April 5, 2006

How big is the online kiddie porn industry?

The New York Times report on yesterday's Internet kid sex hearings dropped a big, round number in its first sentence: "The sexual exploitation of children on the Internet is a $20 billion industry that continues to expand in the United States and abroad, overwhelming attempts by the authorities to curb its growth, witnesses said at a Congressional hearing on Tuesday."

$20 billion? Really?

The full transcript of the session isn't online yet, so I don't know if it was really witnesses, plural, who made that claim, or just the one witness identified in this Louisville Courier-Journal article: "Online child pornography is a $20 billion annual business, said Ernie Allen, president and chief executive officer of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, based in Alexandria, Va."

In any case, both the Times and the L/C-J weren't listening closely. Unless Allen departed from his prepared remarks, what he actually said was that "commercial child pornography" overall "is a $20 billion industry worldwide, fueled by the Internet." Bad enough, but not quite the same thing — and what does "fueled by the Internet" mean in quantitative terms anyway?

But even with the clarification... $20 billion? Really?

Allen attributes the the figure to "a recent report by McKinsey Worldwide" — a report and organization unknown to either Google or Nexis (unless The Firm is branching out). I'm trying to track it down to see how that number was generated, because... $20 billion? Really? I can't disprove it yet, and, yes, I'm sure a lot of money goes into kiddie porn around the world, but the vibe is suspiciously similar to the common claim that America spends $10 billion on legal porn each year, a claim I've griped about before. Keep in mind that Allen was a source for the dubious Primetime Live story on American sex slaves.

Update: Apparently, the $20 billion figure has been out there for some time. It's frequently said to be the amount spent just on the Internet, and it's sometimes inflated to "$20-$30 billion." I have yet to find a verifiable attribution.

Update: A lead, perhaps. This summary of a 2004 report that I can't yet find says the report "refers to studies putting the annual market in child pornography on the Internet at almost 20 billion dollars, adding that paedophile images make up almost a quarter of the images downloaded from the Internet."

A quarter? Really?

Update: No, not really. Still haven't found the report, but here's a direct quote regarding that last figure: "Surveys in 2003 suggest that child pornography accounts for 24 percent of image searches in peer-to-peer applications." Note: P2P is not the entire Internet. "Image searches" isn't even close to the same thing as "images downloaded." It's entirely possible that people search more frequently for something that is harder to find. After all, you can find common files with one try, but you'd have to repeat your search over and over again for files that fewer people are sharing.

Update: Finally got a call back from NCMEC. The flack didn't have the actual report on hand, but she did tell me that it was put together by McKinsey Worldwide ("an Asian company") at the behest of an NCMEC board member. And the figures ($20B now rising to $30-$35B by 2009 -- think about that for a second) in it are based on information from the FBI and the Council of Europe. The CoE report is the 2004 one I referenced above, and as I noted they got the figure from someone else, so NCMEC is using third-hand information and attributing it to the second-hand source. Why? The flack had no idea. Who the CoE source is I don't know since the CoE web site only has a summary; the link to the actual report is dead. I did a quick search of the FBI site with no luck, but I'll try again. Oh by the way, the FBI lists NCMEC as a "partner"; According to Wikipedia (I know, I know) NCMEC gets $30 million a year from the Justice Dept. This is all looking a little, pardon the expression, incestuous.

Update: The plot thickens. After checking with the cybercrime department, FBI spokeswoman Cathy Milhoan refuses to comment on these figures. "That's NCMEC's number. I don't know where that number came from or how it was generated." I asked if that means that the number did not come from the FBI. Her very careful response: "I'm not saying that. I don't know if it came from the FBI. You'll have to talk to them." And I will. Again.

Update: The Wall Street Journal's Carl Bialik takes up the quest with similar lack of results. He does, however, get this (too-little too-late) promise from NCMEC: "If it is determined that this ends up not being a reliable statistic, NCMEC will stop citing McKinsey as the source and will also stop citing a specific number."

