[Ashboro, NC] — Lantern Rescue, a leading global non-governmental organization dedicated to combatting human trafficking, is proud to announce the selection of Case Closed Software as its primary investigation case management solution. After an extensive search for an affordable and feature-rich software solution, Lantern Rescue has chosen Case Closed Software to enhance its efforts in the fight against human trafficking worldwide.Human trafficking remains a pervasive and heinous crime, affecting millions of men, women, and children around the globe. Lantern Rescue has been at the forefront of counter-human trafficking efforts, working tirelessly to rescue victims, prosecute traffickers, and prevent future cases of exploitation. To bolster their investigative capabilities and streamline its operations, Lantern Rescue sought a comprehensive case management system that would provide a seamless workflow and advanced features.
Following a meticulous evaluation of various software solutions, Lantern Rescue found Case Closed Software to be the ideal fit for their requirements. The software’s robust features, affordability, and user-friendly interface stood out during the selection process. Case Closed Software’s cutting-edge technology will enable Lantern Rescue’s investigators to efficiently collect, manage, and analyze case information, allowing them to focus on their core mission of rescuing victims and bringing traffickers to justice.
Key features of Case Closed Software include:
Intuitive Case Management: A centralized platform that simplifies the collection, organization, and retrieval of case-related data, ensuring investigators can access crucial information quickly and effectively.
Collaboration and Task Assignment: Seamless communication and task assignment capabilities enable Lantern Rescue’s team members to collaborate effortlessly and enhance overall efficiency.
Advanced Analytics and Reporting: Robust analytical tools and customizable reporting features enable in-depth analysis, pattern recognition, and data-driven decision-making for more effective investigations.
Document and Evidence Management: A secure repository for storing and managing digital assets, such as documents, images, videos, and audio recordings, providing investigators with easy access to critical evidence.
Customizable Workflow: Tailor-made to fit the specific needs of Lantern Rescue, Case Closed Software offers flexible workflow configurations to streamline and automate investigative processes.
Lantern Rescue firmly believes that the integration of Case Closed Software will significantly enhance their investigative capabilities, enabling them to make greater strides in combating human trafficking worldwide. By implementing this state-of-the-art case management solution, Lantern Rescue is strengthening its commitment to efficiently rescue victims, disrupt criminal networks, and contribute to the global fight against human trafficking.
About Lantern Rescue: Lantern Rescue is a global non-governmental organization dedicated to eradicating human trafficking and modern-day slavery. With a team of highly skilled professionals and a network of partners worldwide, Lantern Rescue conducts rescue operations, provides victim support, pursues legal action against traffickers, and works to prevent future cases of exploitation. For more information, please visit www.lanternrescue.org.
About Case Closed Software: Case Closed Software is a leading provider of comprehensive investigation case management solutions for law enforcement agencies, non-profit organizations, and corporate investigators. With its user-friendly interface, advanced features, and customizable workflows, Case Closed Software streamlines the investigation process, enabling organizations to effectively manage and solve complex cases. For more information, please visit www.caseclosedsoftware.com.
March 23, 2023 (Austin, TX) We are proud to announce that Case Closed Software™ has achieved TX-RAMP Certification, a prestigious recognition that demonstrates our commitment to providing secure and reliable software solutions for our clients.
The Texas Risk Assessment and Mitigation Program (TX-RAMP) certification is awarded to companies that have met strict security standards and have implemented robust risk assessment and mitigation processes. This certification recognizes our dedication to providing our clients with the highest level of security and reliability in our software solutions.
At Case Closed Software, we understand the importance of protecting sensitive data and confidential information. That’s why we have invested heavily in developing a secure software platform that meets the rigorous security standards required by TX-RAMP certification.
We believe that this certification is a testament to our commitment to providing our clients with the best possible software solutions while maintaining the highest level of security and reliability. We are proud to have achieved this certification and look forward to continuing to provide our clients with the best possible service.
Waco, Texas – The City of Waco Police Department has selected specialized criminal investigation software from Case Closed Software™ to manage investigations into gangs and narcotics crimes. The new software will provide officers with the tools they need to effectively investigate and track criminal activity in these areas, allowing them to more efficiently gather and analyze data to build strong cases.
