Sweetie 2.0 and Law Enforcement Agencies
Since early February 2015, the Sweetie team has been in regular contact with EUROPOL, the European body co-ordinating international co-operation between police forces in the 28 EU member states. In May we presented the Sweetie Project 2.0; software which will enable operators to automatically monitor large sections of the internet and intercept potential child sex offenders. Stevie Wilson, the new boss of EUROPOL’s cybercrime division, is definitely interested but expressed concerns about the potential large numbers of suspects which law enforcement would have to deal with should Sweetie 2.0 be successful, a concern shared by UK’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command, CEOP. More cases would mean more work for an already overstretched police force, they claim. This represents a remarkable recognition of the fact that the phenomenon of online child sexual abuse has grown to such proportions that law enforcement is unable “to arrest us out of this problem”. This was already concluded by the Sweetie project in 2013 and we therefore argue in favour of a pro-active approach which is exactly what Sweetie 2.0 is all about: to discourage, warn and scare off potential child offenders before crimes against children are committed.