Update: The nail in to coffin from Bialik:

In a 2004 report, the Council of Europe, a Strasbourg, France-based human-rights watchdog, attributed the number to Unicef. But Allison Hickling, a spokeswoman for the United Nations child agency, told me in an email, "The number is not attributable to Unicef -- we do not collect data on this issue."

I told Alexander Seger, who worked on the Council of Europe reports, that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Unicef, both cited in Council reports, said they weren't the source for the $20 billion figure. He said the Council won't use the number in the future, and added in an email, "I think we have what I would call a case of information laundering: You state a figure on something, somebody else quotes it, and then you and others [quote] it back, and thus it becomes clean and true. ... Perhaps this discussion will help instill more rigor in the future."


What the Times' original story on camwhores got right.

What an earlier report on online child porn got wrong.

How media fixation on sex slaves obscures the true nature of human trafficking.

How the religious right is redefining human trafficking to gut aid programs for consenting sex workers.

Why Peter Landesman is a giant bonehead, even if he does have — sheesh! — Oscar buzz [hat tip: Elon].

Posted by Daniel Radosh


And when less stuff is available, you are more likely to already have the images that you find. So you have to rerun the same searches a lot to get the latest uploads.

I wonder if they classify search strings with 'teen' in them as 'child pornography'.

Theater of the Absurd. They talked about a hundred children involved in the US, in House hearings yesterday. The math simply won't hold up under scrutiny; but then there is no scrutiny. No one testified to the contrary. It was completely one-sided scape-goating and demonizing. It was utterly intellectually dishonest.

How convenient that they presume to outlaw the very evidence that refutes their claims.

If such numbers even approached $1B, that would be a surprise. They either embellish the figures over and over in their story telling, or they are including the costs for supporting the anti-"abuse" industry, as well. They have got to be rolling in costs for bawdy mainstream theatrical motion pictures, broad-minded television, and probably fees from advertisers, as well. They probably also add in the cost of "law enforcement" and lobbying for their bread-and-butter, hyper-neoPuritanical dog-and-pony show, too.

The production of such material has been steadily declining. All the while, the anti-"abuse" industry has been constantly growing. Cops simply keep regurgitating the same-ole, same-ole, on-line, again and again. Their material is simply old faire.

Kurt Eichenwald claims "predators" are laughing at him. The MSM has run with this, right at a time when a distraction was needed by politicos to misdirect from other current events.

These modern day witch hunters desperately need to expand their sphere-of-influence into tamer and tamer areas like child modeling to drum up future numbers.

The best hard and fast reliable figures that give any confidence show that subscriptions for all sites averaged together, charged about $.05 per image. That’s right, a nickel.

Compare the music recording industry profits per year and even earnings for the US theatrical films. It gets pretty clear - these people are nuts.

The adventures of Eichenwald’s golden boy preceded Hatch’s “Protect Act”. That piece of blue law, be-all and end-all legislation was entirely way over-the-top, in and of itself. Quite predictably, they are right back at it again.

Wouldn't searches by law enforcement/citizen watchdogs up the proportion of searches, too, making even that less relevant than it seems?

blah, blah, blah... you got any links to the kiddie stuff radosh, or what?

Thank you for keeping after this. Fictitious figures and sloppy reporting can drive bad policy decisions.

Is this just for the blog, or are you doing an article on this? There is certainly an article here, and you do seem to be, you know, reporting or something.

When you consider that highly-paid Homeland Security exec Brian Doyle was using his office computer for searches and chats with supposed underage girls, just add up all that time at his hourly wage, throw in the other Homeland Security officials busted for more of the same, and bingo! You're pretty close to 20 billion.

here's a link:

rap on NYT

you better watch out, dan, this is starting to feel like real reporting. don't you know that any organization out of Arlington is just a cover for the CIA?

now here's some CRAZY shit


(wish I knew how to make it actually link)

Now, now ... if you start expecting THAT much accuracy in reporting, you're gonna be a very busy -- and disappointed -- fella.

