We Have to Stop Child Pornography By Attacking the Source

The Internet has provided the world with a new medium that connects people across the globe, sends information within seconds and has brought new opportunities for education and economic growth to millions.  Unfortunately, law enforcement and child protection experts also tell us the Internet has made child pornography easier to disseminate, easier to produce, and easier to turn a profit on.  Recent congressional testimony and a New York Times expose inspired by Justin Berry, a teen who was a victim of the online child porn industry, has brought national attention to this issue.

Facts:
--In 2003, an estimated 20,000 images of child pornography were posted on the Internet every week.
--82% of all child porn cases prosecuted in the US involved images of children under the age of 12 engaged in sexual acts.
--Between 1998 and 2004, child pornography reports made to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children increased from 3,267 to 106,119
--The commercial business of child pornography over the Internet has been estimated to be as high as $20 billion worldwide.
--Over 3.5 million child pornography images have been identified U.S. law enforcement.
-- The number of Internet child pornography images has increased 1500% since 1988
--Approximately 20% of all Internet pornography involves children
--More than half of all illegal sites reported to the Internet Watch Foundation are hosted in the United States.
(Sources: National Criminal Intelligence Service, 8/21/03 and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children).

We have to stop the supply of child pornography by attacking the source.  An estimated 20,000 images of child pornography were posted on the Internet every week in 2003.

This week, I introduced a bill along with Congressman Michael Fitzpatrick (R-PA) that places child porn profiteers directly in the sights of law enforcement.  The Internet Stopping Adults Facilitating the Exploitation of Today's Youth (SAFETY) Act - HR 5749 - goes after the Internet child porn industry, and for the first time, would hold credit card companies and Internet service providers accountable if they knowingly facilitate child pornography.  Included are provisions that create new penalties for operating a child pornography enterprise, new laws holding Internet and financial companies accountable, new avenues for victims to seek civil damages from pornographers, new laws requiring labels on porn sites and new additional resources to law enforcement to prosecute these cases.  Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) introduced similar legislation in the Senate this year.

We can no longer tolerate blind accomplices who leave the doors unlocked on Internet child pornography and we can no longer allow the child porn industry to grow.

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