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ASACP: Online CP is a Growing Problem

ASACP: Online CP is a Growing Problem

October 13, 2014
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" It is no longer uncommon to see CP busts involving hundreds or even thousands of suspects from all corners of the wired globe and from all walks of life. "

The Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection (ASACP) has long valued its close working relationships with global law enforcement agencies and the mutual benefit that these channels nurture. Additionally, maintaining ties with legislators ensures that all decision makers are aware of the cultural, legal and technical limitations of online child protection in an era when nearly every minor it seems carries the Internet in their pocket.

Fostering connections with all relevant stakeholders helps ASACP protect children while safeguarding the interests of the online adult entertainment industry: by — among other things — providing a steady stream of reports to authorities and other relevant hotlines, along with various forensic services of use to investigators and the criminal justice system, criminals are brought to justice; while the association offers authorities and other relevant agencies support in way of educational and support services to help them better understand the workings of the legitimate and legal adult entertainment industry.

The past few months have been exceptionally busy for ASACP experiencing a surge in reports of suspected child pornography (CP) received through its CP Reporting Tipline as well as increased calls for assistance regarding specific international investigations by authorities. April’s reporting volume nearly doubled over previous months with 13,899 reports received while both May and June’s reporting volumes remained very high at over 11,000 reports both months. July is also ending with very high reporting volumes and so far 2014 is showing an average reporting volume increase of over 1,000 reports per month.

While this is all in a day’s work for ASACP it is clear CP related activity is on the rise in 2014 and especially over the past four months. In fact recent statistics point to the fact that child pornography is the only crime showing a consistent and dramatic increase in activity worldwide year after year. This is partly due to a shift in the way CP is now being disseminated online — a shift that has seen CP go into the dark and hidden recesses of the internet where a “give to get” culture is growing and spawning ever increasing abuse of children internationally. It is no longer uncommon to see CP busts involving hundreds or even thousands of suspects from all corners of the wired globe and from all walks of life.

Since 2003, ASACP’s CP Reporting Tipline and related data collection and analysis program has played a vital role in protecting children and online adult entertainment businesses — processing more than 910,000 reports of suspected child pornography and forwarding over 130,000 reports to relevant international authorities and hotlines.

Many people outside of the organization do not realize just how frenzied daily activity can be behind the scenes at ASACP. ASACP is frequently called upon to assist its members and sponsors, the mainstream Internet community, public and government organizations, as well as judicial representatives and law enforcement. ASACP — with very modest funding, accomplishes with distinction, all of these tasks and challenges with a very small but dedicated and expert team. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the work the CP Tipline accomplishes, it is usually not possible for ASACP to make public details surrounding the reports, investigations or assistance it provides.

In 2014, ASACP is continuing its mission of protecting children from online child abuse while addressing the false accusations surrounding the involvement of the legitimate adult entertainment industry in this horrific trade. These problems still need to be fought today — a fight that can only be waged through the continued support of sponsors, members and contributors like you.

Especially now, with a growing anti-porn climate, it is essential to recognize there are plenty of legal pitfalls that are a reality of doing business in the adult space and businesses need to not only be aware of these pitfalls but also take steps to reduce these risks. Every company, large or small, needs to have procedures in place in order to best deal with unexpected issues should they arise. ASACP, in conjunction with many experienced adult entertainment industry leaders, have developed recommended Best Practices as a basis for companies to build or augment their own procedures in order to better protect their business as well as the greater industry as a whole.

The ASACP membership and sponsorship program goes even further in enabling companies to protect themselves. ASACP visually reviews all members and sponsor sites, spiders these sites for unacceptable terms and checks the URLs against our database of confirmed child pornography URLs collected by the ASACP CP Tipline. ASACP monitors these sites on an ongoing basis and cross-references the sites against new child pornography reports in order to ensure the sites are not being abused by CP traffickers.

Ensure that you label your sites with RTA — RTA is a functional and robust solution to preventing minors or other unwanted audiences from exposure to age-restricted materials, which is freely available for websites and mobile devices, including WordPress via a plug-in. Online age verification is an ongoing and increasingly mandated challenge, however RTA is available here and now and when used correctly and in conjunction with parental supervision and filtering software, provides an effective solution to the problem of inadvertent access to age-restricted content.

Finally, I would highly recommend that you consult regularly with a knowledgeable industry savvy attorney to ensure all your bases are covered to the fullest extent that they can be. This all helps to demonstrate your company is providing an extra duty of care to make sure your sites are by and for adults only.

The ASACP CP Reporting Tipline, RTA, ASACP’s segment specific Best Practices, Code of Ethics as well as membership and sponsorship programs offer an alternative to the global porn crackdown. It has never been more important for the industry to support ASACP’s vital mission and by doing so also protect your business.

For more information regarding ASACP, sponsorship opportunities and how your business can help, please contact tim@asacp.org.

ABOUT ASACP

Founded in 1996, ASACP is a non-profit organization dedicated to online child protection.

ASACP is comprised of two separate corporate entities, the Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection and the ASACP Foundation. The Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection (ASACP) is a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization. ASACP manages a membership program that provides resources to companies in order to help them protect children online. The ASACP Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. The ASACP Foundation battles child pornography through its CP Reporting Hotline and helps parents prevent children from viewing age-restricted material online with its Restricted To Adults (RTA) website label (www.rtalabel.org). ASACP has invested nearly 18 years in developing progressive programs to protect children, and its relationship in assisting the adult industry’s child protection efforts is unparalleled. For more information, visit www.asacp.org.


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