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Fighting Internet-based exploitation of children

Professor Brian Levine, Research Scientist Marc Liberatore, and researchers within the Center for Forensics continue their work on forensic analysis to directly assist law enforcement agencies that investigate network trafficking of images of child sexual exploitation. In the 12 months from April 2012 to April 2013, their project with federal and state law enforcement has resulted in the rescue of more than 100 children from sexually abusive situations, and more than 1,400 arrests for child pornography possession. Since the start of the project in 2009, there have been 4,546 arrests.

The group's work was referenced in a New York Times Magazine article, "The Price of a Stolen Childhood," published in January, 2013. In June, Levine gave a keynote address, "Fighting Internet-based Sexual Exploitation Crimes Against Children," at the 2013 USENIX 6th International Systems and Storage (SYSTOR) Conference in Haifa, Israel. A publication on this research, "Measurement and Analysis of Child Pornography Trafficking on P2P Networks," co-authored by Levine, Liberatore, Ryan Hurley, Swagatika Prusty, Hamed Soroush, Robert Walls, Jeannie Albrecht, Emmanuel Cecchet, Brian Lynn, and Janis Wolak, was chosen as Runner Up for the Best Paper Award at the 22nd International World Wide Web Conference (WWW 2013). In 2012, Levine gave an invited testimony to the U.S. Sentencing Commission hearing in Washington, D.C. on "Federal Child Pornography Offenses." More on their project can be found at forensics.umass.edu.