Bat­tle against child preda­tors gets dig­i­tal boost

Water­loo com­pany joins forces with U.S.-based Child Res­cue Coali­tion

The Sault Star - - NATIONAL NEWS - JANE STEVEN­SON jsteven­son@postmedia.com

Child Res­cue Coali­tion is an in­te­gral part­ner to law en­force­ment in the global fight to stop child sex­ual ex­ploita­tion.”

Mag­net Foren­sics founder Jad Sal­iba

The war against child preda­tors in North Amer­ica just got a new dig­i­tal weapon.

Water­loo’s Mag­net Foren­sics has teamed up with U.S.-based Child Res­cue Coali­tion (CRC) to com­bat the rise in child sex­ual ex­ploita­tion crimes.

Mag­net Foren­sics, which is a leader in dig­i­tal in­ves­ti­ga­tion soft­ware glob­ally, will work with CRC, a non­profit group work­ing to fight the sex­ual abuse of chil­dren, to help find and con­vict child preda­tors and res­cue their vic­tims.

The part­ner­ship, which came to­gether on the rec­om­men­da­tion of the na­tional po­lice forces in Canada and the U.K., will see Mag­net Foren­sics do­nate funds to CRC over sev­eral years.

“Child Res­cue Coali­tion is an in­te­gral part­ner to law en­force­ment in the global fight to stop child sex­ual ex­ploita­tion,” Mag­net Foren­sics founder Jad Sal­iba said in a state­ment. “We at Mag­net Foren­sics are proud to part­ner with Child Res­cue Coali­tion and sup­port their op­er­a­tions as we share a com­mon mis­sion of keep­ing chil­dren safe from sex­ual ex­ploita­tion and bring­ing per­pe­tra­tors of these ter­ri­ble crimes to jus­tice.”

Stat­sCan re­ported 6,245 child sex­ual abuse of­fences in 2016, up from 4,380 the pre­vi­ous year, and

a 233 per cent rise in such crimes over the last decade. The Cana­dian Cen­tre for Child Pro­tec­tion also says 78 per cent of the con­tent they saw fea­tured chil­dren un­der the age of 12 and 63 per cent of those kids were un­der the age of eight.

The CRC says each year, more than 300,000 chil­dren are abused in the U.S. alone and preda­tors are us­ing cell phones, so­cial me­dia, and chat ap­pli­ca­tions in their sick prac­tise of tar­get­ing chil­dren.

Last week, Toronto Po­lice, work­ing with author­i­ties in the U.K. and the U.S., ar­rested 153 men in 10 coun­tries, in­clud­ing Canada, for the on­line sex­ual abuse of chil­dren, some as young as 10 months old.

Project Mer­cury, as the mas­sive, years-long, in­ter­na­tional in­ves­ti­ga­tion was dubbed, also saw the res­cue of 17 chil­dren.

In some cases, the abuse was not only recorded and dis­trib­uted but live streamed on­line where the preda­tors “could ac­tively par­tic­i­pate, en­cour­age and di­rect the sex­ual abuse of these chil­dren,” a po­lice spokesman said, adding that prac­tice is on the rise, glob­ally.

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