Stepping Out of the Shadows: Leveraging the Community to Stop the Sexual Exploitation of Minors [open pdf - 421KB]
From the thesis Abstract: "The online transmission of child pornography has exploded in recent years, and law enforcement does not have the resources to stop it. This thesis seeks to determine the advantages and disadvantages of using citizen volunteers to help investigate child sexual abuse material (CSAM). Specifically, it investigates whether incorporating civilians into certain aspects of CSAM investigations could assist law enforcement in filling gaps in resources needed to ensure all recovered images be fully investigated in less time. To test the hypothesis that creating opportunities for civilians to assist law enforcement will positively impact law enforcement's ability to investigate CSAM offenses, this thesis uses policy analysis to compare three policyoption alternatives. The results confirm the hypothesis by demonstrating that incorporating skilled civilian volunteers into a national volunteer program is an effective option to assist law enforcement in CSAM investigations. These results suggest law enforcement and policy makers should establish a national volunteer program that allows skilled volunteers to assist law enforcement agencies around the nation in certain time-consuming or technically complex aspects of investigations. Doing so opens up resources to law enforcement agencies and provides much-needed assistance to investigators while allowing volunteers meaningful opportunities to use their skills and time to combat the sexual exploitation of children."
Naval Postgraduate School, Dudley Knox Library: https://calhoun.nps.edu/