President Joe Biden has reduced funding for the Department of Justice’s initiative to combat digital crimes against children, according to War Room.
The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program (ICAC), which focuses on investigating, prosecuting, and responding to internet crimes against children including human trafficking and sexual exploitation, has been impacted by these budget cuts.
Despite being a leading entity in combating the sexual exploitation of children online, the ICAC program has experienced a decrease in its budget since President Biden took office.
Under President Donald Trump in the last fiscal year, the program had a budget of $34.73 million, which slightly decreased to $34.68 million in fiscal year 2021 when President Biden assumed office.
In President Biden’s first full fiscal year, the ICAC program’s budget was reduced by nearly $3.5 million to a total of $31.2 million.
This decline in spending contradicts the growing trend of online content involving child exploitation, as demonstrated in an analysis by comparitech:
“As we’ve seen, in just nine months of 2022, Facebook almost matched the number of content removals for child exploitation in 2021. Similar trends were observed on Instagram and TikTok. Snapchat was on track to exceed the 2021 total, while Discord’s figures for 2022 had already surpassed 2021’s. LinkedIn showed a 636 percent increase in child exploitation content from 2021 to the first half of 2022.”
The reduction in the budget raises questions, especially considering that the Biden administration has also removed references to “international sex trafficking or minors,” “domestic sex trafficking of minors,” and “child prostitution” from a DOJ website highlighting the agency’s areas of concern.
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