Each red dot on this map is the approximate location of a computer or cluster of computers that are transmitting images of child abuse – aka child pornography. The computers were identified by GUID (a unique serial number), not IP addresses. Law enforcement officials know where these computers are, right now. This does not represent all child pornography traffickers, only known and identified traffickers. The ICAC (Internet Crimes Against Children) task force identified 300,000 in the U.S. in 2008 and entered them into a database supported and endorsed by the U.S. Department of Justice.
But the vast majority of these known traffickers will never be arrested, even though they are exploiting children who have already been abused, even though children continue to be abused to satisfy their fetish, and even though we know that 1/3 of all “consumers” of child pornography will go on to abuse real children. Why? Because law enforcement is not given the budget to go after them. Their hands are therefore tied.
How, after years of seeming concern about child abuse, did we come to such a situation?
There has been a backlash from a certain segment of the population that are hard to qualify. They alternatively identify, politically, as “liberal” or “libertarian”. They attach themselves like barnacles to social justice movements: feminism, gay and lesbian rights, anti-racism movements, workers rights movements. They cry a lot about individual freedoms, especially the freedom to sexual self-determination. They whine that teenagers need the right to say yes and then refuse to admit there should be a lower limit on the age of consent to sexual activity at all. The talk a nice clean game about “safe sane and consensual” when it come to BDSM but after you talk to them a while you find that usually they think SSC is for wimps and the real, fun, daring scene is where people just ignore their partners boundaries and cries of real pain because that’s what is “really” hot.
Whenever I bring up an issue about child pornography and trafficking to the larger liberal community, I am met with a solid wall of hostility. First, there is a telling silence. A few people – usually those who have been abuse victims themselves – will react with anger that nothing is being done about these child predators. But then the liberal/libertarian pro-sex free-speech crowd comes in. “What do you want?” they ask angrily, “CENSORSHIP?” They begin ranting about how this shows that the government is SPYING ON US!!!!1111 and this is a terrible thing and illegal wiretapping, blah blah, it’s like in V for Vendetta, thought crime for looking at pictures, what about freedom of expression, and at the end, over and over again sneeringly, “You people always use ‘what about the children’ as an excuse to take away OUR CIVIL LIBERTIES.”
Looking at pictures of children being raped in the privacy of your own home without the evil spectre of government intrusion is a civil liberty to these folks. But you know, they’re such nice guys.