“Gang and narcotics crimes are two of the most serious challenges facing law enforcement agencies in Waco and across the country”, said Case Closed Software’s CEO Douglas Wood. “These crimes often involve complex networks of individuals and can be difficult to investigate and prosecute. The new software will help better identify and track criminal activity, and build stronger cases against those who would do harm.”
According to recent data from the Waco Police Department, narcotics-related offenses have been on the rise in recent years, with a particular increase in the abuse of opioids and other prescription drugs. The department has also reported a rise in gang activity, with several local gangs being linked to drug trafficking and other serious crimes.
Case Closed Software is a leading provider of CJIS-compliant, cloud-based criminal investigation software and has been deployed by law enforcement agencies across the country. The software is designed specifically to help investigators manage complex cases involving gangs and narcotics, providing tools for gang analysis, investigation management, and organizational reporting.
The new software is expected to be implemented in the coming weeks, and officers will receive training on how to use it effectively. The City of Waco Police Department remains committed to providing the highest level of service to the community and will continue to explore new technologies and tools to support its mission.
Case Closed Software has also recently announced that its software was being deployed for Baldwin County (GA) Sheriff’s Office.
Human trafficking is a global problem that affects millions of people each year. According to the International Labour Organization, there are an estimated 25 million victims of forced labor and human trafficking worldwide. Anti-human trafficking investigators play a vital role in identifying, investigating, and prosecuting traffickers, but they face numerous challenges in their work. In this blog, we will discuss some of the problems facing anti-human trafficking investigators and how investigation case management software from Case Closed Software™ helps.
Anti-human trafficking investigators often work with limited resources, including staff, funding, and technology. They may not have access to the latest tools and resources needed to investigate and prosecute traffickers effectively. This can result in a lack of coordination and communication between agencies and delays in identifying and rescuing victims.
Investigation case management software from Case Closed Software helps by providing investigators with a comprehensive platform for managing cases, evidence, and information. The software includes a range of features, such as case tracking, document management, and collaboration tools, that allow investigators to work more efficiently and effectively. With the software, investigators can quickly and easily share information and coordinate with other agencies, resulting in more effective investigations and prosecutions.
Difficulty Gathering and Managing Information
Anti-human trafficking investigators must collect and manage a vast amount of information during their investigations. This can include data on traffickers, victims, and locations, as well as evidence, witness statements, and legal documentation. Managing this information can be challenging, especially when working with multiple agencies and sources.
Investigation case management software from Case Closed Software helps by providing investigators with a centralized platform for managing all case information. The software allows investigators to store and organize information in a structured and secure manner, making it easy to access and share with other agencies. The software also includes powerful search and reporting features, enabling investigators to quickly find and analyze information critical to their investigations.
Data Security and Privacy
Human trafficking investigations often involve sensitive and confidential information that must be protected from unauthorized access or disclosure. Investigators must comply with strict data privacy and security regulations and ensure that information is only shared on a need-to-know basis.
Investigation case management software from Case Closed Software is designed with security and privacy in mind. The software includes robust security features, such as encryption, user access controls, and audit trails, ensuring that data is protected from unauthorized access or disclosure. The software also allows investigators to control access to information on a need-to-know basis, ensuring that sensitive information is only shared with authorized personnel.
Lack of Standardization
Human trafficking investigations can involve multiple agencies, jurisdictions, and international partners. Each agency may have its own processes, procedures, and systems, making it difficult to coordinate investigations and share information effectively.
Investigation case management software from Case Closed Software provides investigators with a standardized platform for managing cases and information. The software allows investigators to establish standard processes and procedures, ensuring that investigations are conducted consistently across agencies and jurisdictions. This standardization makes it easier to share information and coordinate investigations, leading to more effective outcomes.
Human trafficking is a complex and challenging problem that requires a coordinated and comprehensive response from law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders. Anti-human trafficking investigators face numerous challenges in their work, including limited resources, difficulty gathering and managing information, data security and privacy, and lack of standardization.
