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Sex abuse by keystroke – battling online child porn

By Ivonne Marschall, dpa

Vienna (dpa) – Pictures flicker across a computer screen. A little girl, no more than five or six. Bound and tortured. Raped. Begging Daddy to stop.

Horror fiction? No – an ever more alarming reality.

“Eighty per cent of the abuse seen in online is done by people the children know,” said Leila Ben Debba, of ICMEC, the
International Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Experts like Ben Debba believe direct family members to be responsible for 45 per cent of the abuse that is later downloaded and viewed by thousands of “customers.” The rest are doctors, teachers, sports coaches or other persons of authority, permeating all social levels.

and child abuse may be as old as Mankind, but the internet has opened new channels and forums for distribution, experts gathered at a Vienna conference agree.

At the initiative of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, law enforcement specialists, NGOs, private sector companies and lawmakers got together last week to work on joint approaches.

No-one was aware of the scale of online child porn until about 1999, when a major police operation in the United States uncovered 300,000 users worldwide just from one provider,conference organizer Tim Del Vecchio from the OSCE’s police unit said.

One in seven children received sexual offers via the internet, a US study found, 70 per cent when sitting at their home computers. But educating children offered a way out. If children were informed and empowered, they recognized those chatroom predators, Bed Debba said.

A key problem is lack of legislation: 95 nations have no laws against child pornography or are in complete denial of the problem, making the lives of criminals easy. “Japan is a case in point,” one expert said.

Only 20 countries currently regard downloading and owning child porn a crime.

“Curiosity will lead to abuse,” Ben Debba warned. Users had to understand that downloading increases demand, destroying the life of victims, she said.

Online criminals are no Uber-geeks, Zdenek Jiricek of Microsoft Europe said, but used techniques like phishing or identity theft more skilfully. Warning click here to Read the Rest of the Story!

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