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.
The functions of an ICAC Task Force is to prevent, interdict, and investigate internet crimes facilitated against children, also known as Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM). According to the ICAC program, the task forces are mandated to develop multi-agency and multi-jurisdictional responses to internet offenses against children. This process requires the task forces to provide monetary support to local and state enforcement agencies. The support is used by the respective law enforcement agencies to acquire equipment (including digital forensic tools), knowledge, and personnel that helps communities curb technology-facilitated crimes against children.
ICAC Task Forces work with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) as stipulated in the PROTECT Act. The acronym PROTECT stands for "Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to end the Exploitation of Children Today". According to Section 103 of the Act, the ICAC Task Force program is responsible for:
- Empowering state and local enforcement officers to detect, investigate, and apprehend offenders of technology-facilitated child exploitation offenses.
- Conducting both proactive and reactive internet crimes against children investigations.
- Offering training and technical assistance to ICAC task forces. The training should further extend to other local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies in the areas of forensic, prosecution, community outreach, investigations, and capacity building. The Act further stipulates that the training should be conducted using recognized professionals.
- Ensuring that all internet crimes against children offenses are investigated and prosecuted in both the state and federal courts across the country.
- The task force should ensure that multi-agency task forces are created within each state, and they must respond to internet crimes against children offenses.
- To curb the rate of technology-facilitated sexual exploitation crimes against children by participating in the Department of Justice's Project Safe Childhood initiative.
- Increasing nationwide prompt response to internet crimes against children by collaborating with other task forces, local, state, and federal agencies to investigate and prosecute internet crimes against children offenses.
- Conducting internet crimes against children awareness programs.
- Proactively or re-actively participating in activities that are meant to increase investigations and prosecutions of internet crimes against children.
The ICAC Task Force program has numerous accomplishments in the fight against internet crimes against children since its inception in 2003 but with the increased
ADF software empowers ICAC Task Forces throughout the United States with field-ready computer and mobile forensic software, including Mobile Device Investigator designed for iOS and Android. Authorized organizations can contact us and request a free trial of ADF software.
With roots in fighting child exploitation, ADF Solutions works closely with industry partners which share similar goals, such as Project Vic. ADF is easy to use and can be quickly deployed to the field with Project VIC and CAID hashsets. Investigators can leverage ADF's powerful forensic analysis tools or export to the Griffeye Analyze Platform.