afternoon. It is an honor to be here with so many
friends and colleagues. My thanks to the Attorney
General for inviting me here today.
you reach a certain age, you start to see the world
in terms of "before" and "after."
Certain historical or social events often serve as
markers in our lives...as points after which things
are never quite the same, for better or for worse.
September 11, the assassination of President Kennedy,
the fall of the Berlin Wall, even the Red Sox winning
the World Seriesmoments that divide our lives
into a "before" and an "after."
creation and subsequent explosion of the Internet
is one such marker, both for better and for worse.
With more than one billion people around the world
routinely online, the Internet has become an integral
part of our daily lives. It has dramatically enhanced
the way we communicate, the way we learn, and the
way we work.
New York Times columnist Tom Friedman wrote
in his best-selling book "The World is Flat,"
the Internet has leveled the playing field, creating
a convergence of people, places, knowledge, and information.
We have gone global as individuals.
there is a dark side to this globalization. Just as
international travel has hastened the spread of disease,
information technology has hastened the spread of
crime and terrorism. Criminals are making ready use
of the Internet, from computer intrusions to money
laundering. Terrorists around the world are recruiting,
training, and planning attacks, armed only with laptops
and Internet access.
one of the most insidious uses of the Internet is
for child sexual exploitation. An increasing amount
of this exploitation takes place in the dark shadows
of the Interneton websites and message boards,
through file sharing and e-mail, and in real time
with web cams and streaming video.
is no justification for this crime, whether political,
ideological, or financial. And there can be no tolerance
and no retreat on our part. We cannot and will not
rest until these predators are shut down and locked
up. That is why coordinated efforts like Project Safe
Childhood are so important.
I want to talk about what we in the FBI are doing
to attack child exploitation on the Internet. I want
to touch on what we must do to meet your needs in
terms of evidence collection and prosecution. Lastly,
I want to talk about the role of both parents and
the private sector in addressing this scourge.
of our most important programs is the Innocent Images
National Initiative, which for 10 years has targeted
sexual predators who use the Internet to exploit children.
We have ongoing undercover operations across the country,
with more than 240 agents who investigate cases with
their state and local counterparts.
any given day, these investigators may pose as children
to lure online predators into the open. They may pose
as collectors seeking to share images through peer-to-peer
networks. They may coordinate with the National Center
for Missing and Exploited Children to identify children
and adults featured in child pornography. Or they
may train police officers to investigate cases in
their own jurisdictions.
there is no shortage of work in this arena. Our case
load has spiked from just 113 cases in 1996 to more
than 2,100 this year.
heightened scrutiny in the United States, child pornographers
are going further underground, using file-sharing
networks and encrypted websites. They are concealing
their financial mechanisms through a maze of online
payment services, using stolen credit cards. They
are traveling to foreign countries to exploit minors.
They are victimizing more children, in more ways,
at younger and younger ages.
Nevertheless, we have convicted nearly 6,000 child
predators in the last 10 years.
one instance, agents in Chicago searched a predator's
residence and found a customized computer with five
hard drives and several external drives. They seized
more than a terabyte of digital data-the equivalent
of more than one million paperback books. This man
has been sentenced to 20 years in prison not only
for distributing pornography, but for manufacturing
images of his own, including the victimization of
a minor living with him.
another such case, a cyber agent traced images downloaded
from a file-sharing network to a man in the Pittsburgh
area. Together, agents and members of the High Tech
Crimes Task Force seized more than 2,500 images of
highly graphic child pornography, housed everywhere
from the subject's computer to DVDs to his Apple iPod.
cases are significant not just because of the amount
of material seized, but because of our collaboration
with state and local counterparts.
coordination is not limited to the national level.
Police officers from Britain, Australia, Belarus,
Thailand, and the Philippines, among others, work
with agents and analysts on the Innocent Images International
Task Force in Calverton, Maryland.
international partners know the language, the customs,
and the cultures of their home countries. Today, information
that once took weeks or even months to relay can be
exchanged simply by walking across the room. Together,
we have convicted a number of child predators around
example, in October, Ukrainian investigators arrested
the father of a young girl featured on a pornographic
website. The father had received money and gifts in
exchange for allowing his daughter to be sexually
abused on camera. This investigation started in Denmark,
and spread to Ukraine and the United States. It was
a Ukrainian police officer, a member of the task force,
who played a key part in capturing this criminal and
shutting down this website.
pornography is a global threat that requires a global
response. We have no choice but to work together.