Just spent a day and night watching the House/DoJ/A.G. hearings on this worst crisis in all of human history.

And kinda seem to recall that "child predators" have been around a long time. Homer, for instance uses both the Iliad and the Odyssey to recount the Trojan War.

As the most beautiful woman in the world, (oops "child victim"), Helen of Troy is known for having triggered the Trojan War when Greek hero Theseus kidnapped her at 12-years-old, in order to make her his wife.

Dante places the Montagues and Capulets into his Inferno in Purgatorio -- Canto VI, Sordello, of the Divine Comedy:

#105 "Come see the Montagues and Capulets,
The Monaldi and Filippeschi, you reckless man:
The first two live in grief, the second dread it!"

Some 300 years later, Shakespeare has a crack at the feuding families, so ravaged from pitfalls surrounding young love. The Chorus chants that this same recurring blood feud between the Montagues and Capulets continues from very early times:

Chorus: From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.

Prologue.1, identifies the Montagues and the Capulets as venerable families of Verona, "two households, both alike in dignity".

Shakespeare's Juliet is a pretty 13-year-old, being married off by her parents.

As was the custom of-the-day, Juliet's father is poised to decide whom she should marry.

And so the recurring fate of the Montagues and Capulets, the fate of star-crossed lovers, continues to replay itself, as told in Shakespeare's final lines of the play:

Escalus: For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.

Or who could forget these immortal lines:

"Oh no, not at all too young!" replied the count. "Why, our mothers used to be married at twelve or thirteen."

- Leo Tolstoy, BOOK ONE: 1805 CHAPTER XII, War and Peace

In summation, the House/DoJ/A.G. hearings eagerly advanced the prospects of implementing the ultimate penalty of death as perhaps the most appropriate reward for excursions even to flights of fantasy contemplating young love.

The CoE report you're referring to is the 2004 "Organized Crime Situation Report." It's available on their website here.

The relevent paragraph is on page 154 and attributes the number to UNICEF:

"Experts assume that the number of Web sites containing child pornography has grown enormously in recent years. According to estimations by UNICEF, this market has a business volume of about $20 billion annually; the German Federal Police estimates a business volume of 5 billion Euros annually. According to the Internet Watch Foundation, 55% of all child pornography Web sites stem from the U.S. and 23% stem from Russia."

Considering that I'm 20 years old and 16 year old girls are only 4 years younger than me, I don't see it as child porn, I'm sorry.

Just because stupid American laws say child porn is wrong doesn't mean the rest of the world agrees.

Yeah I heard this like 14 15 year old boy was arrested for sexual abuse because he was masterbating. How do you sexualy abuse your self?

You might be referring to this.

There is much more to this story.

At the April 4 hearing, a damning indictment of the DOJ and its prized obscenity/exploitation section, CEOS. Ernie Allen, of NCMEC cites the 20 billion dollar figure in his prepared statement, and, apparently to the committee investigators, and the committee members take turns emphasizing it:

Rep.Stupak: "The sale
of these images over
the internet brought
in 20 billion to
traffickers in 2004.
To compare, music
sales over the same
period were just 3
billion." (CQ
transcript, pg.4).

The hearing made national news while smaller dogs questioned the 20 bil figure.

On April 6 the committee members were foaming at the mouth because the DOJ refused to offer up the requested witnesses.

Rep.Barton: "But we
are questioning the
judgment of the
Justice Department of
the United States of
America, who seems to
think it can thumb its
nose at the Congress
of the United States..
I'm going to tell the
attorney general
straight, but you go
back and tell him for
me...that we're going
to hold another
hearing, and these
people are going to
be here." (CQ pg.16)

The witness he was admonishing, Willam Mercer, was then kicked to the curb. Later, other witnesses were blaming ISPs for hampering investigations.

Kardasz: "Your
legislation is the
closest thing we have
to an Internet control
dial....I'd like to
talk about two things
today...and the legal
help we need regarding
data retention by
Internet service
providers." (CQ pg.20)

Meanwhile, the 20 bil figure had been exposed as fraudulent.

