Is Law Enforcement Doing Anything About It?

The answer to this question is " YES ". You have probably followed through the news on how the FBI had tracked down the author of the "Melissa" Virus. The perpetrator of this virus was one of the most sophisticated users of computers in the United States and he thought he was safe when he posted his virus on the internet using a stolen email account. He wasn't safe because the FBI found him in a matter of days. Every time when you use the internet, you leave an electronic trail of bread crumbs wherever you go and a person who has the right kind of electronic bloodhound can follow it. The FBI are some of the people who have the right stuff.

Here in the United States, law enforcement officials of the Customs Department, FBI, and most state agencies actively investigate any child pornography placed on the internet. In most cases, the majority of convictions involve people who sell or trade pornography. The sale of child pornography is given the highest priority. Many "collectors" are swept in these investigation processes. If a person takes a chance in sending another person a pornographic picture of a child, they can run the risk that the recipient of the picture could in fact be a law enforcement official.

Police agencies in many nations have set up websites where they offer child pornography. They use these websites to gather information about frequent visitors to the sites. They will also try to entice their guests to send them photographs of other children. If these photographs are pornographic, they run the risk of prosecution.

Also, the police are involved in chat rooms, email exchanges, ICQ and IRC exchanges, and any other "real time" internet exchanges that could involve the passing and sharing of child pornography. These law enforcement officers might in fact start the exchanges or they may infiltrate an actual exchange. They will do their best in trying to entice the exchange participants to send them child pornography.

All the time, law enforcement officials are becoming sophisticated in their ways of tracing people through the internet to their original account. This is true even when a person uses an account from a service like "hotmail" to try and appear anonynous. Most Internet Service Providers freely cooperate with these investigations and, often without the use of a court order, will supply the needed information to connect a particular user with a particular on-line activity.


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