It is not just a matter of preference, but of necessity.
as these cases illustrate, identifying child predators
is only part of the equation. We must also collect
the evidence necessary to convict them. Our Regional
Computer Forensics Labs and our Computer Analysis
Response Teams work with federal, state, and local
officials to find and preserve this vital evidence.
this year, RCFL examiners working with the San Diego
Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force targeted
an international ring of child molesters, who distributed
photos and videos over the Internet. These individuals
victimized at least 45 children, including 37 children
from the United States, ranging in age from 2 to 14.
Twenty-five individuals in Europe and North America
were arrested and tried for their involvement. Examiners
spent more than 500 hours collecting the evidence
necessary to put these men away.
such cases are all too common. In the past five years,
RCFL and CART examiners have conducted more than 28,000
examinations. As the number of computer crimes we
investigate has increased, so has the need for computer
is always a struggle to square priorities and improve
services with limited resources. But we must find
a way to balance our forensic needs in counterterrorism,
counterintelligence, and computer intrusion cases
with an ever-increasing need for such analysis in
child exploitation cases. To meet that need, we have
trained more than 10,000 law enforcement officers
to handle digital forensic evidence.
Scan is one of our most sought-after training courses.
This program enables investigators to identify, isolate,
and store images from a suspect's computer on a thumb
drive. We provided Image Scan training to more than
1,600 state and local task force officers this past
year, enabling them to collect data necessary to obtain
search warrants, or to detain subjects pending a more
comprehensive analysis. Next year, with the DOJ's
Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section,
we will train our international partners in Brazil,
Budapest, and Canada, to name just a few.
giving cyber investigators the tools they need, we
are reducing our backlog and leaving more complex
matters for the CART teams and the RCFLs. We know
there is a real need for additional training, faster
services, and better coordination, and we will continue
to expand these efforts in the years to come.
want to talk for just a moment about the importance
of community outreach and private sector partnerships.
of our joband an integral part of Project Safe
Childhoodis to educate the public about child
exploitation. The Internet has provided child predators
with a sense of anonymity and their products a worldwide
portability. These are not mere pictures or posed
shots, but live acts of molestation. And as predators
become desensitized, those who once collected images
may start to create images, seeking to harm younger
children, in more terrifying ways.
cyber agents routinely meet with members of the community
to talk about Internet safety. Parents may not understand
the dangers lurking in cyber space, or what they are
doing to put themselves and their children at risk.
A parent may see a web cam as an easy and inexpensive
way for a child to communicate with friends or relatives,
but a predator sees it as an open window into a child's
field offices around the country, agents are teaching
parents the tactics used by predators and the risks
of peer-to-peer file-sharing networks, instant messaging,
and social networking sites.
are also working with the media to get the message
out. Our Endangered Child Alert Program uses national
and international media exposure to identify unknown
predators and victims. Through publicity on the FBI
website and the television show "America's Most
Wanted," we have identified and arrested eight
predators. More importantly, we have identified more
than 30 child victims.
another effort, just over one year ago, Oprah Winfrey
began to feature known sexual predators on her television
show and to post their faces and identifying information
on her website. She is offering $100,000 out of her
own pocket for each predator brought into custody.
Within the first week, two fugitives were arrested.
Since then, two more predators have been taken into
have also enlisted the help of our private sector
partners. We have asked Internet service providers
and search engine operators to monitor their websites,
and to alert us when they discover illegal content.
in law enforcement face another hurdle in purging
predators from the Internetand that hurdle is
tracking both the criminal and the crime. As the Attorney
General has said, data linking criminals to their
crimes is absolutely essential in the fight against
online child exploitation. We are working with Internet
service providers to retain records of online activities
so that we can identify predators and their activities
and successfully prosecute them.
in this room has seen violence and injustice. But
there are few things more difficult to bear than the
victimization of a child. These cases are horrific,
heartrending, and seemingly endless in number.
this conference, we reaffirm our commitment to protecting
the most vulnerable among us. We reaffirm our commitment
to sweeping sexual predators off the street, off the
Internet, and out of our children's lives.
closing, I want to say a word about those of you who
investigate and prosecute these cases. You deserve
our respect, our admiration, and our gratitude. You
have seen the darkest side of humanity. But this is
some of the most important work we do.
sincere thanks to all of you, to the special agents,
police officers, forensic examiners, and prosecutors
who are here today, and to Ernie Allen of the National
Center for Missing and Exploited Children. You truly
define advocacy, dedication, and diligence.
you and God bless.