A Department of Justice program aimed at combating internet crimes against children has had its funding drastically reduced to levels much below those of the Trump administration.
The Internet Crimes Against Children task force is a national network of 61 coordinated task forces comprised of over 5,400 federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies “dedicated to investigating, prosecuting, and developing effective responses to internet crimes against children,” according to the program’s website.
President Joe Biden’s administration has slashed funding for the DOJ program.
The Internet Crimes Against Children program funding was reduced by roughly $3.5 million in 2022, the first full fiscal year under Biden, from $34.68 million to $31.2 million.
This is despite the rapidly increasing prevalence of child sexual abuse and exploitation on social media sites.
Comparitech reported earlier this year that social media platforms Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, and others have been removing “millions of posts and images that fall foul of community guidelines regarding child abuse,” but that the number of such offenses is on the rise.
Enough is Enough, an online safety organization, monitors complaints of child sex abuse and child pornography and tries to educate the public about these issues.
Their analysis of the most recent figures revealed a dramatic increase in reported incidents involving younger and younger children.
According to the organization, a government tip line received more than 32 million tips comprising more than 88 million photographs or videos of child sexual exploitation in 2022.
“Over the past fifteen years, the number of reports of suspected child sexual abuse materials … made to the CyberTipline has increased by 15,000%,” the organization said, citing a 2021 report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
The ICAC funding cuts also raised questions about the Justice Department’s commitment to combating child trafficking, especially after news reports recently surfaced about the removal of “International Sex Trafficking of Minors” from the criminal division of the DOJ’s website under “areas of concern.”
Two sections removed were “Domestic Sex Trafficking of Minors,” which referred to over-the-border transportation, and “Child Victims of Prostitution,” the New York Post reported in July.
While the DOJ told the Post it had merely “updated” the site and insisted it “continues to place a very high priority on and devote substantial resources to fighting child exploitation and child sex trafficking, ” conservative politicians and child advocates were among those criticizing the move.
“DOJ’s blatant move to distance Joe Biden’s harmful policies from the global crime of sex trafficking should be no surprise to any of us who have seen the blatant sexualization and abuse of children this Administration is comfortable with promoting,” GOP Rep. Anna Paulina Luna of Florida wrote in a news release.
Victor Marx, head of the anti-human-trafficking Christian organization All Things Possible Ministries, told the Post, “The message we’re sending to our children and the criminals, and the women at large that are concerned is the administration doesn’t care.”
Marx expressed alarm about the Biden administration’s removal of child sex trafficking material from the DOJ website.
“I think they’re trying to lower their culpability and responsibility,” he said.
“They’re having to lower and lessen their footprint and their position on this because believe me, it’s horrible and stories are going to start to come out.”
Marx, a survivor of child sexual abuse, stated that the information for victims and witnesses on the DOJ website is critical for both victims and witnesses.
“It’s key from prevention all the way to arrest and prosecution on both sides,” he said. “Clear, accessible, and comprehensive information available to the public is key to raising awareness and fostering cooperation in combating these heinous crimes.”
They are the predators, which is why it is being defunded and information on child sex trafficking is being removed from websites. We have degenerates in all of our institutions who promote LGBTQ, and child grooming in schools, and refer to it as minor attraction rather than pedophilia.