X hits on this document

PDF document

Pimps and Predators on the Internet - page 58 / 75





58 / 75


The CyberTipline is the Internet industry’s self-regulation attempt in the United States. It was formed at the end of 1997 when the Internet industry came under pressure from the US government and general public to do something about children’s increasing risk of exposure to pornography on the Internet. Vice-President Al Gore warned, “If there is not an effective industry-led solution, you might as well prepare yourself for a massive, nationwide backlash that will stunt the growth of this exciting resource.”253 Internet service providers (ISPs) who provide service to 95 percent of home Internet users joined in an agreement to enforce existing laws against child pornography. They agreed to remove child pornography from their own bulletin boards and services. The CyberTipline first operated as a telephone hotline, then later a web site, where people can report incidents of child sexual exploitation, including child pornography. Partial funding for the hotline came from the US Congress. The CyberTipline is run by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children with an annual budget of US$600,000 (1-800-843- 5678; http://www.missingkids.com/cybertip). The hotline allows Internet users to report incidences of child sexual exploitation on the Internet, such as online contact of children by predators, possession, manufacture or distribution of child pornography, child prostitution and child-sex tourism. 254

The CyberTipline includes a standardized reporting form that forwards information to the FBI, the US Customs Service, the US Postal Inspection Service and local law enforcement officials.255 The program is run in cooperation with the FBI. The hotline got 150 responses the first day. 256

Zero Tolerance Policy Promised

At the end of 1997 an Online Summit was held in Washington, D.C. A number of Internet service providers made a commitment to a “zero tolerance” policy for child pornography. The Internet Alliance, the leading trade association for the Internet industry, and the Commercial Internet Exchange Association, and the Association of Online Professionals, the organizations for ISPs, made the following pledge in December 1997:

“When child pornography is appropriately brought to our attention, and we have control over it, we will remove it. Subject to constitutional and statutory privacy safeguards, we will cooperate fully with law enforcement officials investigating child pornography on the Internet. We will not allow this valuable new medium to be exploited by child pornographers and child predators.”257

The agreement involved Internet service providers representing 95 percent of the home Internet use market. 258

Page 57

Document info
Document views284
Page views284
Page last viewedSun Jan 22 02:32:37 UTC 2017