The program continues the efforts of both former iterations, providing centralized coordination and analysis of case information that is national and international in scope, requiring close cooperation not only among FBI field offices and legal attachés but also with state, local, and international governments.
In certain countries where there is a thriving commercial sex industry, such information can be obtained through taxi drivers, hotel concierges, newspaper advertisements, etc.
Studies show Southeast Asian countries—particularly Cambodia, the Philippines, and Thailand—are the most common destinations for child sex tourism.
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.
The analysts utilize various Internet tools and administrative subpoenas in their efforts to identify individuals who prey on children.
Once a potential suspect has been identified, they compile an investigative packet that includes the applicable Cyber Tipline reports, subpoena results, public records search results, the illegal images associated with the suspect, and a myriad of other information that is forwarded to the appropriate FBI field office for investigation.
Investigation of specific online locations can be initiated through: The FBI exercises jurisdiction and investigative responsibilities pursuant to federal statutes pertaining to various violent crimes against children found in the Federal Criminal Code and Rules under Title 18 of the United States Code.
The FBI has taken the necessary steps to ensure that the VCAC program remains viable and productive through the use of new technology and sophisticated investigative techniques, through coordination of the national investigative strategy, and through a national liaison initiative with a significant number of commercial and independent online service providers.
The analysts review and analyze information received by the NCMEC’s Cyber Tipline.