Investigation case management software from Case Closed Software helps investigators overcome these challenges by providing a comprehensive platform for managing cases, evidence, and information. The software includes a range of features that enable investigators to work more efficiently and effectively, improving the quality and speed of investigations and leading to more successful prosecutions.
Baldwin County, GA – (August 1, 2021) The Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office has announced the implementation of new investigation case management software from Case Closed Software, a leading provider of investigative technology solutions.
The new software will enhance the Sheriff’s Office’s ability to manage and solve cases by streamlining case management, reducing manual work, and providing real-time access to critical information. The system will provide investigators with powerful tools that will help them manage their caseloads, track evidence, and collaborate more efficiently.
The implementation of Case Closed Software will also allow the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office to streamline its investigation process, improve its ability to analyze case data, and increase collaboration between investigators. The software will also provide real-time updates to case status and allow investigators to share case files across departments and agencies.
“We are thrilled to partner with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office to help them take their investigative capabilities to the next level,” said Douglas Wood, CEO of Case Closed Software. “Our software is designed to give investigators the tools they need to manage their caseloads, track evidence, and solve cases more efficiently, and we are confident that it will make a real difference for the Sheriff’s Office.”
Case Closed Software is a leading provider of investigation case management software for law enforcement, state and local government agencies, and private sector organizations. The company’s software solutions are designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of investigations, streamline case management, and reduce costs.
Nashville, TN (January 2, 2023) – Hope For Justice, a leading international non-profit organization dedicated to ending modern slavery, announced today that it has selected Case Closed Software to enhance its anti-human trafficking investigations.
Hope For Justice is dedicated to rescuing and supporting victims of human trafficking and bringing perpetrators to justice. The organization has a long history of success in investigations and has rescued thousands of victims. However, with the increasing complexity of human trafficking, Hope For Justice has recognized the need for a more advanced technology solution to support its efforts.
Case Closed Software provides a comprehensive case management solution designed specifically for anti-human trafficking investigations. With its purpose-built counter-human trafficking capabilities, Hope For Justice will be able to streamline its investigations, identify new leads and track the progress of its cases more effectively.
“We are honored to be working with Hope For Justice and its mission to end modern slavery,” said Douglas Wood, CEO of Case Closed Software. “We believe that our technology will be a valuable asset in the fight against human trafficking and we look forward to supporting Hope For Justice in its important work.”
About Hope For Justice: Hope For Justice is a leading international non-profit organization dedicated to ending modern slavery by rescuing victims, restoring lives, and reforming society. Founded in 2008, Hope For Justice has operations in the United Kingdom, United States, Cambodia, and Nigeria.
About Case Closed Software: Case Closed Software is a leading provider of technology solutions for anti-human trafficking and other criminal investigations. The company’s comprehensive case management solution is designed specifically to support the needs of anti-trafficking organizations and law enforcement agencies.
Washington D.C., July 2, 2022 – The Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP), a bureau of the United States Department of the Treasury responsible for producing currency, has selected Case Closed Software™ to manage its criminal investigations.
Case Closed Software is a leading provider of investigation management software for law enforcement and government agencies. The platform streamlines investigation processes and provides advanced tools for managing case information, evidence, and tasks.
“We are thrilled to be selected by the BEP for this important project,” said Douglas Wood, CEO of Case Closed Software. “Our software will help the BEP streamline its investigation processes and provide its investigators with the tools they need to effectively manage their cases.”
The BEP has a critical role in protecting the integrity of the U.S. currency system. Its Office of Investigations is responsible for conducting investigations into counterfeiting, theft, and other crimes related to currency production. By adopting Case Closed Software, the BEP will be able to more efficiently manage its investigations, streamline its processes, and enhance its overall investigative capabilities.
About Case Closed Software™: Case Closed Software is a leading provider of investigation management software for law enforcement and government agencies. The platform streamlines investigation processes and provides advanced tools for managing case information, evidence, and tasks.
