Protecting Children Worldwide: HSI’s Strategy for Preventing Online Child Exploitation

Girl with smartphone

During the 2015 International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) annual conference in Chicago, Illinois, law enforcement executives and senior leaders from departments and agencies around the world gathered to collaborate, exchange ideas, and share best practices to address the continually evolving challenges they face. These collaborators solidified, renewed, and established relationships during the meetings that will be essential in confronting the myriad threats that continue to face law enforcement around the globe. In addition to more traditional law enforcement concerns, executives in both large and small jurisdictions now confront the constantly evolving threat of cybercrime, and the accelerated rate of technological advancements exacerbates and amplifies this threat. Malicious actors can use these advancements to commit crimes that cross multiple jurisdictions and instantaneously reach across not only state boundaries, but also national borders through the click of a mouse, a few simple keystrokes, or the swipe of a smart device.

To confront this new reality effectively, law enforcement agencies must collaborate. No single agency, regardless of its size and resources, can afford to forge ahead alone. More than ever before, joint federal, state, and local agency cooperation is paramount. At U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), responding to and preventing cybercrime is a top priority. Each of the nearly 7,000 special agents deployed throughout the United States and around the world understands that working cooperatively with federal, state, local, and international partners is the only way to effectively and efficiently address the growing threat of cybercrime. Nowhere is this sense of teamwork more important than in the continued relentless pursuit of those who seek to sexually exploit children through the use of the Internet.