Meet Aaron Kahler, Founder and Chief Executive at Anti-Human Trafficking Intelligence Initiative (ATII).
Stopping human trafficking and modern slavery is a priority for many law enforcement agencies around the world, with specialized investigators leading the fight. The Department of Homeland Security Blue Campaign defines human trafficking as involving the "use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. Every year, millions of men, women, and children are trafficked worldwide – including right here in the United States. It can happen in any community and victims can be of any age, race, gender, or nationality. Traffickers might use violence, manipulation, or false promises of well-paying jobs or romantic relationships to lure victims into trafficking situations."
ADF Solutions’ partner recently held a global Dark Web Hackathon in advance of Human Trafficking Awareness Month. The Anti-Human Trafficking Intelligence Initiative (ATII) the organization that combats human trafficking through increasing awareness, facilitating intelligence integration & technology advancement, and encouraging strategic data collaboration, today announced the winners of the inaugural annual Darkwebathon. The five-day virtual event attracted more than 330 registrants and generated thousands of reports sharing the ultimate goal of creating actionable intelligence so that law enforcement agencies can be equipped with real data to make arrests.
Investigating crimes against children has been at the forefront of law enforcement’s initiatives to dedicate the specialized manpower and equipment in order to battle this issue. It is not an easy issue to tackle as it manifests in many different ways and sometimes requires three or more specialized units working together to bring the offenders to justice and then another specialized unit to manage the offenders after release. On top of all the investigation time, we add digital devices to the mix, used to commit and perpetrate these crimes. When it comes time to conduct a search warrant, knock and talk, interview, or victim/witness statement, investigators need a solution to find the relevant data, minimize the number of devices brought back to the lab, minimize the impact to victims, witnesses, and innocent family members.
There are many ways to learn digital forensics. From Certified Training to short How-To videos designed to teach you skills in just a few minutes. One of our favorite forms of learning, however, is our one-hour digital forensic best practices webinars led by our Director of Training, Richard T. Frawley. Rich spent 22 years in law enforcement. Most of that time was as a digital forensic analyst. Here are some of our favorite learning webinars from this year:
In this 3-minute "How To" video, you'll learn the benefits of having a digital forensic triage process that works from field to lab. Using ADF digital forensic tools, examiners can prepare field investigators to find digital evidence and intelligence on mobile phones, tablets, computers, and storage devices starting on-scene.
The 2021 Crimes Against Children Conference will be the 33rd annual conference organized by the Dallas Children's Advocacy Center (DCAC) and the Dallas Police Department. More than just another law enforcement conference, the event brings together child advocacy, child protective services, and law enforcement investigators.
Dates: August 9 -13, 2021
Live sessions will be held from the 9th to the 13th of August, 2021 with content available to registrants through December 17, 2021.
The 2021 National Law Enforcement Training on Child Exploitation training conference will be held online this year. This annual training event is designed to train and educate prosecutors, digital forensic examiners, investigators, and law enforcement professionals on specialized training in the subject of investigating and prosecuting technology facilitated Crimes Against Children.
Crimes against children investigations can lead CSAM investigators to have to review thousands or even tens of thousands of images. Investigators need tools to help them find relevant evidence quickly.
ADF Solutions, the leading provider of automated forensic software for investigators and lab examiners, today announced the ability for on-scene and lab investigators to leverage the facial analytics and age detection capabilities of Suspect Technologies to speed child exploitation and human trafficking investigations.
The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has changed all of our lives in many ways, including our ability to give back. In the midst of the holiday season, this is a time where people often reflect on the year and contemplate giving. So often, many of us volunteer at food pantries, organize toy drives, participate in charity fun runs, or find ways to participate in community service with others.
ADF prioritizes digital evidence collection and provides investigators and examiners post-scan options to speed investigations. Post scan options let digital forensic investigators get fast and relevant evidence to make decisions on-scene and in the forensic lab.
Learn how to easily remove CSAM images and other properties from view
One of the most important factors in a child exploitation investigation, is having the ability to show a report to a colleague, co-worker, prosecutor, or present to present your findings in court without re-victimizing the subject of the photo, or shocking the sense of the viewer of the report. Having a professional report that still reflects the properties that need to be presented is essential to your case.
This week kicks off the 2020 National Child Protection Task Force Conference. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, NCPTF has moved the conference and training online as a virtual event with the focus on cyber response for missing child investigations. The topic is of vital importance since so many children around the world are online and at increased risk during the pandemic.
Child sexual exploitation and modern slavery are related aspects of human trafficking which result in the commercial exploitation of children and often being victims of Child Sexual Abuse Material creation as well.
