Tuesday, December 5, 2017

YouTube to boost moderator team preventing child exploitation videos

By Ben Lovejoy

Following reports of sexualised videos of children attracting hundreds of comments from suspected pedophiles, YouTube has announced that it will be boosting its content moderator team to 10,000 people – but only by the end of 2018. The current team is reported to be around 8,000 people.

A Times investigation first uncovered the scale of the problem eleven days ago, with volunteer flaggers claiming that YouTube wasn’t taking the problem seriously …

YouTube, part of one of the most valuable enterprises in the world, gave them no help, according to one of the flaggers who spoke to The Times anonymously.

YouTube’s initial response was to acknowledge that it needed to do more to tackle the problem through both machine-learning and additional human resources.

A few days later, the company said that it had removed 150,000 videos, turned off comments on 625,000 more and terminated 270 accounts.

In a new blog post last night, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki announced the additional measures the company would be taking.

We will continue the significant growth of our teams into next year, with the goal of bringing the total number of people across Google working to address content that might violate our policies to over 10,000 in 2018.

At the same time, we are expanding the network of academics, industry groups and subject matter experts who we can learn from and support to help us better understand emerging issues.

We will use our cutting-edge machine learning more widely to allow us to quickly and efficiently remove content that violates our guidelines.

Wojcicki said that machine-learning had already shown ‘tremendous progress’ in tackling extremist content, and that the company had begun training AI systems to detect videos that may impact child safety, though Buzzfeed notes that the challenge here may be greater.

It’s unclear whether machine learning can adequately catch and limit disturbing children’s content — much of which is creepy in ways that may be difficult for a moderation algorithm to discern.

Part of the issue comprises videos uploaded by children, which may be innocent in intent, but which attract creepy comments and worse from pedophiles.

Screenshots show how one YouTube user left dozens of inappropriate comments on videos posted by boys aged between seven and 14.

“Send me the 2 minute naked wrestling match private,” the user wrote. “And I will tell you everything you need to know to grow your channel. I wanna see u naked. It feels awesome to be naked on YouTube, try it bro.”

The blog post says that YouTube is also ramping up its team of ad reviewers to ensure advertising doesn’t appear alongside or within inappropriate videos.

We believe this requires a new approach to advertising on YouTube, carefully considering which channels and videos are eligible for advertising. We are planning to apply stricter criteria, conduct more manual curation, while also significantly ramping up our team of ad reviewers to ensure ads are only running where they should.

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Atrocities on kids rise in Assam

Guwahati: Assam has reported a three-fold increase in the number of cases relating to crimes against children between 2014 and 2016. Nearly 75 per cent of these were kidnapping cases.

According to the Crime in India 2016 report of National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) released by Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday, the number of cases related to crime against children increased from 1,385 in 2014 to 2,385 in 2015 and 3,964 in 2016.

Tripura reported 369 cases, followed by Meghalaya (213), Mizoram (178), Manipur (137), Arunachal Pradesh (134) and Nagaland (25). The report said of the 3,964 cases reported in Assam last year, 2,970 were kidnapping cases followed by murders (35).

With the region prone to trafficking, 1,519 cases of abduction related to procurement of minor girls, followed by 676 cases in which minor girls were kidnapped and forced into marriage. The state reported 32 cases of trafficking and another 31 cases relating to kidnapping for prostitution.

Save the Children, an NGO, blamed poor implementation of the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS), slow progress of trial and poor enforcement of the laws. "If child protection committees are set up in each village, block and the district as stipulated by ICPS, crimes against children will come down. This will help us keep a database of children and keep watch on crimes against them too. Similarly, criminals like those involved in trafficking rackets are taking advantage of the improved communication like mobile networks to take their targets out easily," project coordinator of Save the Children in Assam, Deba Prasad Sarma, said.

He stressed the need for a state-level action plan to check crimes against children.

