ASACP Responds to HR 4472
Los Angeles, CA
(March 9, 2006) - HR 4472, also known as the Children's Safety and Violent Crime Reduction Act, has passed in the U.S. House of Representatives and seems to be on the fast track to Senate approval as well. The bill includes a section entitled "Child Pornography Prevention." The full text of the bill may be downloaded in PDF format by clicking
ASACP sent the following letter to the bill's sponsor, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R, Wisconsin):
March 7, 2006
Congressman F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr.
U.S. House of Representatives
2449 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-4905
Re: HR 4472 (Children's Safety and Violent Crime Reduction Act)
Dear Congressman Sensenbrenner,
As Executive Director of the Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection (ASACP), I am gratified that you have taken up the issue of children's safety, including child pornography prevention. I would like to offer information which I hope will be helpful in your efforts.
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.
Title VI (?Child Pornography Prevention?) of HR 4472 amends 18 USC 2257 in order to strengthen requirements which help ensure that models and performers appearing on adult entertainment websites are of legal age. While ASACP naturally supports preventing minors from appearing on such sites, we are concerned because any attempt to prevent child pornography by focusing on 2257 requirements is based upon a flawed premise - namely, that the online adult industry is eager to exploit minors. Our data indicates the opposite:
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 is now in its tenth year, and our data clearly shows that 99.9% of new, unique verifiable CP reports are not related to the professional adult entertainment industry. Instead, they are attributable to pedophiles and criminals who are not about to maintain any records of the type regulated under section 2257. They would therefore be unhindered by this legislation.
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 republics, not by professional adult entertainment companies.
To stop child pornographers, we must understand who they are and how they work. In our experience, child pornographers are not selling images of young-looking 18 year olds, or even of real 16 year olds. Sadly, they specialize in the most heinous sexual abuse of much younger children. I must tell you that I have seen material involving children as young as two or three years old.
I encourage you to bear this information in mind as you continue the fight to keep child safe from all forms of abuse, and I hope you will consider ASACP to be a resource in your ongoing work. We are happy to supply further and more in-depth statistics, and to discuss strategies for practical ways to stop child pornography. I have also attached more detailed information about ASACP and its activities, including our
. These are recommended not just for adult websites, but also for search engines, billing and hosting companies, dating/personals sites, and others.