On April 20, AG Gonzales pays a visit to NCMEC, pats Allen on the back, and blames the ISPs for DOJ failures:

Gonzales: "The
investigation and
prosecution of child
predators depends
critically on the
availability of
evidence that is often
in the hands of
internet service
providers. This
evidence will be
available for us to
use only if the
providers retain the
records for a
reasonable amount of
time. Unfortunately,
the failure of some
internet service
providers to keep
records has hampered
our ability to conduct
investigations in this
area." (CQ pg.5)

On May 3 another hearing is held, this time with 3 witnesses the committee had previously been refused, including tog dog, Alice Fisher, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division.

Three hearings were held, of which the record stayed open for 30 days. Staffers said there is a 7 day deadline for committee members to posit additional written questions, which can be waived for good cause.

The official transcript/record is not publicly available until months after the record has closed, although written prepared statements can be found on the committee's website.

Congressional Quarterly (www.cq.com) transcribes congressional hearings and related government documents within days for its subscribers, which include LEXIS-NEXIS. (Federal News Service is a competitor).

Lexis-Nexis Academic can be found on most college library computer systems, and probably all law library systems. Said libraries are open to the public and the Lexis-Nexis Academic database can be accessed for free. Click on the 'news' prompt, scroll down the first sub-menu to 'News Transcripts', scroll down the second sub-menu to 'Political Transcripts', type in the keywords and you instantly have access to transcripts of virtually every publicly uttered word of the federal government, usually within days of the utterance.

This is the only way the general public can quote from a recognized transcript as grounds for supplementing/questioning the testimony before the record is closed.

Congressional Quarterly transcribed everything from the first two hearings, which is where the hearing quotes above were taken from.

Yet, not one word of the May 3 hearing, including prepared written statements, were transcribed by CQ. When I inquired, they claimed they did not cover the hearing. Why not? They claim none of their clients requested it. I asked who their clients were and they said it was confidential, but some of them are identified on their website.

Last time I checked, Lexis-Nexis Academic/Political transcripts had 111 entries for May 3, 2006, and almost all were published by CQ (Federal News Service did not cover the hearing either).

Was the committee stung by the exposure of the ficticious 20 bil figure, and worried about other exposures?

Hard to say, but this much is true. Four months earlier, Allen had stated a different number in an interview with Womens E News (www.womensenews.org)("Child Pornography Dodges Detection on The Web").

In the article, dated December 8, 2005, Allen is referenced as stating that global sales of child pornography was about 3 billion, with no supporting foundation mentioned. In April, 2006, he's telling the committee, under oath, that the figure is 20 billion, the members repeat it, Allen cites to McKinsey as the source but fails to offer the report into the record, and then McKinsey and others backpedal.

With the aforementioned as a backdrop, it's conceivable the committee was/is worried about other testimony/statistics being exposed, and rightfully so.

At the April 4 hearing, Allen testified:

Allen: "There was
research by Expat
International and the
Bangkok Post that
estimated that there
were 100,000 child
pornography web sites.
That was 2002." (CQ

Expat International appears to be a global relocation consultancy for businesses and their employees, and my server could not connect with the Post site.

Expat, like McKinsey, has no history of experience in these matters. Regardless, without more, the numbers are meaningless, and like the McKinsey Report, Allen neglected to offer any of the particulars of this 'research' into the record for further analysis.

Yet, four months earlier, Allen cited a different source for this number. In the same December 8 Women's E News article, Sandra Kobrin writes:

"Allen figures there
are at least 100,000
sites currently up
and running, based on
the number of reports
the tip line brings

Said article has Allen stating that 106,176 tips came in for 2004. Go ahead, do the math.

A conflicting, yet more realistic number comes from the Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection (www.asacp.org), which has managed a child pornography tip line since 1996.

In a press release dated June 24, 2005, asacp states:

"Over the last two
years, asacp has
received over 150,000
reports of suspected
child pornography
sites; only 8% of
these are new, unique
verifiable cp sites."