Chiranjeeb Kakoty, director of Northeast Society for Promotion of Youth and the Masses (NESPYM), another NGO here, however, said many cases of kidnapping could be cases of elopement. "As soon as a girl goes missing, parents immediately lodge a missing complaint in a police station and in most cases a kidnapping case is also registered. But during investigation, it has often been found that the girl had eloped. Kidnapping and trafficking are serious issues but a large chunk of such kidnappings are mutual elopement," he said.

The NCRB report also revealed 821 cases of sexual offence against children in Assam in 2016 of which 586 were rape cases. Mizoram reported 167 cases followed by Tripura (156), Meghalaya (151), Manipur (43) and Nagaland (27). The cases were registered under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012.

The number of cases of juveniles in conflict, however, came down to 436 in 2016 against 487 in 2014 and 624 in 2015. Meghalaya reported 84 cases involving juveniles. The figure was 57 in Arunachal Pradesh, followed by Mizoram (53), Tripura (25), Nagaland (18) and Manipur (10).

Source - The Telegraph

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Monday, December 4, 2017

UNICEF highlights child online safety at World Internet Conference

Source: Xinhua

WUZHEN, Zhejiang, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- Four sculptures stood in great contrast to the advanced technology on display in Wuzhen Internet International Conference and Exhibition Center; however, they attracted just as much, if not more, attention from visitors.

The "Cyber Cocoon Kids" art installation, presented by UNICEF China at the on-going World Internet Conference, shows the four key online risks for children: cyberbullying, excessive internet use, online child sexual abuse and oversharing personal information.

Artist Xie Yong and creative director Kevin Wang came up with the concept of "Cyber Cocoon Kids" to represent the potential isolation that can occur when children inhabit a cyber world that parents and caregivers do not fully understand.

"Protecting children online is a vital issue in internet governance, and also closely linked to the Sustainable Development Goals," said Fatoumata Ndiaye, UNICEF deputy executive director.

At the conference, UNICEF also co-hosted a Child Online Safety Forum bringing global experts to share learning, experience and practice in this area.

"The internet offers children access to a whole world of possibilities to learn, connect and play," said Rana Flowers, UNICEF Representative to China. "As policy makers, digital industry representatives or as parents and caregivers, we need to protect children from the worst that digital technology has to offer and expand their access to the best."

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Sunday, December 3, 2017

INTERPOL - Trafficking in human beings

Trafficking in human beings is a multi-billion-dollar form of international organized crime, constituting modern-day slavery.

Victims are recruited and trafficked between countries and regions using deception or coercion. They are stripped of their autonomy, freedom of movement and choice, and face various forms of physical and mental abuse.

There are three main types of human trafficking:

Trafficking for forced labour;Trafficking for sexual exploitation;Trafficking for the harvesting of tissue, cells and organs.People smuggling

Closely connected is the issue of people smuggling in which smugglers procure, for financial or material gain, the illegal entry of an individual into a country of which he is neither a citizen nor a permanent resident. Generally speaking, once payment is completed, the relationship between the migrant and the smuggler is terminated.

Irregular migration is not a new issue, but is one that has taken on new proportions in recent years, especially in the Mediterranean region. Transnational organized crime groups are taking advantage of this crisis in order to make huge profits. They facilitate the passage of migrants across borders in return for payment, with little or no regard for their safety and wellbeing.

Linked to people smuggling and human trafficking are other crimes such as illicit money flows and the use of fraudulent travel documents.

INTERPOL's response

Trafficking in human beings is a crime under international law and many national and regional legal systems. Given the complexities of the issue, a multitude of strategies are necessary at a range of levels in order to reduce the problem.

Operations and projects – concrete action in the field to dismantle human trafficking networks;INTERPOL tools – technical tools and systems for sharing information globally;Partnerships – strengthening our approach by working across sectors;Events and conferences – bringing together experts from across the world.

We have collated a number of resources covering general information, international legislation, and law enforcement guides and manuals.

Operations:

At INTERPOL, we support national police in tactical deployments in the field, aimed at breaking up the criminal networks behind trafficking in human beings and people smuggling.

