The Internet is an international network and there are currently no international laws regulating pornography; each country deals with Internet pornography differently. Generally, in the United States, if the act depicted in the pornographic content is legal in the jurisdiction that it is being distributed from then the distributor of such content would not be in violation of the law regardless of whether it is accessible in countries where it is illegal. This does not apply to those who access the pornography, however, as they could still be prosecuted under local laws in their country. Due to enforcement problems in anti-pornography laws over the Internet, countries that prohibit or heavily restrict access to pornography have taken other approaches to limit access by their citizens, such as employing "content filters.
Many activists and politicians have expressed concern over the easy availability of Internet pornography, especially to minors. This has led to a variety of attempts to restrict children's access to Internet pornography such as the 1996 "Communications Decency Act in the United States. Some companies use an "Adult Verification System (AVS) to deny access to pornography by minors. However, most Adult Verification Systems charge fees that are substantially higher than the actual costs of any verification they do (for example, in excess of $10/month) and are really part of a revenue collection scheme where sites encourage users to sign up for an AVS system, and get a percentage of the proceeds in return.
In response to concerns with regard to children accessing age-inappropriate content, the adult industry, through the "Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection (ASACP), began a "self-labeling initiative called the Restricted to Adults label (RTA). This label is recognized by many web filtering products and is entirely free to use.
Most employers have distinct policies against the accessing of any kind of online pornographic material from company computers,["citation needed] in addition to which some have also installed comprehensive filters and logging software in their local "computer networks.
One area of Internet pornography that has been the target of the strongest efforts at curtailment is "child pornography. Because of this, most Internet pornography websites based in the U.S. have a notice on their front page that they comply with "18 USC Section 2257, which requires the keeping of records regarding the age of the people depicted in photographs, along with displaying the Name of the company record keeper. Some site operators outside the U.S. have begun to include this compliance statement on their websites as well.
On April 8, 2008 "Evil Angel and its owner "John Stagliano were charged in federal court with multiple counts of obscenity. One count was for, "using an interactive computer service to display an obscene movie trailer in a manner available to a person under 18 years of age."
Web filters and blocking software
A variety of "content-control, "parental control and "filtering software is available to block pornography and other classifications of material from particular computers or (usually company-owned) networks. Commercially available Web filters include "Bess, "Net Nanny, SeeNoEvil, "SurfWatch, and others. Various work-arounds and bypasses are available for some of these products; "Peacefire is one of the more notable clearinghouses for such countermeasures.
The Internet has radically changed how "child pornography is reproduced and disseminated, and, according to the "United States Department of Justice, resulted in a massive increase in the "availability, accessibility, and volume of child pornography." The production of child pornography has become very profitable, bringing in several billion dollars a year, and is no longer limited to pedophiles. "Philip Jenkins notes that there is "overwhelming evidence that [child pornography] is all but impossible to obtain through nonelectronic means."
In 2006, the "International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC) published a report of findings on the presence of child pornography legislation in the then-184 "INTERPOL member countries. It later updated this information, in subsequent editions, to include 196 UN member countries. The report, entitled “Child Pornography: Model Legislation & Global Review,” assesses whether national legislation:
(1) exists with specific regard to child pornography; (2) provides a definition of child pornography; (3) expressly criminalizes computer-facilitated offenses; (4) criminalizes the knowing possession of child pornography, regardless of intent to distribute; and (5) requires "ISPs to report suspected child pornography to law enforcement or to some other mandated agency.
ICMEC stated that it found in its initial report that only 27 countries had legislation needed to deal with child pornography offenses, while 95 countries did not have any legislation that specifically addressed child pornography, making child pornography a global issue worsened by the inadequacies of domestic legislation. The 7th Edition Report found that still only 69 countries had legislation needed to deal with child pornography offenses, while 53 did not have any legislation specifically addressing the problem. Over seven years of research from 2006–12, ICMEC and its Koons Family Institute on International Law and Policy report that they have worked with 100 countries that have revised or put in place new child pornography laws.
The "NCMEC estimated in 2003 that 20 percent of all pornography traded over the Internet was child pornography, and that since 1997 the number of child pornography images available on the Internet had increased by 1500 percent. Regarding internet proliferation, the US DOJ states that "At any one time there are estimated to be more than one million pornographic images of children on the Internet, with 200 new images posted daily." They also note that a single offender arrested in the United Kingdom possessed 450,000 child pornography images, and that a single child pornography site received a million hits in a month. Further, much of the trade in child pornography takes place at hidden levels of the Internet. It has been estimated that between 50,000 and 100,000 pedophiles are involved in organized pornography rings around the world, and that one third of them operate from the United States. Digital cameras and Internet distribution facilitated by the use of credit cards and the ease of transferring images across national borders has made it easier than ever before for users of child pornography to obtain the photographs and videos.
In 2007, the British-based "Internet Watch Foundation reported that child pornography on the Internet is becoming more brutal and graphic, and the number of images depicting violent abuse has risen fourfold since 2003. The CEO stated "The worrying issue is the severity and the gravity of the images is increasing. We're talking about prepubescent children being raped." About 80 percent of the children in the abusive images are female, and 91 percent appear to be children under the age of 12. Prosecution is difficult because multiple international servers are used, sometimes to transmit the images in fragments to evade the law.
- "Adult documentary
- "Internet sex addiction
- "Adult movie theater
- "Amateur pornography
- "Revenge porn
- "Susanna Paasonen
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