Fighting child porn onlineDate: March 01, 2005
Source: Computer Crime Research Center
Cybercrime and cyberterrorism can be included in list of threats. A phenomenon of cybercrime is so young as it is not well studied. Being a crime which has transnational nature, cybercrime requires special approaches.
Among of such widespread cybercrimes as infringement of the work of computers and computer networks, data theft, Internet fraud, blackmail and extortion, distortion of computer information, it is necessary to emphasize and mark out crimes related to manufacture and distribution of child pornography in the Internet.
Current statistics shows a popularity of such crimes. According to different sources child pornography is a 2-3 billion dollar a year industry.
We define the following Types of INCIDENTS related to child sexual exploitation.
- child pornography
- child-sex tourism
- child prostitution
Child pornography can consist of a child or children engaged in sexual behaviour alone or with one or more adults, or it could involve two or more children performing sexual acts, with or without adults being involved or being visible. Such imagery can range from sexualized photographs of a single child or children, or sexualized images of their genitals, though the most abject pictures of brutal anal or vaginal rape, bondage, oral sex, bestiality or other forms of degradation, sometimes involve too young children or babies.
According to current statistics 80% of those child pornography purchasers are active child molesters. Child pornographers usually range in age within 10-65.
Network monitoring carried out by law enforcement agencies shows that 1 in 5 children are contacted for sex while being online.
70% of convicted sex offenders use the Internet.
Over 90% of the child sexual abuse incidents are committed by someone known and trusted by the child or his/her family.
Paedophiles often use modern technical devices in their criminal activity. Web cameras are one of the new and admired electronic toys used by paedophiles and child molesters to gain immediate sexual gratification and exploit a young person. Most of the commonly used instant message programs have the capability of connecting a Web camera to the Internet for live videoconferences. Many of the programs have an icon letting other users know if there is a Web camera attached to another user’s computer.
The sexual abuser sits in the chat rooms and game areas where children are known to visit. They contact those children with a Web camera and coerce them into masturbating and posing in sexually lewd positions in front of their cameras. The sex offender may be viewing one child or may be viewing several at the same time. There can also be more than one offender viewing the same child.
Many of these offenders have hardware attached to their computers that enable them to capture the live broadcast and save it to his computer, a CD, or a videocassette.
Once the video is saved, the offender can view it again in the future, trade with others sharing the same interests, offer the video for sale or add it to a collection online and freely distribute it. Specialized movie editing software can be used to edit the video, make custom movies or combine other clips and make a longer movie.
Generally, children are remunerated between $10-$50 for one posing in front of web-camera.
There are known cases when teens made between $300-$500 per day displaying themselves in any position imaginable in front of those who are child pornographers wishing to capture new and fresh material for their own collections to trade with the thousands of others who share an interest in exploiting youth.
The Teen Model Web Sites
The use of the Internet for spreading child pornography is obvious. Webmasters are now involved in recruiting large numbers of young people as "teen models.” The Webmaster creates a membership Web site where he or she charges a set fee to those wishing to join. The fee is usually between $9.95-$19.95 per month. After the potential member pays his or her membership dues, he or she is then given access to the photos of the young teen or pre-teen models. The membership fee allows the member to view the images of children sitting in their underwear, posing in provocative positions and if they are wearing any clothes, they are very revealing clothes that most parents would not approve of their child wearing.
These Web sites display girls as young as seven years old posing provocatively in their underwear or swimwear. Some even go a step further and show the girls nude with their hands covering their private parts.
They enlist the help of the parents of these young people and obtain their permission to photograph or videotape children for their Web sites. Parents and young people are paid from $150 to $500 for allowing the photographer to take pictures or record videos of the children.
Most law enforcement agencies across the United States and other parts of the world consider the content of these sites to be art. The images seen on the public or non-member areas of these sites do not meet the federal guidelines for child pornography.
According to the owners of the Web sites, these are just young innocent girls, who would like to become professional models one day. With their images and portfolios online, talent scouts are more likely to discover them and the girls could actually become professional models one day and in the meanwhile, they can make some money too.
The site owners also claim that there is no connection between these innocent teen models and the adult pornography industry. They say that if anyone other than professional model seekers and talent scouts are looking at these girls with other thoughts in mind, it is their problem.
Hundreds of young people are become victims of sexual exploitation and prostitution with the use of the use of digital cameras and Web cameras.
Web Cams and Wish Lists
There are thousands of places on the Internet where a young person can set up a free Web page where they can post information about themselves, their interests, favourite music, teen idols and whatever else they would like to add. Once the Web page is created, links to other sites can be added. That's where the wish list comes in.
Just about every online retail store has created a feature where kids can select items that they would like to receive as gifts. These items are then added to a page where the items can be purchased by shoppers visiting the child's site and shipped directly to the young person or picked up at a local mall. The young person's address is usually shielded from view even though the shopper can see the city and state where the child resides. The primary purpose that the retail stores had in mind was to provide a way for the young person's friends or family to purchase the items that the kid wants most and increase sales from the Internet. One retail site that offered wish lists estimated that 10,000 teens have signed up since in just a few weeks generating over $100,000 in sales of products from the wish lists.
All of this is a great idea for teens with family out of town and it all looks very innocent on the surface. The problem begins when the Web cam is combined with the wish list. The paedophile or child molester contacts the teen and convinces him to perform a wide variety of sexually explicit acts on his or her Web cam, in exchange he purchases something on the young person's wish list. These live broadcasts almost always consist of at least nudity but more often the child is coached on how to masturbate and is told exactly what to do during a live broadcast.
The young person probably isn't able to comprehend the seriousness consequences of this activity until it is too late. He or she has no idea that these live shows are frequently recorded on the child pornographer's computer and later traded or sold to thousands of other child pornographers. Once the child has exploited himself or herself, the damage has already started and won't go away for a long time if it ever goes away.
The parents or other adults in the lives of these kids may not know anything about the wish list or the fact that their young person is sexually exploiting themselves publicly on the Internet. They only become aware of this activity when strange packages start arriving or the child is missing as a result of going to meet one of these predators in person.
Sex tourism or, more specifically, travelling to a foreign country to engage in sexual activity with a child, has become a well-developed component of the commercial-sexual exploitation of children. It is an offence under the Criminal Code for a Canadian to engage in this activity. Glossy brochures, as well as web sites on the Internet, advertise packages for travellers complete with airfare, hotel, and directions to local brothels.
The Criminal Code contains several offences in relation to child prostitution:
1. Soliciting: Purchasing or offering to purchase sexual services from a person under 18 years. The purchase need not be for cash - the sexual services may be purchased with anything (e.g....
Add comment Email to a Friend