However, many images circulating on the Internet may be decades old, taken from earlier magazines and films. “Policing the Filth: The Problems of Investigating Online Child Pornography in England and Wales.” Policing and Society 15: 42–62. Images may be produced professionally, and, in these cases, often document the abuse of children in third-world countries. However, pornography in the modern sense began with the invention of the camera in the early nineteenth century.
However, the advent of the Internet in the 1980s dramatically changed the scale and nature of the child pornography problem, and has required new approaches to investigation and control. “Revisiting the Use of Pornography by Sexual Offenders: Implications for Theory and Practice.” The Journal of Sexual Aggression –77.
Internet child pornography is unlike most crimes local police departments handle.
The idea of protecting children from sexual exploitation is relatively modern.
As late as the 1880s in the United States, the age of consent for girls was just 10 years.In 1977, only two states had legislation specifically outlawing the use of children in obscene material.
Alternatively, they may receive information from other jurisdictions about offenders in their districts. “Pedophiles on the Internet: Law Enforcement Investigates Abuse.” Law and Order 47(5):74–78.[Full Text] Linz, D., and D.
Because of the increasing use of computers in society, most police departments are likely to encounter Internet child pornography crimes. “A Structural and Content-Based Analysis for Web Filtering.” Internet Research: Electronic Networking Applications and Policy 13(1):27–37. Local citizens may access child pornography images that were produced and/or stored in another city or on another continent. “The Use of Explicit Sexual Stimuli by Rapists, Child Molesters and Nonoffender Males.” Journal of Sex Research 7–288. Alternatively, they may produce or distribute images that are downloaded by people thousands of miles away. Images were usually locally produced, of poor quality, expensive, and difficult to obtain. The relaxation of censorship standards in the 1960s led to an increase in the availability of child pornography, and, by 1977, some 250 child pornography magazines were circulating in the United States, many imported from Europe.Despite concern about the extent of child pornography, law enforcement agencies had considerable success in stemming the trafficking of these traditional hard-copy forms. “The Need for Regulating Anonymous Remailers.” International Review of Law, Computers & Technology 14(1):79–88. However, within this broader scheme, local police departments have a crucial role to play.