Virginia State Department Official Arrested in Cyber Sting Operation

March 25, 2015 by David S. Seltzer

Daniel Rosen, one of the many office directors in the counterterrorism bureau of the U.S. State Department, was taken into custody after being charged with arranging to have sex from a minor. The senior official has spoken out publicly about the danger of exposing youth to corrupting adult influences, which makes his arrest for the alleged charges all the more concerning.

Rosen stumbled into an online sting operation conducted by Fairfax County's Child Exploitation Unit, which makes up to 100 arrests a year by monitoring various sites and chatrooms frequented by teens. A female officer, posing as a teenage girl, held the exchange with Rosen that led to his alleged solicitation. A spokesperson for the proactive child exploitation unit assured the press that its officers don't "make overtures" but are only there to monitor activity and catch "bad guys."

Rosen appeared in the D.C. Superior Court one day after his arrest, where he waived extradition to Virginia. He was held without bond and later transferred to the Fairfax County jail. Meanwhile, officials obtained a search warrant that allowed them to search Rosen's phone records looking for evidence.

There is no doubt that cybercrimes against minors are a serious problem and that society benefits from the services of law enforcement initiatives like Fairfax County's Child Exploitation Unit. However, we need to be careful that officers are not overstepping their bounds, entrapping merely curious Internet users or building overzealous cases.
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