Operations are preceded by training workshops to ensure that officers on the ground are trained in a range of skills, including specialist interview techniques and the use of specialized equipment.

Deployments effectively combine police action with input from a number of different sectors such as customs and environmental officers, non-governmental organizations, officials from the Ministries of Health and Social Affairs, and prosecutors.

1. Forced child labour.
2. Smuggling Training Operation Programme (STOP)

A number of operations have targeted forced child labour in Africa.

Operation Akoma (2015)

More than 150 children, aged between five and 16, were rescued following operations in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana targeting child trafficking and exploitation. The ongoing operation has so far led to the arrest of 25 people involved in forcing the children to work in extreme conditions, seriously jeopardizing their health.

Focused on the agricultural and trade sectors, the operations were run in partnership with the International Organization for Migration.

More than 250 officials representing law enforcement, government, immigration, forestry, social and medical services, were trained prior to the operation. Training covered the identification of cases and ensuring rescued children received the necessary care before eventually being returned to safety.

Read the Operation Akoma media release (22 June 2015)

Operation Nawa (2014)

In an operation against child trafficking and exploitation, law enforcement authorities in Côte d’Ivoire rescued 76 children believed to have been trafficked across West Africa for the purposes of illegal child labour.

Some 170 Ivorian law enforcement officers participated in Operation Nawa, in which gendarmes, police and forestry agents targeted cacao fields and illegal gold mines in five areas across the Soubré region. With the majority of the suspected child trafficking victims believed to originate from Burkina Faso and Mali, the operation led to the arrest and sentencing of eight traffickers (five men and three women).

Read the Operation Nawa media release (4 April 2014)

Operation Tuy (2012)

Nearly 400 victims of child trafficking were rescued across Burkina Faso in an operation coordinated by INTERPOL.

The children, some as young as 10 years old, were discovered working under extreme conditions in illegally-operated gold mines and cotton fields. More than 70 individuals were arrested for child trafficking and labour offences.

Read the Operation Tuy media release (22 November 2012)

Operation Bia (2011)

In an operation codenamed Bia II, INTERPOL joined forces with national authorities in Ghana to rescue child victims of forced labour.

The children, aged from five to 17 had been trafficked from other parts of the country to work on fishing boats, often up to 14 hours a day. Ghana’s police rescued 116 children and arrested 30 suspected traffickers, 28 of whom were later sentenced in court for exposing children to danger and engaging minors in hazardous activities.

Read the Operation Bia II media release (25 May 2011)

Operation Bana (2010)

Police in Gabon rescued more than 140 children who had been trafficked from 10 different countries to work as forced labour in local markets, in an INTERPOL-led operation codenamed Bana.

Some 44 people were arrested in the operation, which was the first operation of its kind in Central Africa. During the operation, teams of officials carried out checks at market stalls in the capital city Libreville, where children as young as six years old were working in a variety of roles, from carrying heavy goods to selling products.

Read the Operation Bana media release (20 December 2010)

Operation Cascades (2010)

More than 100 suspected child trafficking victims were identified and taken into care and 11 individuals arrested, following an operation led by police in Burkina Faso and supported by INTERPOL. Dozens more children were also returned to their families following child labour investigations.

During the three-day operation, police officers checked highways linking Burkina Faso’s capital to other regions in the country and to adjoining countries, and also raided illegally-operated gold mining quarries in the Cascades region.

Read the Operation Cascades media release (5 November 2010)

Operation Bia (2009)

INTERPOL's first-ever police operation targeting child trafficking in West Africa resulted in the rescue of more than 50 child workers and the arrest of eight people in connection with the illegal recruitment of children. The children were of seven different nationalities – demonstrating the extent of transnational child trafficking in the region – and had been bought by plantation owners needing cheap labour to harvest the cocoa and palm plantations. The children were discovered working under extreme conditions, forced to carry massive loads seriously jeopardizing their health. 

