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ASACP Participates in Financial Coalition Against Child Pornography

NEWS STORY

ASACP Participates in Financial Coalition Against CP

Head of ASACP met with coalition partners, staff for key members of congress to spread word about the adult industry’s efforts to combat child pornography.

By Q. Boyer
Tuesday, Nov 20, 2007

LOS ANGELESASACP Executive Director Joan Irvine traveled to Washington last week to participate in the semiannual meeting of the Financial Coalition Against Child Pornography and to meet with congressional staff members to discuss pending legislation.

Irvine attended the financial coalition’s Nov. 13 meeting, where the agenda included a discussion of both recent accomplishments and future challenges for the group. Speakers included representatives of PayPal, MasterCard, Global Payments Direct and Microsoft.

The FCACP includes a number of the world’s largest financial institutions, major Internet industry players and child protection agencies that have partnered with the goal of eliminating commercial child pornography. ASACP has been an active member of the coalition and its Analytics Working Group since the financial coalition was established early last year, Irvine said.

Irvine told XBIZ that every time she attends meetings of this sort, she makes sure that her mainstream cohorts understand that the ASACP’s hard work would not be possible without support from the adult industry.

“At every meeting, every conference, every interview, we say that ASACP is a child protection association that is funded by the adult entertainment industry, that the industry consists of professional business people who want to protect children,” Irvine said. “The fact that ASACP is an active member of the Financial Coalition Against Child Pornography has helped get the message out, too. We received the compliment that the ASACP alerts (Red Flag Reports) were useful, timely, well researched and actionable.”

What is most exciting to ASACP, Irvine said, is that the staffs of legislators who champion child protection legislation are asking for the ASACP’s input on their bills and proposals.

“When this occurs, we contact companies that are in that space — i.e. hosting companies — to obtain their input and industry lawyers, so that we can provide relevant feedback,” Irvine said. “In fact, we were recently told that since ASACP is on the front lines that we know what is realistic for the industry to implement and what will really help.”

While in Washington, Irvine met with senior staff members for Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., and Representatives Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., and Melissa Bean, D-Ill., all of whom recently have sponsored child protection legislation that potentially could affect Internet-based businesses — adult and mainstream alike.

Irvine praised Bean’s focus on educating parents about means to better protect their own children, while expressing concern that McCain’s SAFE Act of 2007 would likely overburden small hosting companies and ISPs with additional child pornography monitoring and reporting responsibilities in order to comply with the law.

“There is no need for [the additional regulations] since law abiding companies already monitor for CP,” ASACP said in a press release. “In addition, data from ASACP’s hotline shows that it is usually either larger mainstream free hosting companies or hosting companies in Russia where most of the commercial cp sites are hosted.”

The legislation proposed by Sanchez, on the other hand, would make it easier to report child pornography, which in turn would “be of great benefit in stopping the sexual exploitation of children online,” according to Irvine.

Irvine will return to Washington next month to attend the Family Online Safety Institute’s annual conference. Formerly known as the Internet Content Rating Association , Irvine will speak about the online adult industry’s support for and adoption of the Restricted to Adults (RTA) website label/meta-tag offered by ASACP.

“When we talk about the industry adoption of the RTA label/meta-tag, people are amazed and very impressed,” Irvine said. “We have a great story to tell. There have been a major increase in websites labeling with RTA since Stormy Daniels started supporting it; the highlights of the video on YouTube has been viewed over 30,000 times. RTA has only launched a year ago this month and we only started the major promotion in June during Safer Internet Month.”

The growth in the number of pages linked to RTALabel.org has been particularly impressive in the last several months, Irvine said. In mid-September, there were approximately 700,000 links to the site; as of this week, there are more than 3.3 million links, Irvine said.

Irvine said that in addition to reporting child pornography to ASACP, adult webmasters can help in the fight against child pornography by following the ASACP Best Practices, by using the RTA label on their adult sites, and by supporting ASACP’s mission financially through donations to the organization.

“In the last few years, ASACP has spent over $150,000 just on the development and launch of RTA and we are providing it for free to those who want to label their sites,” Irvine said. “It cost a lot to be in D.C. to attend these conferences and meetings. I know the industry is going through a rough time, but without their support, we will not be able to inform legislators and mainstream companies about the industry’s effort to protect children.”


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