Child Pornography On Internet

In this new age of Information, the Internet has made all types of information
readily available. Some of this information can be very useful, some can be
malicious. Child pornography, also known as Paedophilia is one of these
problems. Any one person can find child pornography on the internet with just a
few clicks of the mouse using any search engine. Despite webmaster\'s and law
enforcement officials\' efforts to control child pornography and shut down
illegal sites, new sites are posted using several ways to mask their identity.

The Internet provides a new world for curious children. It offers entertainment,
opportunities for education, information and communication. The Internet is a
tool that opens a window of opportunities. As Internet use grows, so do the
risks of children being exposed to inappropriate material, in particular,
criminal activity by paedophiles and child pornographers. Many children first
come in contact with the Internet at a very young age. Some children become
victims of child pornography through close relatives who may have abused them.

Some children become involved with chat services or newsgroup threads. It is
usually through these sites that they meet child pornographers. Children may be
asked to send explicit pictures of themselves taken either by a digital camera
or scanned from a polaroid. The pornographer will then post the pictures on
their web site, sometimes hiding them through encryption, steganography or
password protecting them using a javascript or applet. Certain efforts have been
made to control child pornography through legislation. In 1977 the Sexual

Exploitation of Children Act was put into Legislation. (U.S. Code : Title 18,

Section 2251-2253) The law prohibits the use of a minor in the making of
pornography, the transport of a child across state lines, the taking of a
pornographic picture of a minor, and the production and circulation of materials
advertising child pornography. It also prohibits the transfer, sale, purchase,
and receipt of minors when the purpose of such transfer, sale, purchase, or
receipt is to use the child or youth in the production of child pornography. The
transportation, importation, shipment, and receipt of child pornography by any
interstate means, including by mail or computer, is also prohibited. The Child

Protection Act of 1984 (U.S. Code : Title 18, Section 2251-2255) defines anyone
younger than the age of 18 as a child. Therefore, a sexually explicit photograph
of anyone 17 years of age or younger is child pornography. On November 7, 1986,
the U.S. Congress enacted the Child Sexual Abuse and Pornography Act (U.S. Code
: Title 18, Section 2251-2256) that banned the production and use of
advertisements for child pornography and included a provision for civil remedies
of personal injuries suffered by a minor who is a victim. It also raised the
minimum sentences for repeat offenders from imprisonment of not less than two
years to imprisonment of not less than five years. On November 18, 1988, the

U.S. Congress enacted the Child Protection and Obscenity Enforcement Act (U.S.

Code : Title 18, Section 2251-2256) that made it unlawful to use a computer to
transmit advertisements or visual depictions of child pornography and it
prohibited the buying, selling, or otherwise obtaining temporary custody or
control of children for the purpose of producing child pornography. On November

29, 1990, the U.S. Congress enacted US Code : Title 18, Section 2252 making it a
federal crime to possess three or more depictions of child pornography that were
mailed or shipped in interstate or foreign commerce or that were produced using
materials that were mailed or shipped by any means, including by computer. With
the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, it is a federal crime for
anyone using the mail, interstate or foreign commerce, to persuade, induce, or
entice any individual younger than the age of 18 to engage in any sexual act for
which the person may be criminally prosecuted. The Child Pornography Prevention

Act of 1996 amends the definition of child pornography to include that which
actually depicts the sexual conduct of real minor children and that which
appears to be a depiction of a minor engaging in sexual conduct. Computer,
photographic, and photocopy technology is amazingly competent at creating and
altering images that have been "morphed" to look like children even
though those photographed may have actually been adults. People who alter
pornographic images to look like children can now be prosecuted under the law.

Abstracts for these laws can be found at

The current legislation in place at the federal and state level clearly defines
child pornography, and the standard sentencing for offenders. It also clearly
defines a minor