10/25/2014

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Technology

'Operation Predator' app launched for the iPhone

'Operation Predator' app launched for the iPhone

PORTLAND, Ore. - A new iPhone app called 'Operation Predator' has been launched to help track down people suspected of sexually abusing and exploiting children.

"It's a race against the clock to rescue the child and bring the predator to justice," said ICE Acting Director John Sandweg, Acting Director for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). "These investigations are one of our highest priorities. And in today's world, we need to be technologically savvy and innovative in our approach."

ICE and special agents from the Cyber Crimes Center of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) developed the app and are planning to expand compatibility to other smartphones in the near future.

The app sends out alerts about wanted predators, allows users to share the information on social media or by email and will also let folks to submit anonymous tips. Users will also get news about arrests and prosecutions of child predators.

Here's how it works: You can be anywhere -- the park, the mall or on the street -- and see something that's not right and submit a tip. You submit the tip and the information is processed and to a regional ICE office.

You can also use the app to look through a list of alerts for sex predators and read about the latest sex predator arrests and convictions. Featured now is the sentencing of Beaverton teacher, Logan Storm, who was convicted of possessing child pornography.

The app is only available for iPhones, but ICE is in the process of releasing similar apps for other smartphones in the future.

The most urgent case being investigated right now is a "John Doe" who is wanted for producing child pornography involving the sexual abuse of a 10 to 12-year-old girl. He is believed to be living somewhere in the United States or Canada, but could be anywhere in the world.

The investigation began back in 2006 when Interpol discovered four video files showing a young girl being sexually abused by an adult male. He and the girl are seen in a room with wood-paneled walls with framed photos, a black computer, a desk with a sewing machine and brown patterned curtains. The man in the video has short brown hair, a full beard, blue eyes and was wearing glasses.

Note: Anyone with information about "John Doe" or other fugitives can also call a 24-hour tip line at (866) 347-2423 from the U.S. & Canada or (802) 872-6199 from anywhere in the world, or complete an online tip form. Do not attempt to apprehend a suspect yourself.

KATU News Reporter Hillary Lake contributed to this story.

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