Term of Award

Spring 2016

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Social Sciences (M.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Committee Chair

Adam Bossler

Committee Member 1

Laurie Gould

Committee Member 2

John Brent


Throughout recorded history, children have been subjected to sexual exploitation. Child predators and pedophiles often take great risk and go to extreme lengths to sexually exploit a child. With technological advancements many individuals became globalized and connected with the invention of the computer, the internet and its attributes. However, child predators quickly took note of the vulnerability of children as they begin to groom them online. The problem quickly evolved as the Deep (Dark) Web and encryption were created. This put great stress upon law enforcement entities as locating and combating these predators became exhausting tasks. It’s most often that these predators evolve quicker than law enforcement. Most recently, the use of hacking has become a successful tool in a child predator’s arsenal. To better understand this new phenomena, this study will focus on interviewing local, state, and federal law enforcement agents on detection, combating, prevention and direction of this problem. The results suggests that child predator hacking is a very rare crime. In fact, only one of the five officers interviewed for this study had experienced child predator hacking. Instead, child predators use easier techniques such as grooming and manipulation as children are naïve and are consensually giving the child predators explicit material. However, there is still a possibility that child predator hackers were successfully able to blackmail the child and there the crime will go unreported.

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