Michael Bazzell’s series of books, Open Source Intelligence Techniques: Resources for Searching and Analyzing Online Information, Amazon, contain many useful references to human trafficking and related terms, e.g. sex trafficking, Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM), child predators, sex offenders, etc. I highly recommend this resource to the Anti Human Trafficking Community. This article summaries human trafficking resources from Bazzell’s two most recent editions of his books.
8th Edition, 2021
The 8th Edition follows the 7th (2019) and was completely rewritten, emphasizing taking control of investigative resources, making and owning your own online search tools, creating and configuring your own virtual machines, etc and otherwise becoming self-reliant. The sections are:
SECTION I: OSINT Preparation (Chapters 1-8)
SECTION II: OSINT Resources & Techniques (Chapters 9-28)
SECTION III: OSINT Methodology (Chapters 29-31)
Specific references to human trafficking are found on pages 6, 55, 158, 312, 318, 322, 439, 464, 559. Chapter 31 includes a section on CSAM, pages 643-646. References to child predators, page 645; sex offenders, 523, etc.
9th Edition, 2022
Reference 9th Edition Changes & Summary and the Table of Contents on Bazzell’s website. Note the series of workflows on pages 474-480
Page #: Human Trafficking Reference
viii: Police officers can use these techniques to help locate missing children or investigate human trafficking.
35: Human Trafficking: While viewing ad results for suspected human trafficking victims, I can copy all active hyperlinks and paste directly into a report, email, or memo for other investigators
121: Secure Communications Apps: If you plan to communicate directly with targets of your investigation, you should be familiar with the popular secure communication preferences. Asking a suspect of a sex trafficking investigation to text you via cellular telephone number will not be well received. If you possess a secure ProtonMail email address or Wire encrypted communications username, your request may be honored. Possessing these apps within your Android environment allows you to contain the evidence within a VM and protect your host machine. You could also possess multiple accounts through these providers and log in only after cloning your machine, as explained later.
240: Real World Application: In 2012,1 was asked to assist with a death investigation of a "Jane Doe". I submitted a sanitized version of a tattoo on her back that appeared to be Chinese symbols. Within five minutes, a Reddit user identified the symbols, their meaning, and references to the region of China that would probably be related to my investigation. A reverse image search of his examples led to information about a human trafficking ring with which the victim was associated. This all occurred over a period of one hour.
245: Real World Application: I have two recent experiences with covert Tinder accounts to share. The first is a human trafficking investigation with which I was asked to assist. The investigation unit received information that a well-known pimp had recruited several children to enter his world of prostitution. He was not promoting them on websites, as he believed it was too risky. Instead, he posted profiles to Tinder while located at a run-down motel. From several states away, I spoofed my GPS on my Android device to the motel of interest. I set my search settings for females within five miles aged 18-19.1 immediately observed two images of what appeared to be young girls in a shady motel room. 1 "swiped right" to indicate interest, and was immediately contacted by the pimp pretending to be one of the girls. We agreed on a price and he disclosed the room number. The local agency working the case began immediate surveillance while a search warrant was obtained. While waiting, they arrested two men before the "date" could begin, and also arrested the pimp after a search warrant was obtained for the room.
249: Online Prostitution: Craigslist was once used by many prostitutes nationwide as an avenue to meeting "Johns". Likewise, many people used the site to locate a prostitute. In 2009, Craigslist was forced to remove the "Erotic Services" section that hosted these posts announcing this activity. In 2018, Backpage was forced offline and seized by various government agencies. Today, it is difficult to find a post offering prostitution on Craigslist and impossible on Backpage. This does not mean that the prostitutes and their clients simply stopped the potentially illegal behavior. Instead, they found new resources. There are many sites online that aid in prostitution and human trafficking. A few of the big players are listed here. I encourage you to investigate which services are applicable to your cities of interest.