The CyberTipline is operated in partnership with the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Secret Service, military criminal investigative organizations, U.S. Department of Justice, Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force program, as well as other state and local law enforcement agencies. Reports to the CyberTipline are made by the public and Electronic Service Providers. ESPs are required by law to report apparent child pornography to law enforcement via the CyberTipline (18 U.S.C. § 2258A).
Reports are continuously triaged to help ensure children in imminent danger get first priority. Analysts review reports and:
- Examine and evaluate the content.
- Add related information that may be useful to law enforcement.
- Use publicly available search tools to determine the geographic location of the apparent criminal act.
- Provide all information to the appropriate law enforcement agency for potential investigation.
The CyberTipline reporting mechanism assists law enforcement and prosecutors in their detection, investigation and prosecution of child sexual exploitation crimes. The CyberTipline helps make law enforcement’s efforts more efficient and maximizes the limited resources available in the fight against child sexual exploitation. The value of the CyberTipline as a source of leads for law enforcement has been greatly enhanced by collaboration with ESPs.
In addition to referring CyberTipline reports to law enforcement for potential investigation, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® engages with the Internet industry on voluntary initiatives to reduce child sexual exploitation online.