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National Child Victim Identification Program

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The National Child Victim Identification Program (NCVIP) is the world's largest database of child pornography, maintained by the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section of the United States Department of Justice and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) for the purpose of identifying victims of child abuse.[1][2]

Development of the database began in 1999, and it was launched in 2003. It contains images contributed by the FBI, Secret Service, Postal Inspection Service, and several other organizations.[1] In March 2005, the Justice Department's database with merged with that of the NCMEC.[3] The database uses image analysis software developed by LTU Technologies to detect victims.[4]

As a security measure, police are not allowed to manually browse the database, and they cannot identify victims by name. Instead, they are given contact information for higher-level officers who have security clearance.[5] When child pornography is seized, specialist FBI investigators analyse the entire collection before running the images through the database, as the way the computer files are organised can help in identifying victims. Following a seizure of more than 10,000 images in California in 2007, two officers from the Washington Field Office of the FBI reviewed every image.[6]

The program was created by Andrew Oosterban, head of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section of the Justice Department. [7]


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