I lost my Internet connection early this morning (AGAIN, gawd) and was too hyper to sleep, so I curled up with the August 2006 issue of the Asian Reader's Digest and came across the article "r u in ur pjs?" by Julia Morgan. It's about the proliferation of child pornography on the Internet and the efforts of a valiant team of Canadians led by Paul Gillespie (and law enforcement agencies in other countries) to stem the tide. What I read horrified me.
"They were the most violent and degrading images...the photo of the girl inside a dog cage...The girl, about five or six, was naked and crouching, so that most of what you saw was her face and the terrified look in her brown eyes. She was crying, the corners of her mouth turned down miserably."
I wish I could find an online copy of the article so that you guys can read it for yourself. The example cited above didn't happen in some third world country -- it was in North Carolina, USA. The good news is that through the wonders of modern technology, they were able to rescue the child and catch the guy who was abusing her: a male relative -- a well-respected software developer in their community.
Child porn is a worldwide phenomenon that's worsening because pedophiles are using the Internet to share their perversions with each other. The good guys are making some progress in catching up with the crooks, but the sheer enormity of the problem (and lack of resources sometimes) means they're not able to catch as many pedophiles as quickly as possible.
It's a good thing, though, that law enforcement is getting major help when it comes to technological advancement. Microsoft, for example, helped develop the Child Exploitation Tracking System program, to coordinate rescue and arrest efforts. Good on ya, Bill!
But a whole lot of work needs to be done, more resources and manpower needed, because...
"...the problem was much worse than imagined. The kids were a lot younger than he had expected, often toddlers or infants, and they were being bound, raped and sodomised."
Whether or not the death penalty should be implemented locally was a big issue here in the Philippines several years ago, and I was pretty ambivalent about it at the time. But when it comes to pedophilia/child abuse, I have no second thoughts.
I say round up the bastards and shoot 'em at dawn.
I'd pull the trigger myself.