Granted, an intolerable number, but certainly a more meaningful and manageable number from a policy and credibility standpoint.

Allen did not have to explain these conflicts, as Joan Irvine and her crew at asacp were not called as witnesses, nor, apparently, questioned by the committee investigators. Why?

Asacp is aligned with the adult industry, which is in litigation with the feds over the new 2257 record keeping regulations. But they were also instrumental in one of the largest commercial child pornography prosecutions, which the DOJ routinely neglects to acknowledge. For good reason. (more on that later).

(UPDATE: May 17 the DOJ held a press conferece to announce the Project Safe Childhood initiative.
Gonzales, Mueller of the FBI and Ernie Allen were all present and spoke.
There was one question from the press regarding the Justin Berry case, but no one questioned the 20 bil figure, and no one questioned the new number thrown out; 50,000 predators on the internet prowling for children.)

At these hearings the same people/titles tend to be called as witnesses. The agency personnel follow a script which includes surface details of past and present success stories. One such case is the Regpay prosecution. The DOJ's summary can be found in the 4/6 prepared written statement of William Mercer, and the 5/3 prepared written statement of Alice Fisher.

Here's what they did not say:

"The case began with a web site known as pedoworld, which asacp began reporting to the FBI in 2000, catching on to Regpay, which owned pedoworld and was once known as Trustbill.com, and sending the FBI reports on regpay.com since February 2003, according to asacp executive director Joan Irvine.

'In fact' she told avn.com, 'we alerted the FBI (in Los Angeles) to how pedoworld was using a Hotmail address to obtain customers and direct them to payment methods.'" Asacp's Tim Henning sent the FBI in Los Angeles a report late last May on Regpay which included their American telephone number for customer service, the url for its contact page, and the precise billing link, Irvine said." (Charles Farrar/Pay Processor in Child Porn Ring--1/16/2004--avn.com).

That Lyman Wagers purchased a subscription to a child pornography website named Redlagoon, run by Regpay, in June 2002. (U.S. v Wagers 339 F.Supp. 2d 934,939 (E.D.KY. 2004).

That, "At first the company was called Trustbill. It changed its name to Regpay after receiving two cease-and-desist notices from the Michigan attorney general's office in August and September 2002, according to an affidavit by Internal Revenue Service special agent Maria Reverendo attached to a July 2003 complaint against Messrs. Zalatarou and Boika....The U.S. investigation began in early 2003 when undercover federal agents in Newark and Washington began purchasing child pornography from Web sites....Credit card and other records led agents to Connections. In June 2003, federal agents searched Connection's offices and secured cooperation from the company's owner..." (Cassell Bryan-Low, Wall Street Journal--1/17/06).

That Zalatarou, Boika and Buchnev were arrested in late July, 2003. (Dept. of Homeland Security/ICE--Leaders of Global Internet Child Pornography Operation Plead Guilty--2/28/05).

That, "the regpay.com website was housed on a server at Verio, Inc....Regpay leased IP addresses at Rackspace Managed Hosting...and Regpay housed its customer databases including customer transaction records on servers at Rackspace....between February and September 2003, federal agents verified that at least 21 websites that Regpay had been servicing were still active, accessible on the Internet, and contained child pornography." (Affidavit of special agent Colleen Forgetta, pgs.18,21---U.S. v Wilder #04-cr-10217 District of Massachusetts--docket entry #14-2,10/29/04)

That Yaroslav Grebenschikov, "admitted that in late June 2003, he assisted individuals associated with Regpay in the formation of LB Systems and the opening of a bank account which he used to transfer funds to banks in Latvia at the direction of these individuals...that he assisted these individuals in processing transactions for previously approved Regpay sales....From June 2003 through January 2004, Grebenschikov wired more than $200,000 in funds to individuals associated with Regpay." (arrivenet.com--Child Porn Investigation Yields More Arrests in N.J.--10/05/04)

In sum, FBI informed in 2000; American law enforcement warns Trustbill in 2002 to stop, they change their name to Regpay; U.S. feds begin their investigation in 2003, they arrest the principals of Regpay and Connections by the end of July 2003; yet the company and their child pornography websites continue to operate until at least January 2004.

