Stepping out of the Shadows

This video by Elisabeth Yerkes, developed around her Naval Postgraduate School Master’s thesis, “Stepping Out of the Shadows: Leveraging the Community to Stop the Sexual Exploitation of Minors,” explores the advantages and disadvantages of using citizen volunteers to help investigate child sexual abuse material (CSAM). Specifically, it investigates whether incorporating civilians into certain aspects of CSAM investigations could assist law enforcement in filling gaps in resources needed to ensure all recovered images be fully investigated in less time. 

About the Presenter

Elisabeth Yerkes is an attorney with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration Customs and Enforcement, Office of the Principal Legal Advisor. Prior to joining DHS, Elisabeth served as an Assistant General Counsel with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) in the Sexual Offender and Predator Unit. Elisabeth began her legal career in 2007 as prosecutor  for Orange and Osceola County. During her time as a prosecutor, Elisabeth served as a member of the Orlando Human Trafficking Task Force, as well as the Orange County Domestic Violence Task Force. Elisabeth graduated in March of 2021, with a Master’s Degree in Homeland Security from the Naval Post Graduate Schools, Center for Homeland Defense and Security, where she published her thesis focusing on leveraging force multipliers to combat child sexual abuse material. [All the views and opinions expressed in this presentation are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of any current or past employer.]

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