Game Changer Fighting crime with several clicks of a computer mouse

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By: Marisa Gottesman Associate Editor
Carly Yoost is carrying out her late father’s mission of using technology to fight crime and protect children.
Located in a few office spaces in the back of a high-tech company, Yoost and her team at the nonprofit Child Rescue Coalition are working to put an end to the exploitation of children across the world.
Computer and television screens are constantly refreshing and indicating where in the world child pornography is being viewed. Little red dots instantly appear, infiltrating a map of the world, each indicating exactly where the computers being used are located. The technology that Yoost’s father, database technology legend Hank Asher, helped create is hard at work.
The program tracks and helps law enforcement agencies arrest those viewing child pornography. It was developed by law enforcement, but Yoost said it was underfunded. So in 2009, she said her father took it over and decided to build the most successful program he could.
Some of his technology had already been used to fight crime including apprehending terrorists involved in the Sept. 11 attacks and the Beltway sniper attacks.
“He was passionate about helping kids and protecting kids from any kind of abuse,” she said of her father.
In 2013, Yoost took control of the technology as president, founder and director of the nonprofit coalition.
Currently, the technology is being used in all 50 states and in 58 countries. The coalition offers the technology to law enforcement agencies for free.
The technology has led to the arrest more than 6,500 pedophiles and the rescue of more than 1,500 children, who were in abusive situations, Yoost said.
Because of how detailed the technology is, Yoost said prosecutors use it to build cases against criminals and often don’t have to put the abused child on the stand to testify.
“Prosecutors use our tools and don’t have to rely on the victim,” she said.
While she said it is challenging to work on a subject that is depressing, it’s the fact that she knows she is making a difference that makes running the organization worthwhile.
“It’s a much bigger problem than people realize,” she said. “It’s a problem people don’t want to talk about, but when it comes to protecting children everyone should be talking about it.”
In the last year, the program tracked 5,807 different computers viewing child pornography. In Delray Beach, there were about 60 people and in Boca Raton about 40.
The program allows the coalition to keep tabs on who has been arrested and what law enforcement is doing with the information.
“Growing up with my dad, I saw that technology can be used to catch bad guys,” she said. “That is what is rewarding.”
If you know someone who is making a difference in the Boca Raton or Delray Beach area, please nominate them to be featured in our monthly “Game Changers” feature.