A lot of questions/concerns in that time line that equal or exceed the Justin Berry fiasco. Which is why the DOJ will never acknowledge asacp's help in the investigation.

With all this as a backdrop, it appears that someone in authority did not want the May 3 hearing transcribed by CQ.

But there were several written prepared statements, one of which is Alice Fisher's, which appear to contain misleading statements. (more on that later).

CORRECTION: The source Allen cited on April 4 was actually 'ECPAT' not EXPAT which stands for End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography, Child Trafficking..." A lot of resource material on the site but could not find anything in reference to number of commercial child pornography sites.

In her May 3 2006 prepared written statements, Assistant Attorney General Alice Fisher claims:

"While the investigation
of a commercial child
pornography web site may
seem like a straight
forward matter, I can
assure you that it is
not. Such an
investigation requires us
to determine where the
servers hosting the web
site are located,
identify the persons
responsible for
operating the web site,
and follow the path of
the many financial
transactions offenders
use to purchase..."

Yet this process was detailed in a straight forward manner in the March 2004 issue of the U.S. Attorney's Bulletin (www.usdoj.gov/usao/reading_room/foiamanuals)

The authors were discussing web-based obscenity investigations, but the method is the same for any web site investigation.

As the article states, a simple 'whois' query of the domain name or IP address with a public service such as Centralops or Domaintools, will return the domain name Registrar, name Servers, Registrant, IP location and owner of that block of IP numbers, a trace route, and various contact information.

The master 'whois' is internic.net, a service mark of the Department of Commerce (DOC), who licenses the mark to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), who operates the site.

A registrant can opt for 'privacy protection', and one can provide false contact information, which the article discusses.

Fisher implied this process was complicated and time consuming. But the process and database was developed, in part, by the U.S. government, and is currently overseen by the DOC.

For those, like myself, unfamiliar with the history and development of the Internet, a good starting point is what's known as the "DNS White Paper", a statement of policy issued by the DOC in June, 1998 (63 Federal Register, pg. 31,741/June 10, 1998).

In short, (please correct any errors), the U.S. government, on its own, and thru contracted individuals and entities,developed, managed and controlled the domain name system (DNS), and various internet protocol functions, including internet address assignments (IP addresses).

The above functions were eventually contracted out to Network Solutions, Inc. (NSI) in 1992, which also became the authoritative Registry of the .com and .net top level domains (TLD). This registry is housed in Root Server A, and contains the master list of all .com and .net domain names and IP addresses, and is located in Virginia.

In 1993, internic.net was registered as a domain name with NSI.

In 1998, pursuant to the DNS White Paper, ICANN was formed to transition the U.S. government's role in managing the internet to the private sector.

The DOC has advise, consent and oversight of the transition thru its Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with ICANN, which has been amended several times.

The MOU details specific goals and responsibilities by the parties, which includes ICANN's agreement to the:

"Development of an
accreditation procedure
for registrars and
procedures that subject
registrars to consistent
requirements designed to
promote a stable and
robustly competitive DNS,
as set forth in the
Statement of Policy."
(MOU V.C.3.b.).

Section 3 of ICANN's Registrar Accreditation Agreement, as amended, lists the registrars obligations, which include:

*submission of the name,
name servers and ip
addresses of same to the
appropriate TLD Registry

*provide a free publicly
accessible whois database
of elements designated by
ICANN, including personal
info of the registered
name holder, and various
contact info

*retention of all
correspondence and
financial data related to
the registerd name holder
for the duration of the
agreement, plus three

*non-activation of the
domain name until assured
of registration fee

*verification at time of
registration of contact
info associated with the
registered name

*various obligations to
impose upon the

(It's unclear though what responsibilities unaccredited registrars have with respect to the appropriate TLD Registry and the public 'whois' database).

In 2000 VeriSign acquired NSI.

