Tags: Cybersecurity | Health Topics | Law Enforcement | internet | ip

Ripping the Cloak of Anonymity from Child Abusers

the dark web

(Ignasi Ruiz/Dreamstime)

By with Michael R. Shannon Saturday, 25 July 2020 05:49 AM Current | Bio | Archive

In an otherwise unremarkable office park in Boca Raton, Florida there resides an organization that is making it much harder for child abusers and child pornography consumers to hide in the shadows of the seamy "underbelly of the internet."

NBC News tell us of the Child Rescue Coalition that has freely supplied law enforcement organizations worldwide with software that tracks computer IP addresses that are used to download child abuse images and video.

"The Child Rescue Coalition gives its technology for free to law enforcement agencies, and it is used by about 8,500 investigators in all 50 states. It's used in 95 other countries, including Canada, the U.K. and Brazil. Since 2010, the nonprofit has trained about 12,000 law enforcement investigators globally."

Dennis Nicewander, an assistant state attorney in Broward County, Florida testifies to the software’s value to law enforcement. "[The Child Protection System] has had a bigger effect for us than any tool anyone has ever created. It's been huge. They have made it so automated and simple that the guys are just sitting there waiting to be arrested."

In Broward County alone over 200 cases have been prosecuted.

The origin of the organization and the software is the story of a victim of child abuse who fought back. Hank Asher was subject to physical and verbal abuse from his father and according to his son, that motivated him to try and "rid the world of bullies and people who picked on women and children."

Asher founded several data collection and aggregation companies. In 2009 Asher invited law enforcement investigators to work with his team of developers and they built the Child Protection System.

The system searches the internet for images of abuse that have already been cataloged as illegal. As Glen Pounder, the chief operating officer of the coalition, explained, "It's not a teenage boy sending a picture of his girlfriend. Every single one of the files we track is illegal worldwide."

Once a download trips the system, the coalition is able to trace the path of the image to the individual IP address of the computer that downloaded it. Naturally civil libertarians object. They term it "mass surveillance," claiming  "Tools like this hand a great deal of power and discretion to the government. There need to be really strong checks and safeguards.

Which is the usual kneejerk boilerplate objection that ignores the facts of the situation. When an image causes an IP address to be flagged, that is just the start of the process. As Bill Wiltse President of the CRC explains, "Our system is not open-and-shut evidence of a case. It's for probable cause."

The evidence is then taken to a judge who examines it and only then issues a search warrant for the computer. And that’s why, "Every Fourth Amendment challenge of the use of the technology has failed in federal court."

We think Hank Asher is a child protection hero and the Child Rescue Coalition that he established deserves the support of parents globally.

Michael Reagan, the eldest son of President Reagan, is a Newsmax TV analyst. A syndicated columnist and author, he chairs The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Michael is an in-demand speaker with Premiere speaker’s bureau. Read Michael Reagan's Reports — More Here.

Michael R. Shannon is a commentator, researcher for the League of American Voters, and an award-winning political and advertising consultant with nationwide and international experience. He is author of "Conservative Christian’s Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with added humor!)". Read Michael Shannon's Reports — More Here.

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The Child Rescue Coalition that has freely supplied law enforcement organizations worldwide with software that tracks computer IP addresses that are used to download child abuse images and video.
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2020-49-25
Saturday, 25 July 2020 05:49 AM
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