CHILD RESCUE COALITION LAUNCHES APOLLO, FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND SYSTEM, GIVING ACADEMICS ACCESS TO LIVE DATA TO HELP STUDY THE BEHAVIOR OF PREDATORS INVOLVED IN ONLINE CHILD SEXUAL EXPLOITATION
- October 11, 2022
OnlyFans to provide $500,000 grant to develop the innovative technology
BOCA RATON, Fla. (October 11, 2022) — Child Rescue Coalition (CRC), a US-based non-profit, has announced a new initiative to improve the worldwide response to the threat of online child sexual abuse.
CRC has received funding to launch project APOLLO, which aims to better understand the behavior of online offenders, to help develop tools to protect children and support law enforcement investigations globally.
For the first time, academics will be able to use data secured by CRC from public online chat rooms, to analyze conversations between potential offenders with a sexual interest in children. This will deepen understanding of the drivers and motives of offenders, how and where they interact, how they abuse and how they avoid detection.
Research from APOLLO will not only provide valuable insights for online platforms and regulators regarding the technology used to carry out the sexual abuse of children but will also help law enforcement organizations prioritize their investigations.
According to Simon Bailey, Director of Strategic Engagement at CRC, Chair of the Policing Institute for the Eastern Region (PIER), and former National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for child protection, this initiative will help researchers formulate and deliver critical insights to policymakers, regulators, and law enforcement officials around the world who fight against child sexual abuse.
“The internet has given rise to offending and abuse that 20 years ago would have been unimaginable, and the development of end-to-end encryption and the Metaverse is only going to make matters worse. Never has the threat of sexual abuse to children been so great,” said Bailey. “Now, thanks to funding from online platform, OnlyFans, we are lifting the cloak of secrecy that offenders hide behind. For the first time ever, we’re allowing academia to study online chat groups, where people with a sexual interest in children are meeting to discuss child sexual abuse and share child sexual abuse material.”
CRC is a non-profit organization that builds technology for law enforcement around the world to track, arrest and prosecute child sex offenders. During the project, CRC will be working with the Policing Institute for the Eastern Region, which is part of Anglia Ruskin University in the UK. PIER is an applied research institute, which for the last five years has worked with law enforcement and key stakeholders to improve the policing and public protection response to the online threat of child sexual abuse.
Professor Sam Lundrigan, director of PIER, says that the academic community has a critical role to play in child protection.
“This innovative technology will enable our best and brightest academic minds to better understand behaviors linked to those committing these devastating crimes. Through our groundbreaking partnership, we will lead the way in cutting-edge research with real world impact,” said Lundrigan. “We’ve never had access to this kind of data before. Project Apollo will therefore enable us to gather and share insights to share with our partners so that they are better equipped to protect children from online sexual abuse, exploitation, and harm.”
OnlyFans, the subscription social media platform facilitating authentic connections between creators and their fans, are providing a grant for $500,000.00 to CRC to help support the development of the APOLLO technology to combat the distribution of CSAM.
CRC’s powerful technology has been provided free of charge to law enforcement across 97 countries. Because of CRC’s tools, law enforcement has rescued thousands of children from sexual exploitation and abuse and arrested thousands of child sex offenders, often including those in positions of trust.
According to Carly Yoost, CEO and founder of Child Rescue Coalition, expanding the non-profits’ reach to include participation in research is crucial to their mission. “Having our data available for researchers is extremely exciting because our law enforcement partners will benefit from key insights into child sex abusers. This next evolution will continue to allow us to make a difference.”
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About Child Rescue Coalition
Child Rescue Coalition (CRC), a south Florida-based nonprofit organization with global reach, has spent the past decade building the world’s most sophisticated technology to hunt child predators. Through proactive partnerships with law enforcement, the nonprofit’s system has tracked 72 million IP addresses around the world to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse. With a mission of protecting innocence through technology, CRC’s technology has aided in the arrest of more than 14,000 predators and rescued more than 3,000 abused children in the last eight years. For more information, visit childrescuecoalition.org.
About Policing Institute for the Eastern Region at Anglia Ruskin University
PIER is a research institute within Anglia Ruskin University (ARU). Its vision is to improve policing through partnership in applied research, focusing on three areas – sexual offending, 21st century policing and extremism and counterterrorism. Its mission is to lead world class research, innovation and impact to improve policing practice.
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