trends

ASACP Issues CP Alert

Joan Irvine
The Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection (ASACP) CP reporting hotline Compliance Manager has uncovered a new trend in marketing child pornography (CP), causing ASACP to issue this alert to surfers:

Criminal CP rings have long used spam email to market to very large numbers of recipients. However, ASACP recently discovered a ring that is employing a method of tracking which emails are opened and clicked through to their websites, via a unique code is used in the hyperlink contained in each spam email for tracking purposes. This allows the ring to identify active email accounts in their spam email lists and target those that have opened, read and visited their sites with more child pornography spam email. Once the hyperlink is clicked, the unique code in the hyperlink is recorded by software embedded within the index page of the child pornography site and saved for data retrieval later. This method is similar to the methods used by traffic trading sites to monitor the amount of traffic being sent by each member account to the trading site.

In addition, because of the large amount of CP spam emails, there has been a monthly increase from 150 to 300 Red Flag Reports (sites reported, reviewed and confirmed to be suspect CP, which are then forwarded to law enforcement).

"There are various reasons why people would click on such a link - some because they can't believe that it could be CP and others because they are just curious," Joan Irvine, executive director of ASACP said. "Please know that if you ever see an image of a child being sexually abused, that image remains with you forever."

Irvine recommends that surfers don't expose themselves to even the possibility of seeing such a horrific image, nor visit any website which will also include your email address in these criminals' database. Instead, send the website address (URL) and link to ASACP via the CP reporting hotline. ASACP has provided this service to the industry and surfers since 1996 and its Compliance Manager has been trained to handle such situations.

While ASACP does not accept spam email reports, if the URL of the suspected child pornography site is contained in the email, ASACP requests that it be reported to them. To obtain the URL of a suspected child pornography site in a spam email, place your mouse pointer over the URL link or linked pic/graphic contained in the suspect email, click the right mouse button to bring up the options window, then select "Copy link target to clipboard" with the left mouse button.

Next, go to the ASACP report form and click on the "Suspect Site URL" box with the left mouse button, press the backspace key on your keyboard several times until the "http://" has been removed and the box is empty. With your mouse cursor over the "Suspect Site URL" box click the right mouse button again to bring up the options window and select "Paste" with the left mouse button. The suspect URL contained in the email should now appear in the "Suspect Site URL" box in the report form. Continue to fill out the rest of the form with any further information you may have and click Submit Report.

The ASACP mission is to help the online entertainment industry, including adult entertainment, in its ongoing efforts to battle CP on the Internet through its CP reporting hotline. In addition, ASACP provides a self-regulatory vehicle for its adult entertainment members through a Code of Ethics that promotes the protection of children through responsible, professional business practices.

For more information, visit www.asacp.org.

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