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The first new program to Combat Child Pornography

Date: August 28, 2004
Source: PR Newswire

ARLINGTON, Va., Aug. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- The Distributed Computing Industry Association (DCIA) is expanding its initiative to combat child pornography through law enforcement support, deterrence, and user education programs. The DCIA is a trade association dedicated to the advancement of file sharing to benefit consumers as well as technology and entertainment companies.

The DCIA today announced the launch of its deterrence program under a new service-marked umbrella organization for all of its anti-child-pornography efforts: P2P PATROL -- Peer-To-Peer Parents And Teens React On Line. These are in addition to its initial ongoing program in support of law enforcement agencies, which began in October 2003.

"Eradication of child pornography should be the goal of every participant at every level in the distributed computing industry," said DCIA CEO Marty Lafferty. "We applaud our P2P software providing Members for taking a zero
tolerance stance and backing it up in word and deed."

The first new P2P PATROL program is focused on deterrence and will commence with a series of pop-up warning messages, shaped like a red stop sign, that appear when a user of a participating P2P software program enters a search term known to be associated with child pornography. The target for these escalating messages will be users who appear to be on the threshold of involvement with child pornography.

The initial message will read, "WARNING -- The search term you entered has been associated with child pornography. Any person who receives, reproduces, or redistributes a visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct shall be subject to severe fines and imprisonment. P2P PATROL reports suspected violations of Title 18, USC 2252 to the FBI. -- PEER-TO-PEER PARENTS AND TEENS REACT ONLINE."

The warning messages will be served by DCIA member Altnet and be field-tested with DCIA member Grokster, before being offered -- without cost -- to other file-sharing software suppliers. The initial keywords will be seeded by international law enforcement agencies, and ultimately will be updated for participating P2P PATROL file-sharing software programs by the users themselves.

"This real-time warning, which begins field-testing immediately, will be an effective weapon in P2P PATROL's arsenal for combating child pornography," added Lafferty.

The P2P PATROL deterrence program will launch additional components as the program develops and rolls out. These additional elements will include notifications of suspected trafficking in child pornography to Internet service providers (ISPs), and state, federal, and international law enforcement agencies for investigation.

The third P2P PATROL program, focused on education, will be presented to appropriate officials in September for implementation by November 2004. The education program will be aimed at empowering general users, who inadvertently encounter undesirable material online, with the tools they need to recognize, report, and remove (i.e., hard-drive wipe) any criminally obscene content. P2P PATROL seeks to utilize advanced collaborative-filtering techniques to purge such files from redistribution. The DCIA is working with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) on the education program of the P2P PATROL initiative.

Today's announcement comes just three months after the first law enforcement actions against those trafficking in child pornography by means of P2P software were announced in May 2004. DCIA Members supported the covert operations that led to the arrests.

The DCIA and its Members have unanimously praised the enforcement actions of the Cyber Division of the FBI and the coordinated law enforcement efforts of the Department of Justice and Homeland Security, stating, "No amount of child pornography is acceptable, and we are committed to doing all we can to eliminate this illicit content from peer-to-peer file-sharing environments."

The DCIA is also working with state police Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force units to enhance the effectiveness of regional enforcement in combating child pornography by tapping P2P technology to prosecute suspected traffickers.

P2P PATROL is accepting financial contributions to help defray the expenses of implementing its programs and expanding their reach. Any party interested in supporting P2P PATROL's mission and its broad adoption should contact [email protected] or call 888-864-DCIA.

DCIA Members participating in the September education presentations include Chip Venters, CEO, Digital Containers; Les Ottolenghi, President, INTENT MediaWorks; Marc Freedman, CEO, RazorPop; and Chris Haigh, CEO, SVC Financial.

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