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Enough Is Enough – Statement on Increased Funding for ICAC

Enough Is Enough (EIE) commends the for awarding 13 new state and local law enforcement agencies more than $3 million to form Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task forces in their regions.

In the early nineties, EIE saw sex-saturated newsgroups, chat rooms, and child-pornography bulletin groups as an overture for an anywhere, everywhere, all-the-time, Internet pornography explosion. Unfortunately, as the Internet has grown, child pornographers and sexual predators have new avenues to exploit our children, and these criminals have found virtual validation through ala cart child porn, pedophile newsgroups, and easy and anonymous access to our children.

“ICAC task forces play a key role in the investigation and prosecution of these crimes against children, but child pornography is big business; in 2006 alone, the child porn business brought in an estimated $3 billion,” commented EIE President and Chairman, Donna Rice Hughes. “The $17 million designated to support the 59 ICAC task forces nationwide is only one small step in the right direction as we try to prevent the exploitation of our nation’s youth.”

A recent report by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) found that 47.1% of commercial child abuse websites known to the IWF contained images depicting the worse kind of child sexual abuse–images of penetrative sexual activity of children, sexual activity between children and parents, sadism and penetration of or by an animal. The same report found that 54.3% of child abuse domains are housed in the United States.

Our nation is facing a crisis that some have called a hidden public health hazard exploding. This crisis has given rise to the trafficking of women and children, teen promiscuity, abortions, violence towards women and a society wherein many of our children have easy access to content that is harmful to their health and wellbeing. These concerns are all threads within a fabric of societal sexualization, the costs of which are incalculable.

ICAC officers have undoubtedly done amazing work since their creation; in fiscal year 2006 alone, investigations led to more than 2,040 arrests and more than 9,600 forensic examinations, and we recognize that the additional funding will help support a more seamless network of enforcement efforts in this country, but we need to do much more.

The consequences if our nation continues to ignore this lesson will be significant. Protecting our children online by implementing effective legislation, utilizing preventative safety rules and software tools, enforcing our federal obscenity laws, and increasing funding for efforts like ICAC that fight against online predators and child pornography should be a priority for our nation.

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Bill Wardell

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