TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: G8 Needs Private Sector Help to End Child Porn

G8 Needs Private Sector Help to End Child Porn

Louis Charbonneau (
Thu, 24 May 2007 15:43:14 -0500

G8 needs private sector help to end child porn By Louis Charbonneau

World powers vowed on Thursday to increase efforts to combat sexual
exploitation of children by Internet pornographers but said
governments alone could not stamp out the Web crime.

After their first working session in Munich, ministers from current
Group of Eight countries Germany, the United States, Britain, France,
Italy, Canada, Japan and Russia called on the private sector for help.

"Entities including Internet Service Providers, information technology
professionals and financial institutions ... the media, parents and
educators, should be encouraged to consider what role they could play
in the fight," said a statement from G8 interior and justice

Germany recently smashed a child pornography ring thanks to credit
card data provided by financial institutions and credit card

German Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries said the case of Madeleine
McCann, a 4-year-old British girl who disappeared earlier this month
in Portugal, illustrated the need for increased international

"We simply have to assume that this was done by a gang that passes on
these children to be exploited, and Russia as well mentioned the
danger ... that such children may be abducted for adoption later on,"
she told reporters.

Investigators fear McCann may have been spirited out of Portugal.

The G8 has been working with Interpol for years to combat child
pornography and helped it establish the International Child Sexual
Exploitation Image Database, which is intended to help police identify
and rescue victims of such abuse.

The ministers were briefed by the head of Interpol on its activities.

In an interview with Reuters, Interpol Secretary General Ronald
K. Noble said its database now contains more than half a million
images of children being sexually exploited and has helped secure the
rescue of over 500 children worldwide.

Noble showed Reuters a number of database photos, all of which showed
Caucasian adult males engaged in sex acts with Asian boys, activities
that would be clearly illegal.

This reflects the majority of cases in which U.S. or European males
travel to countries like Thailand or Cambodia where they sexually
exploit poor children, Noble said.

Because child pornographers often distort the faces of the adults so
they cannot be identified, Interpol has developed software to enable
identification of the crime scenes, he said.

"One case we are working on right now involves a Norwegian," he said.
"(Norwegian police) raided a house, downloaded the material on the
computer and found the images of a man sexually abusing a child."

Interpol software analyzed the scene and matched up at least one other
image, giving authorities a lead, he said.

Kristin Kvigne, assistant director of Interpol's human trafficking
division, said the number of such sex offenders traveling around the
world at the moment was probably "in the thousands."

Copyright 2007 Reuters Limited.

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