Coalition should help fight against child porn
Financial and Internet companies have announced a coalition against child porn.
CHARGES against a Hawaii man
and people in eight other states and three other countries should put child pornographers around the world on notice. An unprecedented coalition of financial institutions, Internet leaders and nonprofit organizations working to fight porn should make offenders of the despicable crime shudder even more.
Giovanni L. Canapico, a 19-year-old Barbers Point soccer referee, was charged along with 12 other Americans and 14 defendants in Canada, Australia and Britain. He is charged with possessing child pornography, and authorities say he has admitted to having sexual contact with two boys, ages 10 and 12.
The defendants are accused of sharing live video images of child molestation sent across Internet chat rooms and around the world through file-sharing programs. Encryption and data destruction software were used to keep outsiders from entering the chat room.
Investigators say they were able to enter the chat rooms by using software developed by Microsoft to track and identify hits on porn sites. Microsoft, America Online and Yahoo! Inc. have joined 15 major credit card companies and banks, online payment companies PayPal and e-gold, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and its international sister organization in the fight against child pornography.
Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, originated the concept of the Financial Coalition Against Child Pornography. Companies that normally compete against one another have agreed to work together and cooperate with authorities. The effort is needed because it is illegal for anyone except law-enforcement officials to download child porn.
According to some estimates, child pornography has grown on the Internet to at least 200,000 Web sites with a combined income of as much as $30 billion. The cooperation between credit-card companies and Internet companies is a major step toward reaching the coalition's goal of eradicating commercial kiddie porn by 2008.
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