11.17.22

Senate Passes Bill By Cornyn, Leahy And Others To Reauthorize Task Force Combatting Child Exploitation

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Charles Grassley (R-IA), John Kennedy (R-LA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Thom Tillis (R-NC) released the following statements after the PROTECT Our Children Act of 2022, which would reauthorize the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force Program to combat child exploitation across the country, passed the Senate earlier this week: 

“By providing the resources, officers, and technology law enforcement agencies need to counter the threat of cyber-crimes, we can build more barriers between predators and the victims they target,” said Sen. Cornyn. “I applaud my colleagues for reauthorizing this task force that prevents the perpetrators of these heinous crimes from committing future abuse, and I urge the House to pass this legislation as soon as possible.” 

“I was so pleased to see the PROTECT Our Children Act of 2022 pass the Senate last night,” said Sen. Leahy. “Our bill reauthorizes the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program. As digital platforms continue to expand, an effective task force to work with law enforcement to combat technology-facilitated child exploitation and internet crimes against children is more important than ever. As the Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee I will continue to protect strong funding for the ICAC and the important work they are doing.”

“The PROTECT Our Children Act will ensure that we continue to support survivors and provide law enforcement with resources needed to investigate and prosecute criminals who exploit children online,” said Sen. Tillis. “I’m proud the Senate came together to pass our bipartisan legislation.”

Background:

The PROTECT Our Children Act, originally passed in 2008, authorized the ICAC Task Force Program, a national network of 61 coordinated task forces that represent 3,500 federal, state, and local law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies engaged in reactive and proactive investigations across the country. The ICAC aids local and state law enforcement in the creation and implementation of effective responses to technology-facilitated child sexual exploitation and internet crimes against children. In order to develop effective response strategies to online child victimization, the ICAC offers guidance on victim support, forensic and investigative components, training and technical assistance, and prevention and community education.

The PROTECT Our Children Act of 2022 is supported by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN).

For a list of ICAC task forces across the United States, click here.

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