Child pornography on ORKUT website
The medium of Internet is uncensored, promising endless freedom. But now there's enough evidence to suggest that the Internet is exploiting children. The Internet is the new predator of children.
A US government study says that online child pornography has increased by a massive 1500 per cent in the last decade.
Countries like Brazil and India with millions of Internet users are emerging as hubs with unfortunately very few safeguards.
Every day thousands of sexually explicit and exploitative material of children, sometimes as young as 6 or 7 is uploaded onto the Web. It happens not just on shady private sites but also popular social networking sites like Orkut and Youtube. Their clients are faceless pedophiles across the globe.
"This is a massive industry. I am giving you an example of Orkut. But the dimensions are still not clear," said Ethel Quale, University of Edinburgh.
Half of Orkut's users, around 30 million people, are in Brazil. The Brazilian government says that 90 per cent of all illicit material is on the website.
And out of 624 cases of Internet crimes in Brazil in 2007, 420 are involved child pornography on Orkut.
The Internet is one of the greatest threats to children. Its anonymity and vast reach has made exploiters of children unidentified and impossible to track.
Right now, there are a 100,000 known child porn sites. Investigating agencies say online child pornography is growing exponentially. Every month at least 20,000 new websites come up.
"The new threat are mobile phone, , MMS clips which are easily uploaded and impossible to transmit. Also, no one is aware that such clips are being filmed," said Anindit Roy Chouwdhury, Sanlap, Kolkata.
But policing the Internet is next to impossible.
In India which is a growing hub of child pornography, there is no database nor any task force to understand the contours of the cyber crime.
There's a plan to punish child pornographers with 7 years of imprisonment.
But going by the past records in paedophilia cases, where the accused have always been let off, simply enacting a law won't ensure justice for children.