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.
Larger departments or districts may have their own dedicated Internet child pornography teams, but most smaller ones do not, and the responsibility for day-to-day investigations will fall to general-duties officers.It would be a mistake to underestimate the importance of local police in detecting and preventing Internet child pornography offenses.
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.
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.
Because legal definitions of both child and pornography differ considerably among jurisdictions, for research purposes child pornography is often defined broadly as any record of sexual activity involving a prepubescent person.