Investigation into these activities determined that adults were routinely using computers to transmit sexually explicit images to minors and, in some instances, to lure minors into engaging in illicit sexual activity.
Further investigation and discussions with experts, both within the FBI and in the private sector, revealed that the use of computer telecommunications was rapidly becoming one of the most prevalent techniques by which some sex offenders shared pornographic images of minors and identified and recruited children into sexually illicit relationships.
In 1995, based on information developed during this investigation, the Innocent Images National Initiative—initially part of our Cyber Division—was created to address the illicit activities conducted by users of commercial and private online services and the Internet.
In 2000, the Crimes Against Children program was formed by our Violent Crimes Section—part of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division.
After law enforcement discovers a person’s illegal online activity or identifies them as a possible online predator, they monitor the target’s online activity for months.