The technology advancements in this day in age make surfing the internet much easier, but much more dangerous. Illegal material, like child pornography, is becoming more readily available. So authorities are stepping up their online patrols.
"Its pretty shocking, quite honestly, when you see these."
The Wood County Sheriff's Office is helping crack down on criminals viewing child pornography online.
"We have the ability to monitor the internet for people downloading these files," Investigator Keith said.
Investigator Jeremy Keith says finding perpetrators that download child pornography is getting more complex. But thanks to a federal grant, they can track down the criminals as soon as they click 'download'.
"All of these files have a unique identifier, kind of like a fingerprint if you will," Keith said, "and we have the ability, we take all these files that we know of, and we monitor the internet for people that are downloading them, and when they do, our software let's them know of that, and then we're able to initiate a case against them."
The grant not only allowed the Wood County Office to upgrade their equipment, but other departments around the state. Keith says one of the best things about having this technology is its available to anyone.
"We want to work with everyone," Keith said, "we are available to work with everyone as best we can. essentially, we're all on the same team."
While some may argue those who view child pornography are not hurting anyone, Keith disagrees.
"If someone's got a predilection of looking at these videos and images of small children, often times, that's not enough for them," Keith said, "and they'll graduate into, maybe I'm babysitting my niece or my neighbor's kid, we unfortunately see that all too often."
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