MADISON, Wis. – Today, Attorney General Brad Schimel shared a message with parents and guardians for Wisconsin’s “Keeping Kids Safe Online Month.”
“Wisconsin DOJ and the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force can do a lot to capture predators that use the internet to prey on our children,” said Attorney General Schimel. “But the best tool we have to keep kids safe online is a nosy and informed parent.”
Parents and guardians looking for more information on how they can help keep kids safe online can find information atwww.ProtectKidsOnlineWi.gov where citizens can find the Protect Kids Online podcast, which was designed to be a resource for parents, grandparents, guardians, or caregivers of children and where anyone can access information about the trends and updates on the latest apps, websites, and online activity of children 17 years of age and younger.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) has also partnered with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and launched www.dpi.wi.gov/internet-safety. This website includes resources for schools, administrators, teachers, parents, and students to learn about cyberbullying, privacy, social media, and digital citizenship. Lesson plans are also available so that teachers can immediately implement online safety information into the classroom.
The Wisconsin Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force also works to protect kids online by investigating individuals who use the internet, online communications, or computer technology to exploit children. Earlier this year, the ICAC Task Force at DOJ merged with the DOJ Human Trafficking Bureau, allowing for a more efficient flow of critical investigative information as the these units often overlap with human trafficking investigations.
In 2017, the Wisconsin ICAC Task Force received more than 1,400 cybertips, inspected more than 415,000 gigabytes of seized data on hard drives, cellphones, and other data storage devices, and has arrested nearly 400 individuals suspected of conducting internet crimes against children including child enticement; obscenity directed to minors; child prostitution; and manufacture, distribution, and possession of child pornography.
The Wisconsin ICAC Task Force is comprised of DOJ personnel, as well as police and sheriff’s departments from around the state (full list of Wisconsin ICAC affiliates can be seen here). This year, more than 1,400 law enforcement and prosecutors have been trained in the investigation and prosecution of internet crimes against children. The task force has also given more than 450 community presentations on keeping kids safe online.
The ICAC Task Force Program was launched in 1998 to help federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies enhance their investigative responses to individuals who use the Internet, online communication systems, or computer technology to exploit children. To date, the ICAC Task Forces have reviewed more than 705,963 complaints of child exploitation, which resulted in the arrest of more than 75,688 individuals. In addition, since the ICAC program’s inception, more than 585,604 law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and other professionals have been trained on techniques to investigate and prosecute ICAC-related cases. ICAC also provides online safety training for parents, teachers, and communities through educational programming and the Protect Kids Online Podcast. For more information on ICAC and how to protect children online, go to: www.ProtectKidsOnlineWI.gov.