Possible motives include personal gratification of the offender, often by way of sexual exploitation; making money; or enticing children to gain access to email or web sites from which viruses may be launched or the security of the child's computer may be compromised.Children are particularly vulnerable to exploitation via ICT because the medium is attractive, they often use the internet unsupervised and increasingly have access to portable devices with the capacity for data storage, digital photography and communications such as third generation mobile phones.The abusers are grooming people, usually in developing countries like the Philippines, to procure children and paying to instruct sexual abuse which is broadcast over the internet using webcam.It is a deliberate tactic to try to evade detection by authorities like the AFP, because it leaves little to no digital trail."Certainly we're seeing an alarming trend of Australians that are engaged in this activity," AFP Assistant Commissioner Justine Saunders told 7.30."It's no different to you or I, if we were going on and communicating between each other on Face Time or Skype where you're on a conversation with another person and there's no record of the conversation you're having during that time."Despite that, the AFP is having some success targeting live-streaming abusers.7.30 has been told the inside story of an extraordinary international crime-fighting operation that nabbed multiple live-streaming abusers and rescued children from harm.Live-streaming has been identified as a priority area to target."In 2014 we received about 4,500 referrals of child exploitation material and in 2015 it was 11,000," Justine Saunders said."So, this is a global trend."It's not hopeless but I won't deny this is alarming."The nature of the referrals, the increasing challenges associated with the use of the internet and the anonymity associated with the live-streaming makes this very, very difficult but I won't deny that and certainly we are making in-roads." One way authorities are doing that is by chasing the money trail.Profiling by the financial intelligence organisation Austrac has resulted in live-streaming convictions of Dominic Patrick Hickey and Patrick Goggins."Financial intelligence is a really valuable part of the puzzle for our law enforcement and intelligence partners but it's a part of a puzzle," Austrac's national manager of intelligence Dr John Moss said."Both Hickey and Goggin were identified by profiling, [on] 14 reports that averaged to , so a small number, and the context is there are over 1 million transfers that go out of Australia into the Philippines valued at less than 0."Finding these activities in that mass of data requires specialist tools, dedicated analysts and more importantly information sharing."The International Justice Mission's Mr Nagle believes the real number of Australian perpetrators abusing children could be much higher than the AFP numbers indicate.High tech or ICT-related crime is divided into offences where ICT is the object or target of an offence and where ICT is a tool for committing an offence.ICTs have also created a new space in which children can learn, play and communicate.
In March last year, the AFP raided his Brisbane property.This brief looks at four main ways in which ICT may be used as a tool to exploit children criminally.ICT enables offenders to target children individually or collectively.The uptake of information and communication technologies (ICT) has led to new criminal activities and new ways of committing traditional crimes.This is the first in a series of high tech crime briefs looking at the impact of ICT on criminal activities.With the increasing popularity of the Internet and the easy availability of pornographic websites, cyber sex addiction is becoming a problem.