In 2003, NSI was spun off of VeriSign. NSI is a Registrar, and VeriSign is the Registry for the .com and .net TLDs.

On May 19, 2006, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of the DOC, published a "Notice of Inquiry, Notice of Public Meeting."

The purpose is to solicit public comments addressing ICANN's progress relative to the MOU, which expires in September, 2006.

On June 7, 2006, the House Small Business Committee held a hearing to review the proposed litigation settlement between ICANN and VeriSign.

The witnesses included:

John Jeffrey-General Counsel and Secretary for ICANN

Richard White-Member VeriSign's Internet Advisory Board

W.G. Champion Mitchell-Chairman and CEO of Network Solutions, Inc.

According to Mr. White's prepared written statement, VeriSign receives six (6) dollars for every domain name "for its role in making the domain name infrastructure for .com operate flawlessly."

According to asacp investigations, most of the web hosting, registrars and billing companies used by suspected child pornography sites "are mainstream" (www.asacp.org/press)(June 24, 2005).

(the above was culled from various sources including:
www.icann.org, www.icannwatch, www.ntia.doc.gov, Senate Resolution 317/November 16, 2005, Popular Enterprises v Versign #03-cv1352-Middle District of Florida)

So, what does all this mean? More on that later.

It means the committee called the wrong witnesses, and the witnesses they did call gave incomplete, misleading and false testimony, which the committee investigators should have uncovered.

Contrary to Fisher's statement, there is a straight forward method, currently utilized by the DOJ, to quickly and easily ascertain pertinent info regarding the owner/administrators of suspect domain names or IP addresses.

There also exists a process, overseen by the Department of Commerce, to address any loopholes or non-compliance regarding registrant contact info.

It's difficult to believe that Fisher, and the computer-savvy committee investigators, were not aware of all this.

In short, the first line of defense with respect to flagrant child pornography domain names is the DOC, thru its advise, consent and oversight of ICANN's management of the DNS and IP address system. If lolitagurls.com is never registered, the images are never disseminated.

For a senior official of the DOJ to state otherwise calls into question what the real agenda was.

For the April 4th hearing, the committee subpoened Ken Gourlay. Gourlay's been acused of assisting Justin Berry's operation, as well as molesting him.
Predictably, and rightfully so, he invoked the Fifth Amendment.

They should have subpoened the management of the Registries, Registrars and web hosting companies that accepted payment for registering and hosting the following web sites:

innocentlolita---U.S. v Reedy 304 F.3d 358 (5th Cir 2002)

lolitas.com---U.S. v Syphers 426 F.3d 461, 466
(1st Cir 2005)

lolitagurls.com---U.S. v Gourde 382 F.3d 1003, 1005-06 (9th Cir 2004) and why wasn't the credit card processor, Lancelot Security, charged?

preteen-pages.com---U.S. v Wilder #04-cr-10217 (District of Massachusetts)
Docket #45-1 filed 10/19/05 pg.3.

Were these ICANN accredited Regsitrars? Did they keep their accreditation?

The DOJ and Ernie Allen have this information. Until they start identifying the companies responsible for connecting
obviously suspect web sites to the internet, then everything else they say is called into question.

And until oversight committees get the stones to call principals of ICANN, VeriSign and NSI to explain why the above referenced domain names were registered, and how to prevent it, then their actual agenda is called into question.

Granted, an ambiguous name, such as Regpay's veiledpages.com could skirt detection. But in responding to NTIA's request for public comments, Chris McElroy criticized the shortage of viable TLDs, and suggested a way to solve most of the trademark versus domain name litigation by creating a TLD "that matches each class that a trademark can be registered in." His idea could be used for domain name registration as well.

As part of the domain name registration, each name would be subject to a class of goods or services consistent with a trademark registration.

This class, and any subclass, would become part of the public 'whois' database.

This way, the public, the web hosting companies, the registrars, registries and ICANN could easily determine what type of content was associated with a particular domain name and IP address.

