NEWS:Internet Child Porn Said Major Threat To Future

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Subject: NEWS:Internet Child Porn Said Major Threat To Future
From: Jyothi Kanics (jkanics@igc.apc.org)
Date: Fri Mar 26 1999 - 10:10:13 EST


Thursday March 18 4:27 AM ET

Internet Child Porn Said Major Threat To
Future

By Jeremy Lovell

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (Reuters) - Child pornography, particularly on
the Internet, is a booming industry that poses a serious threat to society,
an international conference
against the sexual exploitation of children heard Wednesday.

``Child pornography is everywhere. If you look at the Internet it is
everywhere,'' activist Christa
Dammerman from the Terre des Hommes group in Germany told the meeting.

``There are laws against it in all countries, but it is still there. A lot
must be done to make the laws
work.''

She said organized crime had spread its tentacles into child pornography and
trafficking in young
children for pedophiles.

Dammerman noted the case in Belgium in 1996 when police arrested a series of
people after
digging up the bodies of two eight-year-old girls who had starved to death
nine months after being
abducted by convicted pedophile Marc Dutroux.

However, locating the problem was far easier than solving it, delegates heard.

``At any time you can access 10 million child pornography images on the
Internet,'' Iyavar Chetty,
senior executive of South Africa's Film and Publications Board, said.

He said pornography, including child pornography, was a growth business in
South Africa as the
apartheid era isolation gave way to a new openness.

``There are a number of porn sites on the Internet from South Africa. We
also know that videos
are being produced in South Africa. They pay 1,000 rand ($160) an hour for a
male actor and
1,200 ($192) rand an hour for a female,'' Chetty said.

This is a great deal of money in a country where 750 rand ($120) a month is
considered a living
wage.

Another problem for South Africa and other Third World nations was the issue
of child prostitution
simply for survival.

Dammerman said a major problem in eradicating child pornography was the
development in
technology -- particularly digital cameras and videos.

``Now a pornographer can go to Thailand and film pornographic actions, go to
a cyber cafe and
send the digital images to his own e-mail address,'' she said. ``Then when
he goes through customs
he has no pornographic pictures on him.''


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