Computer Crime Research Center


Internet child porn more pervasive, accessible

Date: July 17, 2008

An Internet safety expert said there’s insufficient funding for law enforcement officers who are attempting to track down child pornographers and pedophiles. Subsequently, child pornography has become a multi-billion dollar commercial business.

FBI director Robert Mueller recently told a House Judiciary Committee hearing that U.S. law enforcement is losing the battle to combat child pornography and child exploitation on the Internet. He stressed the need to grow and fund task forces within the U.S. that are pursuing online child predators.

Cris Clapp is a research analyst at Enough is Enough, a group founded to protect children and families from the dangers of illegal Internet pornography and sexual predators. She said the Internet has opened up a new frontier for people who want to exploit young children by trading and selling images of them.

“In the past, before the Internet existed, we knew that these child pornographers and predators traded magazines or images – so we partnered with the U.S. Postal Inspection Services, for example, to be able to track [down] those sorts of images, ” said Clapp. “But now, through the Internet, you have anonymous and instant access to all sorts of information; and unfortunately, this has opened the door for people to have instant access to the worst sorts of forms of child pornography.”

According to Clapp, child porn has become more pervasive because of a “growing problem of sex in the culture” and a lack of obscenity enforcement by the U.S. Justice Department.
Clapp said the government has been reluctant to prosecute obscenity cases because self-proclaimed “free speech” groups have been winning court battles.

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