I'm sure a program could be developed to occassionally monitor sites in a particular class or category for content compliance.

At a minimum, it addresses core issues that were suspiciously absent from three separate congressional hearings.

I expect more from my government.

I think the age of consent should be lowered to 12 in most countries. It should be legal for an adult to have concentual sex with someone this age. Lots of girls (maybe not boys) are ready at this age. Why not have an adult teach them? Its not as bad as people are making out. It may even be a good thing.

james: actually, If we look at history, there was no age of consent.. thats primarily a new-world invention. A century ago, it was quite common to see people who were wed to 12-15yr olds (where the man was 30-40yrs old). Look further back in history, and its even more common. So, I suppose what must be asked is this: was everyone in the world a century ago a complete moron, or are we morons for believing that everyone ELSE had it wrong ages ago?

What is not mentioned is the fact that extreme material on the public internet is typically associated with fraud (which is a substantial industry) and malice.

What is not mentioned is the fact that US law enforcement involvement with this industry includes their direct and indirect participation in distribution of illegal material.

What is not mentioned is, as material is removed and organised crime and large sums of money are involved in fraudulent practice, such material is likely to be replaced, even if it requires offences against children.

As whole families have been destroyed, people have lost their lives, one can certainly evidence that the child protection industry is harmful to minors.

Child exploitation the world over is normal. Exploitation in the name of protecting them is arguably worse.

A 'child' can go to war and die, can have children, can drive a car but a picture of their partner could cost someone their liberty or indeed life. That is self evidently a fraud.

This is the world of commercial politics, where money and power is transferred and this includes a direct assault on the rights of children and the US constitution.

COPA is currently being challenged in court by ACLU. These violations of the constitution should never have been accepted in the first place.

Politician Terri Moore suggested the constitution did not apply when it came to, and I use the marketing term; 'child pornography'. That was a fraud, the constitution was there specifically to deal with circumstances such as these, the balance of power itself. In tearing up the constitution she was not dealing with what was wrong with America, she was destroying what was best about America.

A modern world invention? well lets go back further, centuries ago we threw women into sacks and then threw them in rivers - if they floated they were witches, if they didn't.....oooops. Now were they all morons or are we morons for not following that practice now??? As for "teaching" 12 yr olds. We all know how gullible and easily led kids are. I'm sure you'll retort with a lame story about a "mature" 13yr old or say that 30 yr olds can make mistakes too, and YES I'm sure some are sensible enough but there has to be a cut-off point. Everyone knows that 12/13yr olds would be too easily led; believing that they're in love and that the guy loves them and that "everyone else" is doing it and if they don't do it they'll lose their boyfriend (OH NO!!!!). You know it's true. 12yr olds would be exploited a hundred times a day.

My name is Fima and I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
I came to US as political refugee on human rights violations in former USSR
I am russian jew, and I got a lot of discrimination in USSR
My parents are Holocaust survivors.
But I got the worst thing in USA, never possible in communist country.
I was set up with my computer, convicted as a s..x offender for computer p..rn.
Now I do not have job and can hardly survive under police database
supervision, named s..x offender registration. Nobody want to hire me,
I think because of police database.
And I have family. Who cares? Dirty polititians are playing their
dirty games for more power.
I would like to send you some links to publications about my criminal
case. I was forced to confess to the
possession of internet digital pictures of p..rn in deleted clusters
of my computer hard drive. My browser was hijacked while I was
browsing the web. I was redirected to illegal sites against my will.
Some illegal pictures were found on my hard drive, recovering in
unallocated clusters, without dates of file creation/download.

I do not know how courts can widely press these charges on people to
convict them, while the whole Internet is a mess.
You can find all links to publications about my case here


Regarding the numbers of child porn searches cited: Since sexualized parodies of the popular cartoon "The Simpsons" are child pornography, for all we know, they could be counting searches for Simpsons episodes. Really!


I think it can be confidently said that commercial child porn, as popularly understood, does not exist. That is to say, there is no industry that earns living wages peddling pictures of prepubescent children having sex.

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