In the 21st century, there has been landmark in the use of technology. In particular, the Internet has come along therefore facilitating globalization the more. This has not been achieved without due demerits. The issue of possession and trade in child pornography has been an outstanding problem for quite some time. This is a form of child abuse whose possession, production or distribution is outlawed in most countries and is punishable by prosecution. However, there have been major setbacks in combating this form of cybercrime. It is key to note that of the 184 members of The International Criminal Police Organization, Interpol; only 91 have implemented comprehensive laws barring child pornography. This has promoted availability of such material in those countries whereby the internet hosts are safe from prosecution.
Child pornography, as a cybercrime, can be best illustrated by the Weymouth suspects who are currently under custody. It is important to note that Kevin Moore, 33 and Stephen Haddad had been trading in child pornography and obscene matter for over three years. They had managed to elude local police and the federal investigators all this time. The suspects were finally apprehended by The State Police Internet Crimes Task Force, a specialized anti-cybercrime unit that chiefly deals with internet crimes. The suspects now face a cash fine not more than $ 3000 and a jail term of less than 2 years. This unit has been of great benefit to the local community since it has managed to investigate and successfully prosecute other cyber-criminals such as William McDonough, 51, of Hull in Hingham District Court whereby he was released on a bail of $1,500 pending a pre-trial.
Child pornography has a very great mental, emotional and physical impact on the child victims. These children are no longer able to discuss their problems openly for fear of online scavengers who are ready to take advantage of their innocence. Further, it imparts poor morals and behavior in children. This shall lead to a rotten society as these kids shall grow up without living a damn on vital societal norms.
There are various laws and statutes that have been put in place to curb child pornography especially via the internet. First, the Child Pornography Statute contained in the 18 U.S.C Sec. 2252 prohibits all materials that can potentially exploit minors sexually. Secondly, HR 3783 contains the Child Online Protection Act which amended the unconstitutional Communications Decency Act so as to completely outlaw child pornography. Thirdly, the 18U.S.C Sec 1461 prohibits the mailing of obscene child pornography content, be it online or otherwise.
In the successful investigation and prosecution of cyber-criminals, the Police Resource Committee needs to develop sustainable ways so as to aptly collect and present data. Many a court case have been lost due to the poor data collection methods put in place or due to the police’s short memory span leading to the loss of important clues in the investigation. Therefore, two chief data collection and representation methods have been discussed here-in.
First, detailed information can be collected about the suspects from other police agencies. This is highly applicable since data is readily available. Secondly, it avails data towards the second presentation presented here-in, that is, the Incident-based Crime Statistics (UCR2) Survey. Thirdly, it presents the possibility/ability to have data before revisions to the UCR2 survey could be made.
The Police Resource Committee can also modify the Incident-based Crime Statistics (UCR2) Survey. This is done by adding a data element to the UCR survey similar to the United States NIBRS to identify whether or not a Criminal Code offence is related to the Internet/computer. For example, the officer would still code the violation code that presently exists for the Criminal Code offence committed such as fraud, but would use the new data element to flag whether or not the crime was Internet/computer-related.
This shall allow and promote: The ability to collect detailed information, not only on the Incident but also on the Accused and the Victim; The UCR2 survey already exists - once the data element is added, there are no significant additional costs incurred; Possibility and ability to produce annual statistics on the incidence of cyber-crime; Some police services are currently collecting cyber-crime statistics in their records management system; Many forces currently not reporting cyber-crime statistics indicated that adding a new component to their records management system for this would not produce significant respondent burden.
There are various challenges facing these systems that must be addressed over time to ensure these systems run smoothly. In Option 1: Absence of a formal definition of cyber-crime. Data from different police forces may not be measuring the same concept; and Cost to develop a survey and data collection system, and analyze and disseminate data. In option 2:Implementation time - it will be a few years before another version of the survey with these and other changes can be considered; and not all police forces provide data to the UCR2 - currently the coverage is 60% of the national volume of crime. If they are successfully tackled, the police will no longer have to worry about their memories for these two methods shall be highly efficient in the collection and presentation of data.
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