The WashBiz Guest Blog: Adam Palmer

Welcome to our little experiment in guest blogging, something we hope will be an occasional feature. The goal of this trial is to capture a small slice of Washington at work. For the rest of the week we plan to run posts from Adam Palmer, policy counsel for .ORG, the Public Interest Registry based in Reston. Adam works on policy issues dealing with Internet governance, cyber security, and e-commerce. Today, he talks about his efforts to stop child pornography.

By Adam Palmer

Researching solutions to stop Internet child pornography while gulping black coffee at 7 a.m. might not be how most local DC executives start their day.

At 33 years old I work as policy counsel for the .org Internet domain company in Reston. My "day job" is working on high-level policy issues that keep the Internet functioning. I enjoy my job, but for the last eight years my real passion has been protecting children from online predators. As a prosecutor with the Navy's Judge Advocate General's Corps (JAG), and later as the legal director at The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, I have focused on fighting Internet crimes against kids. Today I write articles on the topic and fly around the world teaching lawyers how to properly prosecute these cases.

Many lawyers avoid handling these cases because they are seen as too difficult or "dirty". Out of frustration with this attitude, I hatched the idea to teach a law school course on the subject. My goal would be getting a new generation of lawyers interested in defending children. Eight months ago I persuaded the University of Mississippi Law School that if I donated my time, they would let me teach the first ever law school level course exclusively on Internet crimes against children. I now spend my weekends, evenings, and early mornings preparing my class syllabus and reviewing cases.

Adam Palmer (center) with National Law Center director Richard Whidden (left) and NLC lawyer Tiffany Richards. Photo courtesy of Adam Palmer

After spending my morning in meetings at the .org offices, I drive from Reston to Alexandria to meet with Richard Whidden, the director of the National Law Center for Children & Families otherwise known as the "NLC". Richard has always been a good friend and supporter of my ideas. In his office we discuss a two-year project we have been developing to provide free legal guides on crimes against children for each state's prosecutors. We are using local volunteer DC law students to help us draft the guides. I am also speaking at an upcoming law enforcement conference in Florida so we talk about the areas I will include in my planned three-hour lecture on prosecution strategy.

After my NLC visit, I drive back to Reston where I plan to spend a few more hours working on .org projects before returning home around 8 p.m. At home I will need to spend about two hours preparing my law enforcement lecture PowerPoint slides. If I'm lucky, I will get about five hours of sleep tonight before a busy day tomorrow.

See Adam's bio after the jump:

Adam Palmer is the policy counsel for the ".ORG" Internet Domain Company based in Reston. The .ORG domain is the Internet's third largest "generic" or non-country specific top-level domain with more than 6 million domain names registered worldwide. Adam works on policy issues dealing with Internet governance, cyber security, and e-commerce.

Adam is also an adjunct law professor at both Washington & Lee Law School and the University of Mississippi Law School where he teaches courses focused on internet crime and Internet crimes against children. Adam regularly authors articles on Internet policy and cyber crime that are published in national legal magazines. He has served as faculty in courses for the National Association of Attorneys General and the National District Attorneys Association.

In 2006, Adam was awarded the Outstanding Community Service Award by the Washington DC Association of Corporate Counsel for his pro bono work teaching prosecutors how to effectively prosecute internet crimes against children cases.

Adam serves as a U.S. Navy JAG (lawyer) reserve lieutenant attached to the U.S. Army Trial Counsel Assistance Program (TCAP). Since, 2005 Adam has performed non-paid volunteer services for the Army by traveling to Japan, Germany, South Korea and many U.S. cities teaching military prosecutors how to effectively handle Internet crime cases.

During 2007 Adam worked as the chief cyber security counsel for the Washington-based Internet brand protection company, Cyveillance.

Adam is a member of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) Registry Constituency and the Anti Phishing Working Group (APWG) Internet Policy Committee. Adam has attended ICANN conferences in Asia, Europe and the Caribbean. He will be traveling to Cairo in for the next ICANN meeting this fall.

From 2003-2006 Adam served as the director of the Office of Legal Counsel for The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). The NCMEC is a private nonprofit organization that receives significant funding annually from the U.S. Dept. of Justice to combat Internet crimes against children.

From 2000-2003, Adam served as a U.S. Navy JAG trial counsel in Pearl Harbor Hawaii. Adam prosecuted numerous cases as a Navy JAG Attorney including Internet crime cases and a highly publicized double homicide case. He also earned his MBA at night school from the University of Hawaii.

Adam earned a J.D. in 2000 and an MBA in 2003. He grew up in Pittsburgh and is now married and living in Woodbridge.

By Dan Beyers  |  July 29, 2008; 9:00 AM ET  | Category:  Adam Palmer
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Impressive stuff. It is comforting to see that there are institutional resources being used to help parents combat what seems to be a systemic assault on the innocence of our children through cyber sources.

Posted by: Warren | July 29, 2008 11:05 AM

Adam, I found your blog through the ACC listserve. I look forward to additional posts. I am wondering how you first became interested in stopping Internet child pornography.

You should be absolutely heralded for your work. I wish there were classes like the ones detailed in the article when I was in law school. Keep up the worthwhile work.

Posted by: Dani | July 29, 2008 11:46 AM

Adam - this is your cousin Anne. I was excited to look for your blog and if you don't mind, I'll point it out to my law of business professor. I'm stuck between Human Resource Management and Healthcare Management, so I can't tell you what I'm majoring in. :-) At any rate, this is awesome and I forward articles about what you're doing to friends of mine when I can.

That's great for a first blog!

Posted by: | July 30, 2008 7:49 AM

Adam, Nice work on the blog. I found out about it through your aunt in Ohio who is always bragging on you. How big is Internet child pornography and what advice do you have for parents? How do kids get involved in something like Internet pornography? What is the mean age for kids involved in this? Is it more likely that the predator is someone the child knows or is the primary threat from strangers? What advice do you have for parents?

Posted by: John | July 30, 2008 8:31 AM

Hi Adam! It's great to see you writing this blog and sharing about the important work you do online!

Posted by: Ami Neiberger-Miller | July 30, 2008 11:25 AM

This is the kind of information that needs to be going out to the public. We are facing an ever increasing battle against individuals who are online predators of children. We need all the help we can and blog posts from Adam, on the Washington Post site, is a great way to bring attention to the problem. Way to go Adam.

Posted by: Gary | August 4, 2008 11:42 AM

Sounds like a lot of self-serving drivel to me. Why no mention of your academic credentials? And why are there so many incestuous links between NCMEC, the Christian Right and the technology industry? I thought NCMEC was supposed to be watching the bad guys not providing political cover for the "internet industry" which is not doing enough to stop child porn. Get real. This is more like a self-serving advertisement than a well intentioned effort to stop child exploitation.

Posted by: Where'sTheBeef? | August 4, 2008 12:46 PM

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