The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the execution of seizure warrants against 10 websites that engaged in the advertisement and distribution of child pornography.
The new program is part of a new attempt by DHS, DOJ and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to limit child pornography on the Internet. The new joint task force program is called Operation Protect Our Children.
“Each year, far too many children fall prey to sexual predators and all too often, these heinous acts are recorded in photos and on video and released on the Internet,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. “DHS is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to shut down websites that promote child pornography to protect these children from further victimization.”
The Internet has been lauded as a great invention that has brought folks together around the globe, but the World Wide Web dark-side has also given birth to numerous child pornography outlets- making it easier for perverts to explore their vial urges.
“For all its positive impact, the Internet has also unfortunately created a new way for child predators to commit their inexcusable crimes,” said Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division. “The production and distribution of child pornography wreak havoc on innocent lives. With these domain seizures, we are taking our fight against child pornography to websites that facilitate the exchange of these abusive images.”
The joint task force was spearheaded by ICE’s Cyber Crimes Center (C3). The nationwide ICE initiative sets out to identify, investigate and arrest those who prey on children. Those attempting to access the seized websites will find a banner telling them the website has been seized by federal authorities.
“Operation Protect Our Children” leverages the resources of ICE Homeland Security Investigations, DOJ’s Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) and the DOJ Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section to investigate and prepare seizure warrants against websites who post any kind of child pornography.
ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and suspicious activity on its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children crimes may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678 or visit their website at http://www.cybertipline.com
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