Ontario Wages War Against Child Porn

Jeff Berg
TORONTO — The Province of Ontario is embarking on a massive, multi-million dollar, two-pronged assault against child pornography and Internet predators, said Attorney General Michael Bryant Wednesday.

“No matter where you live in Ontario, you will have the best expertise working together to keep our kids safe from Internet-based crimes,” said Bryant in a statement. “We will give the police and prosecutors the tools they need to do their job in an effective, coordinated way.”

The province-wide strategy will cost $5 million and involves developing common standards of investigation and prosecution for municipal police departments and educating Ontario children about Internet predators.

Among the ideas presented by Ontario include specially designed software that will be placed in schools to educate kids about Internet safety.

According to Monte Kwinter, minister of community safety and correctional services, roughly 40 percent of Canadian youth have been asked for personal information by people they met on the Internet and 41 percent of those children said they supplied it.

“This underlines the need for strong and consistent protection to all children in our province,” said Kwinter.

Joan Irvine, executive director of Adult Sites Against Child Pornography, believes that this is an effective step for Ontario to take.

“The formation of such task forces has proven successful in Los Angeles for a number of years,” Irvine told XBiz. “In fact, the Safe Team which is a combination of FBI, LAPD, Orange County PD and other geographic law enforcement agencies was one of the test models in the U.S. Obviously, this model worked well and is being duplicated by other countries.”

The new strategy will be aided by Bryant’s Task Force on Internet Crimes against Kids, which has already begun developing policies and tools to help standardize child pornography investigations and prosecutions.