTipline serves as the nation’s 911 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, the CyberTipline received a total of 4,500 reports. For the 12 months during 2007 that number exploded to 105,000. In 2010, the CyberTipline received more than 223,000 reports.
“The increase in the number of reports of child pornography and online sexual solicitation of children is alarming,” said Ernie Allen, President & CEO of NCMEC. “The child pornography images we are receiving are becoming more violent and the victims much younger. We are even seeing infants being sexually abused.”
Reports to the CyberTipline are received 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 800-THE-LOST. Since inception, the general public has been responsible for making 51% of the reports with 49% from ESPs. To date, ESPs have reported more than 8 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 Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces (ICAC), as well as other state and local law enforcement.
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 Name 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 90% or approximately 900,000 reports.
Total Number of CyberTipline Reports Through January 2, 2011 Type of Incident To Date ---------------- ------- Child Pornography 889,244 Child Prostitution 9,368 Child Sex Tourism 3,635 Child Sexual Molestation (not in family) 18,990 Online Enticement of Children for Sexual Acts 51,447 Unsolicited Obscene Material Sent to a Child 8,838 Misleading Domain Name 9,817 Misleading Words or Digital Images on the Internet 5,972 Total Number of Reports 997,311
Comparison of CyberTipline Reports for 1998 and 2010 1998 2010 Type of Report Reports Reports (Mar. 10 - (Jan. 1 - Dec. 31) Dec. 31) Child Pornography (possession, manufacture and distribution) 3,267 213,167 Child Prostitution 142 1,086 Child Sex Tourism 79 354 Child Sexual Molestation 365 1,632 (not in the family) Online Enticement of Children for Sexual Acts 707 4,053 Unsolicited Obscene Material Sent to a Child NA* 592 Misleading Domain Name NA** 348 Misleading Words or Digital Images on the Internet NA*** 2,142 TOTAL REPORTS: 4,560 223,374 *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.
CyberTipline Success Stories
Reports to the CyberTipline have resulted in the arrest and successful prosecution of thousands of offenders worldwide.
One recent report was made by a mother who contacted the CyberTipline to report that a man was engaging in sexually explicit conversations with her 12-year-old son via an online gaming device. The man reportedly had told the boy that he had molested other boys aged 7 to 15. An NCMEC analyst ran Internet searches and found a possible real-life identity for the man and a possible location. NCMEC alerted the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force in that area. Working with state and local police and prosecutors, a search warrant was obtained and the suspect was arrested and charged. The investigation continues but it is believed that he had victimized at least ten boys.
In another case, an Electronic Service Provider contacted the CyberTipline to report a user who had uploaded 163 sexually explicit images of children through their service. An NCMEC analyst conducted Internet searches and found the suspect and his location. NCMEC alerted state and local law enforcement in the area. The suspect was a registered sex offender. Authorities conducted a search at his home. The offender admitted to his crimes, and told police that he was sexually attracted to children and needed to go to jail because he couldn’t control his impulses. He pled guilty and was sentenced.
In another case a concerned citizen contacted the CyberTipline to report suspicions that a man he knew traveled to other countries in order to have sex with children, and that a trip was imminent. NCMEC alerted U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). A subpoena was issued to airline companies requesting information on the suspect’s travel dates. ICE contacted authorities in the country to which the US citizen offender was planning to travel. When the offender returned to the US, he was greeted by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents. Through searches and interrogation, it was proven that the man had traveled to have sex with children. Evidence obtained included sexually explicit photographs of children on the suspect’s cell phone. The offender pled guilty in federal court.
About the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Since it was established by Congress in 1984, the organization has operated the toll-free 24-hour national missing children’s hotline which has handled more than 2,528,730 calls. It has assisted law enforcement in the recovery of more than 157,720 children. The organization’s CyberTipline has handled more than 997,000 reports of child sexual exploitation and its Child Victim Identification Program has reviewed and analyzed more than 43,895,590 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