ASACP is the Solution to Protecting Children Online

Tim Henning

Founded in 1996, ASACP is a nonprofit organization dedicated to online child protection, 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 that manages a membership program providing resources to companies in order to help them protect children online. The ASACP Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that battles child pornography through its CP Reporting Hotline and helps parents prevent children from viewing age-restricted material online via its Restricted To Adults website label.

ASACP educates members, the online adult entertainment industry, international government policy makers, and the public about online child safety, child exploitation, and the efforts of the online adult entertainment industry to battle child sexual abuse and be proactive with internet child safety issues. 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 agencies, 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.

ASACP serves as an advocate of industrial self-regulation, educating government agencies, lawmakers, regulatory bodies and other relevant stakeholders, about the positive steps that its members take to help keep children out of and away from adult entertainment.

Since 2004 the child exploitation hotline has processed more than 920,000 reports and released a report that dissected five years of data from its Child Pornography Reporting Hotline. One of the conclusions of this paper proves that the adult entertainment industry is not involved with child pornography. This report was submitted to, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Online Safety Technology Workgroup and was referenced in their final report as well as several other relevant stakeholders in government and policy circles. ASACP continues to stay on the cutting edge of technology by introducing new approaches to better isolate and investigate the highest of priority reports and thereby placing this crucial information into the hands of law enforcement even more efficiently.

In 2006, ASACP created the award winning RTA (“Restricted to Adults”) label to better enable parental filtering, and to demonstrate the online adult industry’s commitment to helping parents prevent children from viewing age-inappropriate content. Within a year of its release in 2006, more than 3 million web pages had been labeled using the RTA tag. Now the RTA label is in use on some 30 million web pages containing age-restricted content including the most highly trafficked adult entertainment websites in the world. Today millions of adult websites use RTA — accounting for the bulk of professional sites. There are more than 20 billion monthly hits to pages labeled with RTA, demonstrating that the majority of adult entertainment sites have self-labeled. For its dedication and efforts, ASACP and its RTA Labeling initiative have received widespread support from business leaders and trade associations, governments and civic organizations.

Embedding the RTA label code in page header metadata tags enables filtering via the various parental control mechanisms that are widely available to parents. The RTA label is recognized by the majority of filtering products and services, and ASACP continues to pursue partnerships with more to ensure that RTA is recognized as widely as possible. Significantly, RTA is recognized by the parental controls in both Microsoft and Apple browsers, including browser use on mobile devices. The RTA label can even be used to tag individual social networking site user pages, blogs, and mobile apps that feature adult material.

The RTA label is completely free to use, voluntary, and universally available to any website that wishes to label itself clearly and effectively as being inappropriate for viewing by minors. Using RTA requires no online form to fill out, no registration, and no fee. RTA does not differentiate between the various types of age-inappropriate content available; all content considered unsuitable for minors is simply labeled “Restricted to Adults.”

On the international front, ASACP embraces the global nature of today’s digital media publishing firms, by offering translations of the association’s main website (www.asacp.org), and its press releases, into Spanish, French and German, in addition to the English version. ASACP has also continued its European expansion by forming a European Advisory Council, mirroring its domestic Advisory Council, comprised of digital media and Internet publishing experts, drawn from the ranks of ASACP’s current sponsor base.

ASACP serves as an advocate of industrial self-regulation, educating government agencies, lawmakers, regulatory bodies and other relevant stakeholders, about the positive steps that its members take to help keep children out of and away from adult entertainment. ASACP’s government outreach takes place through various media and includes personal interaction with stakeholders at governmental events — providing an irreplaceable but resource-intensive platform for networking and the exchange of information. The benefits of this activism are tangible and revealing, however, providing a worthwhile return on ASACP’s substantial investment in travel and event attendance. ASACP’s proactive leadership has helped the online adult entertainment industry to thrive in an environment where crippling legislation has not been forthcoming and where the onus of child protection is rightfully split between parents and content providers.

ASACP is the only organization that bridges the necessity of online child safety issues with the needs of legitimate adult entertainment business owners and the noted concerns of international regulators and lawmakers — an effort which is made possible by the sponsorships, membership fees and donations that the association receives from decision makers like you — and an effort which reaps continued rewards for all stakeholders. ASACP is currently and aggressively expanding its international presence and needs your support to help us accomplish these challenging but necessary goals.

Entirely supported by its generous sponsors, approved members and the contributions of concerned parents and digital media stakeholders, ASACP cannot perform its mission without your help. Relying on a very small staff of extremely dedicated personnel, the association delivers tremendous results despite its minimal budget, and is a force for good in the oftentimes-murky world of today’s Internet. Protecting children from exposure to or involvement in adult entertainment is an ongoing task, borne by the efforts of companies committed to protecting themselves by protecting children — and a task that needs your help to succeed.

For more information contact tim@asacp.org.

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