Read the Operation Bia news story (3 August 2009)

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79 alleged child predators have been arrested across New Jersey:

TRENTON, N.J. (WPVI) --

A total of 79 alleged child predators have been arrested across New Jersey.

Attorney General Christopher Porrino announced the massive roundup of predators and child pornography offenders on Friday.

Among those accused include a camp counselor, a youth minister and several adults who allegedly tried to have children transported across state lines for the purposes of sex.

The attorney general has a strong message for those engaging in these disturbing acts.

"If you're lurking in a chat room looking to exploit a child, our investigators are lurking alongside you," Porrino said.

The roundup was part of Operation Safety Net.

Those arrested were identified as:

William Esker, 22, of Bayonne, N.J., was charged on Sept. 7 by the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office with aggravated criminal sexual contact for allegedly engaging in sexual conduct with a girl, 14, over whom he had direct supervision as a camp counselor. He also is charged with providing obscene material to a child and endangering the welfare of a child.

Donald Beckwith, 34, of Browns Mills, N.J., is charged in Delaware with sexual solicitation of a minor and attempt to commit unlawful sexual contact with a minor. Beckwith, a captain in the Air Force stationed in New Jersey, met a girl, 14, through an online chat group for children and allegedly engaged her in sexual conversations, ultimately asking her to meet him in person. He allegedly met the girl twice in Delaware. The first time, he allegedly reached under her shirt and tried to touch her breast, and the second time he allegedly hugged her and repeatedly asked her to lie on a bed in the back of his vehicle and watch a movie with him. The New Jersey State Police arrested Beckwith on Aug. 16 in an investigation initiated by the Delaware State Police. Detectives allegedly found over 10 nude images of an underage girl on his phone.

Michael DeBlock, 22, of Hopatcong, N.J., a youth minister, was arrested on Oct. 10 and charged by the Sussex County Prosecutor's Office with possession of child pornography and conveying obscene materials to a child. DeBlock allegedly exchanged sexual photos and texts with a girl, 14, including a photo of his penis.

Brandon Morris, 24, of Hammonton, N.J., was arrested on Oct. 17 and charged by the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office with manufacturing child pornography, endangering the welfare of a child by sexual conduct, conveying obscene materials to a child, and possession of child pornography. Morris allegedly engaged multiple underage girls in conversations on FaceTime, instructing them to perform sexual acts on themselves, which he recorded.

A 17-year-old student from Bergen County, whose name is not being released due to his juvenile status, was arrested on Aug. 17 and charged by the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office with manufacturing, distributing and possessing child pornography, as well as invasion of privacy. The juvenile allegedly had over 1,000 files of suspected child pornography on his electronic devices, including video recordings he allegedly made by hiding his smartphone in a private bathroom in order to record underage boys who were nude, showering or urinating.

Craig Kirschner, 39, of Marlboro, N.J., was arrested on Aug. 21 and charged by the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office with luring a child, attempted sexual assault of a minor, and conveying obscene material to a minor. Kirschner allegedly solicited an undercover detective, whom he believed to be a 15-year-old male, to meet for oral sex. The detective was monitoring a mobile app when he encountered Kirschner. After the undercover detective identified himself as a 15-year-old boy, Kirschner allegedly sent him photos of an erect penis, asked him to meet for oral sex, and stated "I can be generous for your trouble."

Isaac Toney, 40, of Trenton, N.J., was arrested on July 17 by the New Jersey State Police and charged with luring a child. He allegedly used a mobile app to solicit an undercover detective, whom he believed was a 14-year-old male, for oral sex. He was arrested at Veterans Park in Hamilton, Mercer County, where he allegedly was to meet the "boy" for a sexual encounter.

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National Missing Childrens Day Poster Contest

by Mary Ellen Murphy

2015 Winning Poster in National Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest. (courtesy of US Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency)

LANSING, MI (WHTC-AM/FM) -

Students statewide in the 5th grade in Michigan are invited to participate in the 2018 National Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest.

