Additional ResourcesChild Exploitation and Obscenity Section Criminal Division
U.S. Department of Justice
1331 F Street NW., Sixth Floor
Washington, DC 20004
The Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) of the Criminal Division, U.S. Department of Justice, has supervisory responsibility for Federal statutes covering obscenity, child exploitation, child sexual abuse, activities under the Mann Act, sex tourism, missing and abducted children, and child support recovery. Created in 1987, CEOS is a specialized section composed of attorneys with broad expertise in prosecuting obscenity, child exploitation, and child abuse. CEOS's jurisdiction is limited to the enforcement of Federal statutes. Section attorneys work with U.S. Attorneys on child services. They also provide training, both domestically and internationally, for prosecutors, judges, attorneys, law enforcement agencies, and victim services systems. CEOS attorneys advise task forces on missing and abducted children, child abuse, sex offender recidivism and registration, and youth placement. CEOS works with victim-witness offices of the U.S. Attorney's offices.
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Innocent Images National Initiative identifies and develops prosecutable cases against individuals who use bulletin board systems to victimize children. FBI agents and task force officers, who pose as young children or sexual predators, go online to investigate those individuals who recruit minors into illicit sexual relationships, electronically distribute pornographic images of children, or post illegal images on the Internet. Additionally, the FBI has special agents serving as Crimes Against Children Coordinators. These agents receive special training and are able to access FBI resources to assist local law enforcement.
National Center for Missing and
A clearinghouse of information on missing and exploited children, NCMEC operates a 24-hour hotline and child pornography tipline and provides a wide range of free services, including technical case assistance, link and pattern analysis on cases, forensic assistance, training programs, and educational material and publications. NCMEC also offers the CyberTipline. Parents or children can file a report by completing and submitting an online form that is reviewed by an Exploited Child Unit information analyst and submitted to law enforcement, including the FBI, the U.S. Customs Service, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
U.S. Customs Service
Cyber Smuggling Center
The Cyber Smuggling Center's main focus is to patrol the Internet for signs of the illegal importation and proliferation of child pornography or of the sexual exploitation of children. The center conducts all Internet investigations from a central location. The U.S. Customs Service also maintains child exploitation coordinators in its regional offices who may be contacted for assistance in these types of investigations.
U.S. Postal Inspection Service
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service, often working with agencies such as CEOS and NCMEC, conducts undercover operations to investigate individuals who use the Internet or a bulletin board service to exchange pornography or who correspond with others who do the same. In some undercover operations, postal inspectors contact suspects via computer networks and the Internet. Individuals who use the U.S. mail for the actual exchange of material or for initial contact are subject to investigation and prosecution.
SEARCH Group, Inc.
SEARCH Group, Inc., is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the criminal justice system through better information management and the effective application of information and identification technology. Located in Sacramento, CA, SEARCH Group, Inc., offers several training courses to assist law enforcement officers to effectively respond to online crimes against children.