child pornography - Computer Definition
(legal general term)
In the United States, child pornography is a category of speech not protected by the First Amendment. The federal legal definition of child pornography can be found at 18 U.S.C. § 2256. Some particulars around the definition have changed in recent years, with the latest change occurring on April 30, 2003, when President George W. Bush signed the PROTECT Act. The latter not only implemented the Amber Alert communication system—which allows for nationwide alerts when children go missing or are kidnapped—but also redefined child pornography to include images of real children engaging in sexually explicit conduct and computer-generated depictions indistinguishable from real children engaging in such acts. Indistinguishable was further defined as that which an ordinary person viewing the image would conclude is a real child engaging in sexually explicit acts. However, cartoons, drawings, paintings, and sculptures depicting minors or adults engaging in sexually explicit acts, as well as depictions of actual adults who look like minors engaging in sexually explicit acts, are excluded from the definition of child pornography.
Prior to the enactment of the PROTECT Act, the definition of child pornography came from the 1996 Child Pornography Prevention Act (CPPA).
A filter is a device or material for suppressing or minimizing waves or oscillations of certain frequencies. Therefore, filtering software should block access to Internet sites listed in an internal database of the product, block access to Internet sites listed in a database maintained external to the product itself, block access to Internet sites carrying certain ratings assigned to those sites by a third party or that are unrated under such a system, and block access based on the presence of certain words or phrases on those Websites. In short, software filters use an algorithm to test for appropriateness of Internet material—in this case, for minors. Sites are first filtered based on IP addresses or domain names. Because this process is based on predefined lists of appropriate and inappropriate sites, relying totally on these lists is ineffective because Internet sites come and go so quickly. Moreover, though minors often frequent online chat rooms, instant messaging, and newsgroups, these are not under the filtering system.
Royal Mounted Canadian Police Corporal Jim Gillis, head of Project Horizon, a policing initiative dealing with online child pornography and based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, maintains that the Internet pornography industry generates a whopping $57 billion annually worldwide and supports more than four million Websites. In that group, notes Gillis, there are more than 100,000 child pornography sites creating about $2.5 billion a year in revenues. He said that home PC owners and businesses play an unknown but key role in promoting such criminal activities, for a large part of the problem arises from the fact that bots are often planted by a virus on home and business computers to convert them into zombies that are remotely controlled by cybercriminals. Though the computers appear to be operating normally, they could actually be relaying child pornography traffic or storing child porn images. In this way, the cybercriminals actually avoid detection.
In a report released on April 20, 2005, concerning children as victims of violent crime, the Office of Statistics Canada said that charges related to child pornography increased eight-fold over the period from 1998 through 2003. The increase in charges by law enforcement agents in Canada was a direct result of police having increased resources to conduct the investigations and more skilled cyber agents to patrol the Internet.
To avoid being part of the criminal chain, PC users and businesses should have anti-virus software on their computers as well as firewall and network protection. Suspected child pornography Websites can be reported online at www.Cybertip.ca, a site operated by Child Find Manitoba and launched in Canada at the end of January 2005. Also, as of February 2005, a Child Exploitation Tracking System went into operation in Canada, made available by Microsoft founder Bill Gates. The Child Exploitation Tracking software helps police share information about cyberpornographers by streamlining the difficult task of managing huge information stores.
Butters, G. Criminal Activity: Your Computer May be Housing Child Porn. The Globe and Mail, January 27, 2005, p. B14; Mahoney, J. Child-porn Charges Up, Statistics Canada Says. The Globe and Mail, April 21, 2005, p. A6; Miltner, K. Discriminatory Filtering: CIPA’s Effect on Our Nation’s Youth and Why the Supreme Court Erred in Upholding the Constitutionality of The Children’s Internet Protection Act. [Online, February 2, 2006.] Find Articles Website. http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb3073/is_200505/ai_n15014919; Minow, M. Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA): Legal Definitions of Child Pornography, Obscenity and “Harmful to Minors.” [Online, August 31, 2003.] LLRX.com Website. http:// www.llrx.com/features/updatecipa.htm.