About Bureau of Engraving and Printing: The Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) is a bureau of the United States Department of the Treasury responsible for producing currency. The BEP’s Office of Investigations is responsible for conducting investigations into counterfeiting, theft, and other crimes related to currency production.
Baton Rouge, LA – The Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) has selected Case Closed Software™ as its primary software for investigating fraud and other crimes. The LDR is responsible for protecting the state’s revenue and financial resources, and the selection of Case Closed Software™ as its primary software will enhance its ability to detect and investigate fraud and other crimes.
The selection of Case Closed Software was based on the system’s advanced capabilities which will help LDR more effectively investigate an array of fraud types, protect taxpayer dollars, and ensure the integrity of the state’s revenue.
“We are honored to have been selected by the Louisiana Department of Revenue as its primary software for investigating fraud and other crimes,” said Case Closed Software CEO Douglas Wood. “Our software is designed to help law enforcement and government agencies like the LDR effectively conduct criminal investigations, and we are committed to supporting their efforts to protect the state’s revenue and financial resources.”
The project arose out of a need for a sophisticated tool to help the multi-jurisdictional ICAC unit effectively triage and investigate criminal activity involving child sexual abuse materials (CSAM). In particular, we needed to come up with an investigation tool that would work around evolving laws and The Wilson Ruling of 2021.
NCMEC then creates and distributes CyberTips to appropriate law enforcement agencies and specially-trained agents.
The Anatomy of a NCMEC CyberTip for ICAC Units
Without getting too granular, a CyberTip is made up of several sections. There’s a front page, and Sections A through D. The front page will contain the date it was received, its assigned report number, and an executive summary. The executive summary will say what type of incident the report refers to, such as “Apparent Child Pornography”, and the number of files that were uploaded.
The first section of a CyberTip, Section A, has information about the reporting agency – Google, Facebook, TikTok and so on. It will also include a brief incident description, the time of the incident, the webpage involved, and the email, username, and IP address of the person reported.
Spoiler Alert… Here’s a key to The Wilson Ruling: For each file, this section says whether the reporting ESP actually viewed the file and whether the file was publicly available. We’re going to come back to this shortly.
Section B is geolocation information for the offending IP address given in the report. This helps NCMEC know which ICAC Task Force should get the tip. The ISP who owns or controls the IP address will also be listed.
Section C is for any additional information and may reference other CyberTips that are associated with the same username or IP address.
Here’s another key point related to The Wilson Ruling. The images or videos associated with the CyberTip are provided to the appropriate agency along with a PDF report, but they are NOT shown in the body of the report.
Why the CyberTip Matters
The point of describing the CyberTip here is to reinforce just how much unstructured data exists on them and foreshadow some of the pain points that ICAC teams experience in getting these CyberTips triaged.
That’s a significant component of the partnership that Case Closed Software has developed with San Diego Police Department… how to manage, de-conflict, and triage the overwhelming volume of CyberTips that each ICAC task force or investigator receives.
The other significant component of what we’ve worked on together from a technology perspective is related to how courts have applied Fourth Amendment doctrines to CSAM investigations. The Fourth Amendment, of course, is an important piece of our Bill of Rights and is supposed to protect all of us from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government.
The ICAC Investigation into Luke Noel Wilson
Let’s look at The Wilson Ruling of 2021. This came out of the court’s application of the Fourth Amendment in the case of defendant Luke Noel Wilson who, in June 2015, attached several images containing CSAM to an email on his Gmail account. Google’s screening system – which scans uploaded images and checks for identical matches in a database of confirmed CSAM – immediately flagged Wilson’s attachments as “apparent child pornography”.
Without having an employee review the attachments first, Google’s system then sent an automated report to NCMEC that included the images. As is standard policy for ESPs, the report contained information about the date and time Wilson uploaded the images, along with his email address, login information, and the IP address of the device he used to upload the images.
NCMEC subsequently forwarded the report to local law enforcement – in this case, the fine team at San Diego ICAC – where an agent reviewed the NCMEC CyberTip and inspected each of the images, confirming that they were indeed CSAM.