The Michigan State Police (MSP) Missing Persons Coordination Unit says the contest creates an opportunity to promote child safety while discussing the issue of missing and/or exploited children. More than 1,000 children are reported missing each week in Michigan. Many of these children are runaways.

Michigan’s winning artist will have a shot at the national contest, which includes a free trip to Washington D.C. and their artwork featured as the National Missing Children’s Day poster.

The 2015 national winner was a Michigan student from Grand Blanc.

Jolene Hardesty, Missing Children’s Clearinghouse Manager feels the contest opens the discussion on missing children and it's a chance to be honest with your children.

"I think 5th grade is a perfect time to at least open up that discussion  and start talking to our kids about it. What could go on and what happens in today's day and age."  

Hardesty says the judges look for posters that speaks to the heart of the matter.

Contest rules are as follows:

Applicants must be in the fifth grade.Original artwork should reflect the theme “Bring Our Missing Children Home” and the phrase must appear somewhere on the poster.Digitally produced images, collages, cut-outs, and stamping will not be eligible for consideration.The finished poster must measure 8½ x 14 inches.

The poster must be submitted with a completed application, which includes a description of the artwork and a brief biography of the artist, either written or typed. Submissions are due by Jan. 31, 2018, and must be mailed to:

Michigan State PoliceMissing Children’s Clearinghouse

Attn: Ms. Jolene Hardesty

7150 Harris Drive, Dimondale, MI 48821

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed May 25 as National Missing Children's Day. Each year, the Department of Justice (DOJ) commemorates Missing Children's Day with a ceremony honoring the heroic and exemplary efforts of agencies, organizations, and individuals to protect children.

PHOTO - 2015 Winning Poster in National Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest. (courtesy of US Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency)

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DOJ - Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls

Department of Justice

Office of Public Affairs

Readout of Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand Trip to Ottawa, Canada for Trilateral Summit on Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls

Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand traveled to Ottawa, Canada on Thursday, Nov. 30, to lead the U.S. delegation in the Trilateral Summit on Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls.  This is the second meeting of the trilateral working group.  The first was hosted by the U.S. in 2016 and next year’s meeting will be in 2018, hosted by Mexico.

Associate Attorney General Brand met with Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Canada’s Crown-Indigenous and Northern Affairs and Ismerai Betanzos Ordaz, Indigenous Rights Coordinator, Mexican Commission on the Development of Indigenous Rights.

“Tackling the issue of violence against Indigenous women and girls in our region and in the U.S. is not only a matter of criminal justice, but a moral imperative,” said Associate Attorney General Brand.

During the event, the three countries agreed to continue to prioritize the discussions, committing to continue the dialogue in 2018. Government representatives, in partnership with Indigenous women from across North America, will participate in events during the upcoming year, in preparation for the next meeting, which will be hosted by Mexico in the fall of 2018.

Themes discussed at this meeting were the importance of meaningful consultation with indigenous women regarding solutions to violence; promising practices for improving criminal justice responses to violent crimes against Indigenous women and girls; and the need for rigorous data collection to understand the full extent of domestic and sexual violence and human trafficking in Indigenous communities.

To address this need for data, Associate Attorney General Brand has directed the Department’s National Institute of Justice to adapt an ongoing study on violence in Indian Country to add an inquiry about the prevalence rates of human trafficking of American Indian and Alaska Native women and girls.

Canada, Mexico and the United States of America were also pleased to welcome Indigenous women from their respective countries to attend the event as full partners in order to ensure that their voices were included in the discussions. Indigenous women shared their experiences and perspectives, contributing to the development of outcomes for the working group.

The Department of Justice remains committed to addressing violence against indigenous women and girls in all of its forms through aggressive law enforcement and programs that serve victims.  The Department is committed to working with our international partners to share information and develop capabilities to address cross-border crimes like sex and labor trafficking together.

Associate Attorney General Brand’s visit supports the Justice Department’s continuing efforts under the Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety.

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