The FBI has obtained a legal exemption from federal privacy laws, thanks to a final rule published by the DOJ. *** The agency can now keep secret whose data it has stored in its vast biometrics database. *** The database has fingerprints, photos for facial recognition, iris patterns, and voice and gait recognition datasets. *** The FBI has long fought to keep who’s stored in its biometrics database a secret. *** It argues not doing so “could compromise ongoing, authorized law enforcement and national security efforts.” *** The database includes information of individuals who apply for citizenship or must get a background check. *** The Electronic Frontier Foundation said it contained 71 million criminal records and 39 million civil records in 2015. *** Now, it can bypass key protections in the Privacy Act, which allow for judicial redress and opting out of the database. *** Individuals will also no longer be able to get information about what data the government stores on them. *** This could prevent them from taking action if they feel they are being unfairly targeted for political purposes. *** The ACLU said the FBI’s decision to “exempt this database from basic privacy protections invites abuse.” *** The new rule will go into effect on August 31, 2017.
Almost 1,700 alleged sex offenders that have reportedly been involved in various forms of child exploitation have been arrested in a nationwide campaign across the United States.
The two-month operation, dubbed Broken Heart, was based on over 18,500 complaints relating to child abuse, the Department of Justice (DoJ) said on Tuesday.
Broken Heart was conducted by 61 Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task forces. In total, 308 of those arrested have allegedly produced child pornography or committed sexual abuse against minors, and close to 400 children are believed to have been involved in recent, ongoing, or historical abuse cases.
The operation took place between April and May this year. Each complaint investigated was “technology-facilitated,” according to the DoJ.
This may include using technology to produce child pornography, accessing child exploitation materials online — which is generally hosted in the Dark Web — or communicating with others involved in such activities through web forums.
“The operation targeted suspects who: produce, distribute, receive and possess child pornography; engage in online enticement of children for sexual purposes; engage in the sex trafficking of children, and travel across state lines or to foreign countries and sexually abuse children,” the department said.
To date, ICAC units have received 922,000 complaints of child exploitation and abuse, leading to 95,500 arrests.
“The sexual abuse of children is repugnant, and it victimizes the most innocent and vulnerable of all,” Attorney General William Barr said. “We must bring the full force of the law against sexual predators, and with the help of our Internet Crimes Against Children program, we will.”
Previous and related coverage
- DOJ explains recent wave of cyber-espionage-related indictments
- DOJ moves to take down Joanap botnet operated by North Korean state hackers
- Toshiba, Canon to pay $5 million to settle antitrust lawsuit
Have a tip? Get in touch securely via WhatsApp | Signal at +447713 025 499, or over at Keybase: charlie0
Source Article from https://www.zdnet.com/article/1700-alleged-online-sex-offenders-arrested-during-operation-broken-heart/#ftag=RSSbaffb68
1,700 alleged online sex offenders arrested during operation ‘Broken Heart’
Latest blogs for ZDNet
Latest blogs for ZDNet