Relying on Google’s report and his personal observations, the agent then applied for – and obtained – a search warrant for Wilson’s email account. The agent’s affidavit accompanying the search warrant request included descriptions of the images but didn’t specifically contain any mention of matching hash values, nor any description of Google’s screening process for CSAM.
When, with search warrant in hand, the agent searched Wilson’s email account, he discovered several email exchanges in which Wilson received and sent CSAM and additionally offered to pay a woman to molest and exploit children.
Law Enforcement then obtained a search warrant for Wilson’s residence and vehicle where they discovered devices containing thousands of images of CSAM including the original four attachments. Wilson’s alleged attempt at throwing a backpack over his balcony was noticed by assisting agents and was found to contain a thumb drive full of additional Child Sexual Abuse Materials.
It was later estimated that Wilson possessed 500 videos and 11,000 images of child sexual abuse, and – a few months later – he was arrested and charged with Distribution and Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Materials.
Wilson was convicted and sentenced to 45 years in prison.
So, this seems at this point like a fairly standard ICAC case. What then happened that fundamentally changed the way ICAC units operated to triage and investigate CyberTips?
The Motion to Suppress
After his trial, Wilson filed a motion to suppress the four original attachments (the ones included in the original CyberTip) AND all evidence subsequently seized from his email account and residence, arguing that San Diego ICAC’s initial review of his attachments was a warrantless search in violation of the Fourth Amendment.
The District Court denied his motion, however, reasoning that the government does not perform a ‘search’ within the context of the Fourth Amendment when it inspects something that is ‘virtually certain’ to contain contraband.
Wilson subsequently appealed that decision to The Ninth Circuit which reversed the lower court’s decision, concluding that the agent’s viewing of the attachments violated Wilson’s 4th Amendment rights and rejecting the position that there was ‘virtual certainty’.
Basically, the Ninth Circuit said that Google’s initial report specified only the ‘general’ age of the child and the ‘general’ nature of the acts shown, and had not been viewed by any Google employee.
By viewing the four attachments without a search warrant, therefore, the higher court concluded that law enforcement unlawfully obtained new, critical information, and then used that new information to obtain warrants to search Wilson’s home and email account.
Of key importance in the ruling was the assessment that, even though Google employees viewed images identical to Wilson’s to create Google’s database of suspected CSAM, they had not viewed the actual image itself.
By contrast, after viewing the images, law enforcement could describe “the number of minors depicted, their identity, the number of adults depicted alongside the minors, the setting, and the actual sexual acts depicted.” So, even though Google’s algorithm had flagged Wilson’s attachments to a mathematical certainty that his images were “bit-for-bit” duplicates of images identified by its employees as CSAM within their database, Wilson’s motion to suppress was granted.
The fallout for ICAC Task Forces has been tremendous because of this ruling. How are ICAC units and their respective affiliates, supposed to expeditiously review, triage, and investigate a massive and growing number of CyberTips while tip-toeing around an individual’s 4th Amendment rights?
Last year, San Diego ICAC approached Case Closed Software™ with this exact set of problems and we began work on a tool designed to systematically process CyberTips – one that automates what is currently a time-consuming chain of events.
The Trouble with Triage
For most ICAC Units, individual CyberTips must be downloaded as zip files via NCMEC or IDS. Those zip files contain PDF files with unstructured text that lists:
• Reporting Agencies
• Email Addresses
• Telephone Numbers
• IP Addresses
• Hash Values
• Physical Addresses
• Sender IDs
• Recipient IDs
• Suspect Names
• Victim Names
• … and much more.
Triage administrators must:
Download each CyberTip locally
Unzip the file
Begin a long process of putting those data elements together to create a connected view of those data elements to determine solvability
And then assign to an investigator – internal or affiliate.
Oh, and then do the same for the next CyberTip… and the next one… and the next one after that.
Problem Solving for ICAC
Working with San Diego ICAC, we created a tool that allows administrators to save CyberTips directly a CJIS-Compliant ‘black box’ server instead of downloading them locally. That black box contains proprietary logic that systematically opens those zip files, pulls all of those data elements from the PDFs, grabs all of the attachments and underlying hash values, and links them into a single interface for the administrator. Important to note is that this process happens quickly and virtually eliminates the manual efforts in existence now.
