WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, the U.S. Senate passed legislation co-sponsored by U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) that would reauthorize the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force Program to combat child exploitation across the country.
“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 Senator Tillis. “I’m proud the Senate came together to pass our bipartisan legislation.”
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), and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) also co-introduced the legislation.
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.