This morning Europol uploaded 25 new objects to its Stop Child Abuse – Trace an Object webpage. The objects are all taken from the background of child sexual abuse images. Since the launch of this project, where we ask the general public for information about the origin of the objects, you have sent us more than 18 300 tips. This information was carefully processed by Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) and has proven to be extremely useful. Thanks to your information, 70 objects have been identified.
Of those 70 objects, 25 were identified to one or a reasonable number of likely countries of production. This means that we are almost certain that the image containing child sexual abuse was produced in those countries. All of your tips for these 25 objects have been transmitted to these countries and several investigations are currently ongoing. These investigations are very complex and can take months, even years, but these tips are very important as they can be the vital clue that acts as the starting point for an investigation or links other pieces of evidence.
The other 45 objects you identified have unfortunately not led to a specific location because they are present in a large number of countries all over the world. These identifications are still extremely useful for law enforcement because they eliminate an investigative trail. That alone allows the investigators to spend more time and resources on other leads with a higher potential for success.
Europol and its law enforcement partners would like to thank everyone who has taken the effort to visit www.europol.europa.eu/stopchildabuse and is equally committed to tracing these objects and ultimately helping to stop child abuse.