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The Value of Digital Evidence in Combatting Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking

Posted by Brittany Roberts on March 25, 2022
Brittany Roberts
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The Global Forensic and Justice Center hosted a panel on The Value of Digital Evidence in Combatting Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking. The panelists included:

  • Alexandria Wong, Digital Media (DOMEX) Trainer with the Global Forensic and Justice Center and FIU
  • Sondra Skelaney, Gender Violence Prevention Program Coordinator with CASE and FIU
  • Ailsa Slack, Director of Customer Success of ADF Solutions.

The panel focused on the role of technology, forensics, and digital evidence and revolved around four central questions which are highlighted below along with the key points discussed by the panel of subject matter experts.

What are some of the biggest challenges facing law enforcement and digital forensic investigators in tackling Child Abuse images?

  • The need for digital forensic technology solutions built to save investigators time to go through all the data

  • Being able to better identify devices at a crime scene and being able to know how to collect the data properly in a forensically sound manner

  • Identifying where the data is stored; some is stored in the cloud, off-site location (overseas), and working with 3rd parties to gain access to information

What do you think the industry can do to help combat Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking? 

  • Combating human trafficking is very important. There needs to be a lot more training: Investigators need training on identifying devices, data, collecting and analyzing data, and reporting on the data.  1-Mar-23-2022-08-55-55-13-PM

  • Social media and technology companies building these systems need to prioritize and invest in victim protection.

  • Law enforcement needs to have access to the tools that do exist and be trained because the bad guys don’t have restrictions on what to use so they are one step ahead of law enforcement.

  • Increase the use of Project Vic HashSet: It allows for child abuse images and videos to be taken and make a digital fingerprint style hash of images for law enforcement to utilize instead of the images/videos themselves (alphanumeric identifier)

How are Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technologies assisting law enforcement in solving human trafficking cases? were:

  • ADF tools include age group recognition and facial analysis 

    • Group people into groups (infants, toddlers, teens, adults)

    • Quickly looking at 10,000 pictures that are to most interest to the investigator 

    • Technology should help investigators not have to look at much of the abuse imagery 

  • Artificial Intelligence allows investigators to analyze images and content for references to drugs, money, weapons, vehicles, etc.

  • Artificial Intelligence allows investigators to identify financial documents (credit cards, bank accounts, bank statements) without having to go through every single word document 

Laws are varied around the world, how do you think we can improve combatting CSAM and Human Trafficking? 

  • It would be great to come up with an international set of laws

  • When dealing with the legal side, there are County, Local, State, Federal, and International laws that come with different terminology and standards.

  • The United Nations has a focus on this as does Interpol with events such as international conferences 

  • We need to start reimaging what we consider borders of jurisdiction

You can register to watch the full recording on the FIU GFJC website.

How ADF Helps to Combat Human Trafficking

ADF tools are designed to speed up forensic investigations and provide solutions for human trafficking. With AI technology such as Age Group Recognition and Facial Analytics, investigators can easily sort through child exploitation and human trafficking images without the burden of unnecessarily sorting child abuse images which can be mentally taxing. ADF’s technology can also search for financial documents and cryptocurrency to help solve financial crimes

Learn more on how ADF helps to solve human trafficking and request a free trial

Topics: Digital Forensics, Forensic Training, Cryptocurrency Forensics, Digital Forensic Imaging, Financial Crime, Human Trafficking, Field Forensics, Digital Evidence, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning

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