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In 'Nearby' mode, instead of sending messages using a mobile or data signal, the feature lets users send messages to people in close proximity that are in Bluetooth or Wi-Fi Direct range - up to around 30 feet (9 metres).
The Fire Chat app, pictured left, was developed by Open Garden.
In fact, currently more personnel resources are expended towards violations worked under the IINI than any other program within the FBI's Cyber Division.
Between fiscal years 19, there was a 2050% increase in the number of IINI cases opened (113 to 2430) throughout the FBI.
Further investigation and discussions with experts, both within the FBI and in the private sector, revealed that the utilization of computer telecommunications was rapidly becoming one of the most prevalent techniques by which some sex offenders shared pornographic images of minors and identified and recruited children into sexually illicit relationships.
In 1995, based on information developed during this investigation, the Innocent Images National Initiative was started to address the illicit activities conducted by users of commercial and private online services and the Internet.
IINI investigations are also coordinated with Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Forces, which are funded by the Department of Justice.
In the app there are 'chatrooms' including Everyone and Nearby.
The former searches for all users, while the latter applies to people within Bluetooth and Wi-Fi range.
THE HISTORY OF THE INNOCENT IMAGES NATIONAL INITIATIVE: While investigating the disappearance of a juvenile in May 1993, FBI Special Agents and Prince George's County, Maryland, Police detectives identified two suspects who had sexually exploited numerous juveniles over a 25-year period.
Investigation into these activities determined that adults were routinely utilizing computers to transmit sexually explicit images to minors, and in some instances to lure minors into engaging in illicit sexual activity.