Beyond Tolerance: Child Pornography on the Internet

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NYU Press, 2003 - Computers - 260 pages

The first book on the abhorrent business of child pornography

Perhaps nothing evokes more universal disgust as child pornography. The world of its makers and users is so abhorrent that it is rarely discussed much less studied. Child pornographers have taken advantage of this and are successfully using the new electronic media to exchange their wares without detection or significant sanction. What are the implications of this threat for free speech and a free exchange of ideas on the internet? And how can we stop this illegal activity, which is so repugnant that even the most laissez-faire cyberlibertarians want it stamped out, if we know nothing about it?

Philip Jenkins takes a leap onto the lower tiers of electronic media in this first book on the business of child pornography online. He tells the story of how the advent of the internet caused this deviant subculture to become highly organized and go global. We learn how the trade which operates on clandestine websites from Budapest or Singapore to the U.S. is easy to glimpse yet difficult to eradicate. Jenkins details how the most sophisticated transactions are done through a proxy, a “false flag” address, rendering the host computer, and participants, virtually unidentifiable. And these sites exist for only a few minutes or hours allowing on-line child pornographers to stay one step ahead of the law. This is truly a globalized criminal network which knows no names or boundaries, and thus challenges both international and U.S. law.

Beyond Tolerance delves into the myths and realities of child pornography and the complex process to stamp out criminal activity over the web, including the timely debates over trade regulation, users' privacy, and individual rights. This sobering look and a criminal community contains lessons about human behavior and the law that none interested in media and the new technology can afford to ignore.

 

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Beyond tolerance: child pornography on the Internet

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Jenkins (history and religious studies, Pennsylvania State Univ.) offers a well-documented follow-up to Moral Panic (LJ 9/01/98), his history of child abuse and molestation over the past century. This ... Read full review

Contents

1 Out of Control?
1
2 Child Pornography
25
3 Into the Net
52
4 A Society of Deviants
88
5Moralities
115
6 Policing the Net
142
7 Vigilantes and Militias
165
8 A Global Community
184
9 Where Next?
204
Abbreviations
225
Notes
227
Index
255
About the Author
260
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Philip Jenkins is Distinguished Professor of History and Religious Studies at Pennsylvania State University. He is the author of numerous books including Mystics and Messiahs: Cults and New Religions in America and Synthetic Panics: The Symbolic Politics of Designer Drugs, available from NYU Press.

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