Investigations on Internet Child Pornography

The primary focus of this study is to observe U.S. law enforcement agents problem in internet child pornography, including its investigations in which few offender were arrested because of the uniformity of law that vary in United States, as well as in different countries in the world. Recent study shows that majority of the offenders of this crime were arrested by agents, showing the graphic sexual images of the prepubescent victims. More over, it shows that some investigations of this crime reached their limit and proceeded to their investigation if children images fit in the existing law of the United States. Also, these findings showed two major scenarios, first is the nature of child pornography images and the age represented in the images that challenges law enforcement agents investigations in dealing with Internet Child Pornography possession. Law enforcement investigators also reported in their recent study that identifying if images fit within statutory limits and determining the children age in the image are primarily result of their in depth investigation which force arrest the individuals who commits child pornography cases.

For more than two decades, child pornography has been recognized to be a social problem in the United States. The recent study shows that this crime was greatly violated today via Internet (Jenkins, 2001). In this sense, materialization of widely internet-facilitated sex crimes including Internet Child pornography has raised crucial inquiries regarding the use of the internet by the person who commits the crime and challenges that law enforcement agents faced in finding these violators. Although the issue of child pornography has been minimized prior to the appearance of the World Wide Web, coming of Internet technology increased again the crime availability and gives more problems to Law Enforcement agents. The emergence of internet by many people has made child pornography more available and accessible to collectors and distributors. Today, Internet Child pornography can be easily access through the power of the Internet Relay Chat, where child pornography owner can distribute and download the images to their consumers very easily. This primary issue of Internet Child Pornography is one of the present challenges that U.S. Law Enforcement agents are facing together with the rest of the world.

Internet Child Pornography
Today, there is no uniform definition of child pornography in the United States. Different discrepancy about its definition exists in every state together with its broad interpretation. Their basis of their definition comes from U.S. Federal law that defines the term child as a youth under the age of 18 being incorporated in their own definition of child pornography. The classification of pornographic film and photograph that is sexually explicit according to the Federal Law includes sexual intercourse, masturbation, bestiality and lascivious display of genitals to public area (Klain, Davies and Hicks, 2001).  In effect, although several States adopted the definition of the U. S. Federal Law, they have their own definition and interpretation that resulted to a more complex and difficult investigations of law enforcement agents (Wolak, J., Mitchell, K. J.,  Wells, M., 2002).

On the other hand, child pornography owners use child pornography to authenticate their sexual interest to children, to blackmail victims, to groom children and lower their inhibitions. However, other owner may only be motivated to solicit child pornography for sexual arousal, curiosity and other reason that stimulate their sexual desire. In this effect, law enforcement agents identify and contact any of the youth described in the child pornography images and does not include cases of child pornography fabrication.

U.S. Enforcement Investigations of Internet Child Pornography
The World Wide Web has opened a new opportunities for investigation and evidence gathering in child sex crimes. Computer technology can give law enforcement agents powerful weapons, as well as forensic evidence often lacking in conventional child sex crimes (U.S. Department of Justice, 2000). Today, it is possible for the investigators to facilitate investigation of several child sex crimes and permit law enforcement agencies to gather valuable digital evidence.

However, despite these investigative practices that law enforcement agents have, there are still specific investigative challenges for them. These include digital evidence collection, tailored interviewing practices and undercover operations (SEARCH, 2001). Moreover these cases may include law enforcement jurisdictions where policy changes from different locations since child pornography is transmitted via the Internet. Due to these reasons, an individual may possess child pornography images and videos that can be produced and disseminated all over the world. Thus, in this sense, general agreement by International Law and global partnership are needed to fruitfully address the issue of internet child pornography.

This study classifies specific challenges law enforcement agents may face in investigations of online child pornography ownership. Defining child pornography can be complex by identifying the age of the children showed in the images and definitional challenges. However, this analysis suggests that some investigations are still needed to further improve and identify individuals violating this law. Two dilemmas are mentioned which are being face by the law enforcement agent the age of children showed in the images and nature of child pornography.  


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