Technology has transformed our lives, by making access to virtually anything a click of a button away. But the trouble is, the bad guys use it just as much as the good guys.
Internet-related sex trafficking has reached unfathomable heights thanks to the anonymity offered to the offenders by the medium. The lack of proper laws, awareness among users and out-dated traditional investigating techniques to tackle digital crimes have resulted in unabated growth of Internet-related sex crimes.
But thankfully, that’s changing.
A new video release by an International not-for-profit organization shows how we are beginning to fight back Internet-related crimes using the same new techniques and devices used by criminals. The video, that has gone viral on social media, features a 10-year-old Filipino girl called Sweetie in a virtual chat room, being propositioned by men from across the world.
Only thing is, Sweetie is not real. She is a 3-D animated model that is being used by Terre des Hommes International Federation to track down pedophiles from around the world.
Terre des Hommes International Federation is a network of ten national organizations working for the rights of children and to promote equitable development without racial, religious, political, cultural, or gender-based discrimination. Sweetie is a computer model who looks and moves like a real girl. They have captured the movements of a real persona and applied it to Sweetie. And then they use an application to control her every move.
Terre des Hommes operates from a warehouse in Amsterdam. While Sweetie is chatting, they track down the men, using bits of information they give. They identify them using Google, Facebook, and other resources. Without hacking their computers, they have collected their names and addresses, phone numbers, pictures, video footages. Within the first two months, they identified 1,000 predators and handed it to the Interpol.
At the end of the video, viewers are prompted to sigh a petition to stop child exploitation. Law enforcement officers, sit up and take notice.