ASACP Weighs In On Senate Hearing
Los Angeles, CA (February 8, 2006) - On January 19, 2006 the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation held a hearing entitled "Protecting Children on the Internet." Information about this hearing, including witness testimony and a video, may be found HERE . A PDF copy of ASACP's hearing report in Klixxx Magazine may be downloaded HERE .
In response to the hearing, ASACP sent the following letter to all committee members:
As Executive Director of the Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection (ASACP), I am gratified that the Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation has taken up the issue of child safety on the Internet.
ASACP is a non-profit organization which has been protecting children since 1996. We operate a child pornography reporting hotline, and monitor more than a thousand member websites for compliance with our Code of Ethics. These regulations ensure that Member sites neither contain nor condone child pornography, and also attempt to prevent children from unknowingly viewing adult content. ASACP provides a model of effective self-regulation for the online adult industry.
At the January 19th committee hearing on Protecting Children on the Internet, you heard from a number of panelists. Among them was Paul Cambria, General Counsel of the Adult Freedom Foundation, who stated in his written testimony that "the industry does not employ child performers, and does not condone access by minors to material created for the entertainment of adults." I would like to offer additional information which bears this out, and which I hope will be helpful in your efforts to determine the most effective ways to protect children online:
Over the last two years, ASACP has received over 150,000 reports of suspect child pornography sites. ASACP reviews such reports, collects relevant data, and forwards suspected child pornography sites to the appropriate government agencies and associations. These include the FBI and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, as well as European hotlines. ASACP data indicates that 99.9% of new, unique verifiable CP reports are attributable to non-adult webmasters and pedophiles - not to professional adult companies. 47% of these sites are hosted by three mainstream Internet Service Providers, principally by one based here in California. Nearly a third use a single mainstream billing company based in Florida.
Our data was further corroborated when I traveled to Belfast this past November, to attend the Virtual Global Taskforce's conference on Protecting Children Online. The VGT is an international alliance of law enforcement agencies working together to make the Internet a safer place. At the conference, the point was made that most child pornography is distributed by organized crime in former Soviet bloc countries, not by professional adult entertainment companies.
I hope you will consider ASACP to be a resource in the Committee's ongoing work relating to children and the Internet. We are happy to supply further and more in-depth statistics, and to discuss strategies for practical ways to stop child pornography and protect children online. I have also attached more detailed information about ASACP and its activities, including our Best Practices . These are recommended not just for adult websites, but also for search engines, billing and hosting companies, dating/personals sites, and others.