We have essentially created a unique, user-friendly system where investigators cannot view attachments until they purposely elect to.
They can see usernames, IP Addresses, filenames, and an array of other information… but not the images. Images cannot be revealed until investigators have proper authority in compliance of the Wilson Ruling. It’s a simple but brilliant addition to the process that protects all parties.
Just to tie a bow around Mr. Wilson, he was eventually convicted of child molestation on the Stateside and sentenced to 25 years. He was subsequently charged and convicted of possession and distribution of CSAM on the federal side and received an additional ten years. He is where he should be, but his entire case was thrown into jeopardy when one agent viewed four files that one court felt violated his rights.
August 1, 2022 (San Diego, CA) The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) is on the front lines of the fight against online crimes against children. Their ‘CyberTipline’ is the country’s centralized system for reporting the online exploitation of children.
According to NCMEC’s website, “Concerned individuals and organizations make reports of suspected online enticement of children for sexual acts, child sexual molestation, child sexual abuse material, child sex tourism, child sex trafficking, and unsolicited obscene materials sent to a child.
In the United States, there are over 60 regional ICAC Task Force agencies representing almost 5,500 individual agencies.
Sergeant Garrick Nugent is commander of the San Diego ICAC Task Force. His task force consists of roughly 33 different agencies that endeavor to work together to investigate cybercrimes against children in San Diego, Imperial, and Riverside Counties. According to Nugent, most investigations begin with NCMEC, which contacts San Diego ICAC when it believes there’s a local case. These tips, referred to as CyberTips, number in the thousands each year for San Diego ICAC alone. And that number has risen consistently over the past five years.
“I truthfully believe there are more cases,” said Nugent in a 2020 interview with a CBS affiliate in San Diego. “I wish I could say we are (keeping up with the volume). We have both children and predators that are at home. They have unprecedented access to the internet. They’ve got lots and lots of time on their hands and therefore I think we’re seeing the increase as a result.”
Dealing With Growing Volume
With each CyberTip comes a host of investigation intelligence including perpetrator usernames, unique IP addresses, suspect information, Internet Service Provider details, and much more. CyberTips also include disturbing multimedia evidence of child sexual assault materials (CSAM) that must be verified by the task force. Each CyberTip must be downloaded, opened, reviewed, verified, prioritized, and assigned to investigators who already maintain a full plate of cases to investigate. To say the problem is overwhelming is an understatement.
Since 2020, however, Nugent’s ICAC task force has worked in partnership with Texas-based Case Closed Software to develop innovative new systems designed to simplify and speed up the entire process of triaging and managing CyberTips.
The new system was implemented last year and now, according to Nugent, “greatly helps his ICAC task force to efficiently triage the NCMEC CyberTips and to control, direct, organize, review, and track our multi-agency investigations into child abuse and exploitation.”
Working Hand in Hand to Solve Problems
A quote from Nugent on Case Closed Software’s website states “This software is a must-have for ICAC units.”
Douglas Wood is the founder and CEO of Case Closed Software. According to Wood, his company has unique functionality to allow near-instant triage of CyberTips.
“As a result of our unique partnership with San Diego ICAC, users can simply save CyberTips to our CJIS-compliant cloud service, and moments later view all pertinent information for quick and effective triage”, says Wood. “They can then be assigned to any task force case agent who can use the ICAC investigation case management system to work more efficiently through investigations and prosecutions.”
The Crimes Against Children Conference
In a joint announcement, Case Closed Software and San Diego ICAC Task Force stated support for the upcoming 34th annual Crimes Against Children Conference (CACC) in Dallas, TX beginning August 8, 2022.
According to Case Closed Software, conference attendees will be able to see the ICAC task force software in action at the Exhibitor’s Hall. CCAC is presented annually by the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center and provides training to agencies in the fields of law enforcement, social work, child protective services, child advocacy, therapy, and medicine who work directly with child victims of crime.