Timofey A. Saytarly
Fighting Child Pornography
In time of intensive global computerization humanity faced plenty of challenges, which have quickly turned into real threats to economic and social well-being.
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. drugs, food, the promise of a ride home, etc.)
2. Procuring: Encouraging or forcing a person under 18 years of age to become a prostitute.
3. Living off Avails (Pimping): Obtaining income by requiring a person under 18 years of age to surrender all or part of the earnings made through prostitution.
Child Pornography has different legal definitions in different countries. The minimum defines child pornography as a picture that shows a person who is a child and who is engaged in or is depicted as being engaged in explicit sexual activity.
A major concern is, therefore, the ease with which pornographic material can be accessed, stored and disseminated on the Internet.
Images in a range of file formats can be stored on and transmitted between computers using the Internet. Such images can be created through scanning of photographs/slides or digital-capture on video at relatively low cost, converted into a standard image file format and displayed or transmitted to other like-minded individuals.
The Possession, Manufacture, and Distribution of Child Pornography
Under the Criminal Code of Canada, any of the following amount to child pornography:
1. A visual representation of a person under the age of 18 engaged in explicit sexual activity^; or
2. A visual representation, the dominant characteristic of which is the depiction of a sexual organ or the anal region of a person under 18 years of age for a sexual purpose^; or
3. Any written material or visual representation that advocates a sexual offence involving a person under 18 years of age.
However, the court is required to find the person not guilty if the representation or written material has artistic merit or an educational, scientific, or medical purpose.
Sex Offender Statistics
• There are approximately 400, 000 registered sex offenders in the US alone.
• Convicted rapists report that two-thirds of their victims were under 18 and 58% of those said their victims were age 12 or under.
• In 1994 only one third of the victims said that they reported being raped to a law enforcement agency.
• In 90% of the rapes of children under 12 years old, the offender knew the victim.
• 8 out of 10 rapists are released prior to trial.
• 61% of violent sex offenders have a prior record.
• 8 out of 10 sex assaulters reported that their victim was under 18. The median age of victims of imprisoned sex offenders was 13 years old.
• 24% of those serving time for rape and 19% of the ones serving time for sex assault were on probation at the time of arrest for rape or sexual assault.
• 28% of released rapists were rearrested within 3 years and charged for a new violent crime.
• 8 % of those are charged with another rape.
• Released rapists were found to be 10.5 times as likely as non-rapists to be rearrested for rape and those who served time are found to be 7.5 times as likely as those convicted of other crimes to be rearrested for a new sexual assault.
The governments of developed countries have already realized the urgency of problem of child pornography. According to researches it is possible to state that there is a relation of child and adult pornography to other grave organized crimes, such as international terrorism. Child pornography industry can be a financial support for terrorist groupings and committing terrorist acts. The transnational nature of this crime is obvious.
In this connection it is very important to develop an effective system of cooperation between various law enforcement agencies in child pornography on line investigation.
Nowadays, only the Criminal Search Department (Ministry of Internal Affairs) is engaged in fighting child pornography in Ukraine. However, there is a necessity to create special divisions on detecting and fixing offenders in the Internet, on collecting information on these crimes, criminal intelligence units, and analytical departments.
Thus, criminal intelligence units would collect the information on preparing crimes and committed crimes. There would be plenty of sources of the information on these crimes:
- on-line chats^;
- other open and secret sources.
The special department on verifying information would check it and continue collect evidences on this crime and would search the offenders.
The special technical support units would examine porno photos, video and other materials involving children for the authenticity. Hence, it is necessary to create special units possessing information on details represented in photos and video (furniture, clothes, accessories, surroundings) and capable to detect the place of shooting (region, country, etc.), and suppose a circle of suspected in producing and distributing child pornography, and paedophiles as well.
The critical issue is a definition of child pornography in the current criminal law. Unfortunately, Ukrainian Penal Code doesn’t define a responsibility and prosecution for such crimes as intention to involve children in sexual relations, storage of child pornography materials, viewing child pornography, etc.
Current penal legislation of Ukraine has a very narrow definition of actions related to child sexual abuse. In spite of the fact that there are several articles dedicated to child abuse in Criminal Code of Ukraine it is still hard to prosecute offenders in this state.
Criminal Code of Ukraine has the following articles providing responsibility for sexual crimes against children.
Article 301 «Import, producing, sale and distribution of the pornography». The third part of this article provides responsibility for compulsion minors to participate in porno scenes (video, photos, and computer programs). These actions are punished with 3-7 years imprisonment.
It seems the most felicitous article of Ukraine’s Criminal Code from the point of criminalization of criminal activity on creating porno materials involving minors. Unfortunately, it doesn’t cover all ways of this crime committing.
Article 152 «Rape», i.e. copulation using violence, threatening to use violence or using helpless position of a victim.
The third part of the article provides responsibility for minors’ rape, and the fourth part – for child rape. However, a qualificatory sign of this crime is using force. Frequently, child pornography is produced in consent with children, because they don’t realize what they do in full measure.
The same situation is in use of Article 153 of Criminal Code of Ukraine. «Violent obtaining of sexual satisfaction in unnatural ways». The second and the third parts of this article provide responsibility for such actions towards children and minors, if they caused grave consequences. Besides, frequently, there is no assault, as well as grave consequences.
Article 155 «Sexual intercourse with the person under the age of puberty». This action is punished with 3 years of imprisonment, if it caused sterility or other grave consequences.
Article 156 «Deprave of minors», i.e. depraving persons under sixteen years old. These actions are punished with confinement of freedom for 3-5 years, that is not enough for such crimes.
Thus, one of the main qualificatory signs of crimes against children is using violence or threatening to use violence, and causing the grave hurt to health. However, the majority of pornographic photos and videos involving children show the free-will and desire of children to enter in sexual intercourse. But these photos and videos are evidence of criminal activity and it is hard to accuse offender of crime against children in full measure, seeing victims not suffering from these actions.
Moreover, Criminal Code of Ukraine doesn’t provide the responsibility for forcing minors to have sexual intercourse with each other.
It is necessary to note that the main aspect in fighting child pornography and paedophilia is to provide responsibility for possession of child pornography. It is known that “supply is resulted by demand”.
 Criminal Code of Ukraine
 Criminal Code of Canada
 National Hi-Tech Crime Unit (United Kingdom)
 National Criminal Intelligence Service (United Kingdom)
 Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine
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