Web Site Operators Warned on Kiddie Porn

July 7, 2008 - 7:02 PM

New Orleans (CNSNews.com) - The director of a global network that fights child pornography on the Internet had a warning this weekend for webmasters thinking about distributing such material on the World Wide Web - don't.

Parry Aftab, an attorney who coordinates the activities of 7,200 volunteers in 14 countries who patrol the Internet looking for child pornography and pedophiles told executives at IA2000, the world's largest erotic Internet convention, that they are legally obligated to report child pornography if they find it.

"If you think it's child pornography, treat it like child pornography," said Aftab, who specializes in cyber-technology law and is author of the book The Parents Guide to Protecting Your Children in Cyberspace.

"You don't have a legal obligation to look for (child pornography) but if you find it and don't report it to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children... you're liable as though you were the child pornographer yourself," Aftab said.

"If you're advertising that you've got child pornography, the (Federal Communications Commission) is coming after you, and so will I," she said.

The trading of computer images of child pornography is becoming one of the fastest growing illegal enterprises on the web, analysts say. Aftab's group alone traces 70 new sites each day. People with a sexual interest in minor children are most often the people who create it, traffic in it and consume it, according to experts on the issue.

One investigator noted that for child pornography to exist, a crime literally has to have already been committed. "What you are seeing in child pornography is the fruits of a crime, a child being victimized," said an undercover Internet investigator who asked not to be identified.

After organized crime got out of the child pornography business around the mid-1970s because of severe penalties, it became largely a cottage industry, with pedophiles exchanging photographs and videos for free, according to the investigator.

The IA2000 convention was held this weekend in New Orleans and ended on Sunday.

See Earlier Stories:
First Amendment Lawyers Caution New Generation of Pornographers (24 Sept. 2000)
Internet Pornographers Urged to Support Gore (24 Sept. 2000)