Jim, we want to thank you for the time you’ve taken to chat with us about your work and about your expertise in the areas of white collar and cyber crime. It’s an area ADF is proud to support investigators in. Your work with NW3C covers areas of white collar cyber crime such as fraud, bribery, money laundering, and more. We’ve been proud to partner with NW3C before in our joint webinar and most recently in your Capture the Flag competition!
Gina: How did your background, and 25 years of service in the United States Marine Corps Military police, prepare you for what you’re doing now?
What is CEM
In Australian states and territories, CEM refers to “Child Exploitation Material”, otherwise known as child abuse material, child sexual abuse material (CSAM), and child pornography. For digital forensic examiners, telecommunications-based child exploitation includes viewing, copying, downloading, sending, exchanging, soliciting, and making CEM.
Today’s investigators and prosecutors are very familiar with the extreme difficulty in child exploitation cases: getting through your forensic backlog to get to the data in time. Law enforcement officers routinely report that a lack of technology which, combined with stringent time limits, can severely restrict their ability to check devices in a timely manner. ADF understands that digital forensic examinations can be both costly and time-consuming, which hampers investigations into suspects that have downloaded or participated in Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM).
Putting Victims First. That’s the message that Richard W. Brown, the CEO of Project VIC International impressed upon me when I had the opportunity to speak to him about how and why he helped found the non-profit organization which helps law enforcement agencies around the world fight child exploitation.
You first met LEO in September 2018 when ADF shared an announcement about the upcoming Crimes Against Children Conference in Dallas, Texas. We came up with the idea of LEO one day when our team was sharing stories about the many successes our Law Enforcement customers were having using our digital forensic software to quickly solve crimes.
The Child Abuse Image Database (CAID) is the United Kingdom’s national system used by law enforcement to help fight the growing problem of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM). The system helps police detect, flag and analyse illegal digital media images.
Child pornography- more properly identified as Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM). It’s appalling that there is a need for a definition for this kind of material. U.S. Federal Law defines child pornography as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor- meaning any person less than 18 years old.
The numbers surrounding pornographic images of children, and the child abuse that creates it, are so staggering that it’s difficult not to be disheartened. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), their cyber tipline received over 42.9 million reports by November 2018. NCMEC had also reviewed over 267 million images and videos, and identified over 15,800 victims of online child exploitation and abuse.
As communities search for new ways to employ wounded, injured, or ill special operations veterans, there's a new federal government program that offers hope.
The program which provides financial support for communities seeking to further increase their effectiveness in the fight against child exploitation is run by the U.S. Department of Justice. Communities will benefit in two key ways:
- Employ wounded veterans paid for via federal grant money
- Help communities fight the ever growing battle to stop child exploitation
The 2020 Northwest Regional ICAC Conference, has been announced for October 5-9, 2020. The conference is a multi-state, multi-disciplinary Internet Crimes Against Children event which provides training to prosecutors, digital forensic examiners, sheriffs, police investigators and ICAC Task Force members.
The 2020 Crimes Against Children Conference in Dallas, Texas, will be the 32nd annual conference organized by the Dallas Children's Advocacy Center and the Dallas Police Department. More than just a law enforcement conference, the event brings together child protection, advocacy and investigators. The event will be held online this year instead of at the usual Sheraton Dallas Hotel location.
Dates: August 10-13, 2020
COVID-19 UPDATE: This year's event will be held virtually.
October 2019 kicks off with the 5th Annual Northwest Regional ICAC Conference, a multi-state, multi-disciplinary event designed to provide lecture and lab training to prosecutors, digital forensic lab examiners, and law enforcement investigators focused on the investigation and prosecution of technology and Internet facilitated crimes against children.
In this short 5 minute video, you'll learn how to filter digital forensic scan results in ADF software. Filtering is available in any table while analyzing any of your scan results. In this how-to video, we'll look at:
Investigators can leverage ADF digital forensic software on the front-line to investigate and prosecute child exploitation cases
Most children in the United States now have access to internet services. The internet enables children to have access to vast amounts of valuable and educative information that facilitates their growth. However, the internet further exposes children to numerous dangers. Some of the risks children are exposed to on the internet include pornography, racist, sexist, violent, and demeaning information.
These risks prompted the formation of the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force program. The organization is a national network of 61 coordinated task forces that represent over 4,500 local, state, and federal law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies. The state and regional ICAC task forces are maintained and expanded by the ICAC program to address technology-facilitated child exploitation crimes.
When investigating crimes against children cases, Project Vic data sets and Digital Evidence Investigator® (DEI) go hand in hand.
DEI and ADF's other forensic triage and investigation tools give investigators and examiners the ability to categorize image and video media fast -- which is paramount in the fight against child exploitation.
