The Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) serves a unique and critical function in the enforcement of the nation’s laws protecting children from sexual exploitation and prohibiting the distribution of obscenity. Our mission is to protect children from sexual exploitation through the vigorous enforcement of federal laws, and to continuously improve the federal response to these serious crimes.
CEOS is part of the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice. In connection with the 94 United States Attorney´s Offices around the country, CEOS investigates and prosecutes violations of federal law related to child pornography, the prostitution of children, extraterritorial sexual exploitation of children, international parental kidnapping, and obscenity. Additionally, CEOS has jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute individuals who fail to register as sex offenders pursuant to the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), as well as child sexual abuse and child support enforcement matters in limited circumstances.
In addition to prosecutorial efforts, CEOS attorneys develop and refine proposals for prosecution policies, legislation, government practices and agency regulations addressing all relevant subject areas. CEOS also conducts and participates in trainings for federal, state, local and international prosecutors, investigators, government officials and others engaged in efforts to enforce federal child exploitation and obscenity laws.
The High Technology Investigative Unit (HTIU) initiates investigations and conducts forensic analysis on computer evidence in federal cases involving child exploitation crimes. HTIU is designed to provide the most accurate, up-to-date expertise on computer forensic matters. The HTIU computer forensic specialists assist law enforcement agents and prosecutors in the investigation and prosecution of computer facilitated child exploitation offenses, national operations involving child exploitation over the Internet, and special investigative initiatives. In addition, HTIU specialists deliver training for law enforcement agencies, research and help develop new investigative tools and techniques, assist in drafting proposed legislation, and testify as experts in federal court.
In all aspects of work, CEOS and the High Technology Investigative Unit (HTIU) seek to blend investigative and prosecutorial experience with policy expertise in order to create innovative solutions to the threats posed by those who violate federal child exploitation and obscenity laws.