Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $500,000)
To build the capacity of ICAC Task Forces and investigators to address technology-facilitated child sexual exploitation, Zero Abuse will implement the Specialized Forensics and Technology Training Project (Project). The Project will provide experiential, skill-based training on specialized topics related to forensics and emerging technologies. Zero Abuse will serve as the lead for the Project and will work in collaboration with Magnet Forensics, Excelsior Creative, and Zero Abuse’s Advisory Board for Excellence in Child Abuse Investigation and Prosecution.
Zero Abuse and Project partners will develop and deliver the five new in-person, experiential training courses detailed below, and deliver them twice:
Computer and Cell Phone Forensics for Child Exploitation Investigators will equip investigators with cutting-edge forensic techniques. It will include the detailed simulation of realistic forensic artifacts and offender digital profiles in order to immediately apply forensic concepts to lifelike child exploitation case studies.
CyberTip Triage and Open Source Intelligence will provide practical techniques to navigate the explosion of CyberTip reports and highlight OSINT methods to quickly identify high-risk suspects with imminent access to children.
Cryptocurrency, Child Exploitation, and Dark Web Investigations will convey the intricacies of digital currencies and the dark web to increase participants’ knowledge of emerging trends in anonymized CSAM offenses.
Forensic Interviewing in Technology-Facilitated Crimes will include an overview of the dynamics specific to technology-facilitated child sexual exploitation and how information about the use of digital devices can be used in a forensic interview without compromising the admissibility of the child’s statement.
Search Warrants and Digital Evidence Seizure will walk investigators and prosecutors through every step of the investigative process, from the development of probable cause through the service and execution of search warrants. Participants will be trained on the seizure of remotely stored data and best practices when using law enforcement portals to serve legal process and collect evidence.
The team will also develop and deliver eight technology-focused webinars to build foundational knowledge on each topic, as well as provide concrete and immediately-applicable skills.