The Internet is revolutionizing communication in America and across the globe. New
vistas in commerce and education are opened every hour by this remarkable network
that links government, business, libraries, schools, universities and individuals
around the world.
Internet offers great benefits to everyone, and in particular for children, who are
growing up familiar with this technology and its incredible opportunities. By the
end of 1998, more than 40% of all American homes had computers 25% with Internet access.
Today, more than 45 million kids use the Internet to do homework, talk with friends,
and learn about the world around them; by 2005, 77 million kids are expected to be
Unfortunately, there is a dark side to this revolution. Child pornography is created
worldwide, including in America, and is readily available on the Internet to those
who actively seek it. Anyone with $500 can purchase a computer, gain Internet access
and immediately begin collecting and distributing child pornography. Once a pedophile
possesses this contraband, he can quickly contact children in Internet chat rooms
and send them child pornography to demonstrate that such conduct is normal.
The scope of this problem is significant: According to the U.S. Department of Justice,
20% of children age 10-17 have received unwanted sexual solicitations online, and
prosecutions for online child exploitation occur across the globe.
Over time, these pedophiles gather personal information from their intended victims
and, in the worst cases, may go to great lengths and expense to meet their victims
face-to-face. These meetings often result in the kidnapping and sexual assault of
the these children. Frequently, new child pornography is generated form these assaults,
and this destructive and criminal cycle is repeated.