Digital cameras blamed for spread of child porn

16 Jan 2008

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The internet and digital camera technology have made it easier for paedophiles to record and transmit child pornography, an Interpol report presented to MEPs in Brussels yesterday claimed.

The bleak assessment of the problem by Interpol said: "The internet…and digital cameras have made it easier for individuals with a sexual interest in children to record their activities”.

Interpol said a major problem for law enforcement agencies is that many sites and children being abused are not in the EU, but in the developing world.

In a speech on children’s rights in Berlin in June last year, the EU’s Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini told delegates he was "saddened and shocked" to hear that the number of sites with child-sex material went up 1500pc from 1997 to 2005.

The Interpol report, dubbed the Angelilli Report, laid down a number of options to deal with these disturbing trends.

Blocking credit card payment for paedophile material is one step advocated by the report. This would involve co-operation with credit card companies to get them to block certain sites from receiving money for the material they sell.

Stopping access to sites is another possibility. This would mean internet service providers and search engines using available technology to hamper access to dangerous sites. Closing down sites is another option, although this could only be done if they are based in the EU.

These steps would go hand-in-hand with a database of sites that sell child pornography. Finally, a website dedicated to the rights of the child – so they know what rights they have – is another idea in the report.

By John Kennedy

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com