Targeted Means to Combat Online Child Exploitation and Victimization

Sexual exploitation of children in online environments is as pervasive, abhorrent, and serious a crime as traditional abuse of minors. Predatory perpetrators have evolved with the times, utilizing contemporary technology to sexually violate and abuse children, whether through online grooming, the creation and dissemination of exploitative material, or live-streaming sexual abuse. The most prevalent form of abuse comes through the possession, manufacturing, and distribution of sexual exploitation of a child, which made up 99.62% of 2022’s reported cases. But children can also be victimized by sex tourism, trafficking, molestation, misleading internet content, online enticement, and the receiving of unsolicited explicit materials.

Focusing on “Targeted Means to Combat Online Child Exploitation and Victimization,” the Fourth Annual White Hat Conference is an effort to bring disruptive change to cybercrime investigation through the exploration of innovative techniques and global measures. Our objective is to establish effective criminal justice policies and preventative measures which can bring about more efficient investigations and successful prosecutions.

Bringing together stakeholders from government, the private sector, and academia, the 2023 White Hat Conference aims to enhance higher education’s capability to better serve students of cybersecurity, computer forensics, and digital evidence, leading to an improved field of successful cybercrime investigators and prosecutors. Over the two days of morning and afternoon sessions, experts will shine a spotlight on emerging technologies, laws, and policies—all while unpacking the challenges faced by today’s law enforcement. Prospective employers will also be on hand for a job fair designed to connect students with internship opportunities within the areas of computer forensics and digital evidence, establishing a collaborative approach between parties to advance the development and implementation of internship/co-op programs.

Hosted by Boston University Metropolitan College’s Criminal Justice Graduate Programs and the Center for Cybercrime Investigation & Cybersecurity in collaboration with Utica College, the 2023 White Hat Conference is made possible by a grant from the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, awarded to MET professors Lou Chitkushev and Kyung-shick Choi. We look forward to collaborating with you on innovative solutions to cybercrime issues.

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