Whether you are an ICAC, CAC, or affiliate task force, DEI is the best tool to help you investigate CSAM / CEM and solve internet crimes against children. In the short 6-minute video below, ADF's digital forensic trainer is going to show you how easy it is to add Project Vic datasets or hashes to a Search Profile.
Due to an increase in crimes involving the use of computers and cell phones, there is a growing need for Digital Media Investigators, sometimes referred to as DMIs. They have an important role to play in police investigations and that role is becoming more critical with the proliferation of digital data.
Digital media investigators do more than just sit in a lab looking at hard drives. They are often digital first responders and go out into the field with other law enforcement agents to investigate crimes first hand and offer advice on how to gather digital evidence at a crime scene. Collecting, analyzing and reporting on digital evidence to be used to prosecute and convict criminals is a vital role for DMIs in the United Kingdom and elsewhere.
Of all the investigations that a law enforcement agency may undertake, there may be none as difficult to deal with as crimes perpetrated against minors. The proliferation of online child exploitation material continues to be an issue worldwide, from child pornography to the facilitation of human trafficking. Luckily, investigators are not having to combat this problem alone thanks to industry solutions like those provided by ADF Solutions and the organizations below.
ADF digital forensic software including Digital Evidence Investigator® (DEI) and Triage-Investigator® come with out-of-the-box default Search Profiles. In this short video tutorial, we use Digital Evidence Investigator to demonstrate "What is a Search Profile?".
In DEI the Search Profiles are maintained in the Setup Scans Menu option. The Search Profile, when run, will collect the information selected within the Search Profile. Search Profiles will run from the desktop application or from the collection key on a Live or Boot scan.
January 2019 is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month
Human trafficking has been a federal crime in the United States since The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 was passed into law as a federal statute. Each year since 2010 has been designated National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month with January 11th each year being observed as National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.
Project VIC is a nonprofit organization founded by Rich Brown and former U.S. law enforcement officials who saw the need to normalize data between digital forensic tools, software vendors, and service providers in order to focus the community on building enhanced workflows to more rapidly identify victims of child exploitation (CSAM, CEM) and human trafficking.
This October kicks off with the fourth annual Northwest Regional ICAC Conference, a multi-state, multi-disciplinary event designed to provide lecture and lab training to prosecutors, digital forensic examiners, and law enforcement investigators focused on the investigation and prosecution of technology facilitated crimes against children.
A criminal forensic lab located in one of the largest U.S. Federal agencies was working on an extensive child exploitation case and had seized 37 total hard drives that contained over 38 terabytes of data. The case was high profile and the forensic team had a short window of time to examine the contents of the confiscated drives. Technical resources were limited and imaging drives and conducting traditional forensic examinations would be very time consuming. With the amount of data that needed to be searched, the investigators realized that it could potentially be weeks before the examinations were complete and the case could move forward. In addition the case would require significant disk storage space to hold all of the images.
During the week of September 16 - 22, 2018, we invite you to join us in recognizing the critical role that forensic science plays in criminal investigations and we give thanks for the dedication of the thousands of forensic professionals who serve our communities nationwide.
The investigation began after images consistent with child pornography were uploaded to a social media platform. A search warrant was executed at the residence and an on-scene forensic exam of all electronic media was completed by members of the State Police Computer Crime Unit. Using ADF Digital Evidence Investigator®, investigators discovered images and videos of sexual abuse of an under age child and were able to identify a resident of the household as the suspect. Specifically, investigators located thumbcache images that resulted in identifying a female child that was being sexually abused and identified the suspect.
ADF is helping stop crimes against children by providing law enforcement with the right tools and training to combat internet crimes against children. As part of our mission to help fight child exploitation, ADF is a returning sponsor of the Crimes Against Children Conference. If you are attending, join ADF Digital Forensic Specialists (Rich Frawley), as he leads a lecture and lab training for participating law enforcement officers:
- On-Scene Digital Investigation Best Practices: From CyberTip to Court Ready Paperwork (Lecture)
- Solving Crimes Against Children with ADF Digital Evidence Investigator® (Hands-on Labs)
Each participant will learn digital forensic best practices for child exploitation cases and receive an extended trial of our DEI software.
ADF Solutions, provided hands-on lab training for digital forensic investigators and examiners from throughout the United States at the National Law Enforcement Training on Child Exploitation (NLETC) Conference held in in Atlanta, Georgia this week. The conference seeks to grow and expand the education of law enforcement officers, police investigators and prosecutors in an effort to promote best practices for investigating Internet Crimes Against Children.
ADF will sponsor the Crimes Against Children Conference which provides practical and interactive instruction to those fighting crimes against children and helping children heal. Attendees include government and nonprofit agencies in law enforcement, child protective services, and victims of crime.
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