Pornography control


  • Read “The Lost Boy (see below). In APA format answer the following questions:

Why is Internet pornography so difficult to control?

Why does it require the efforts of international agencies?


The Lost Boy online bulletin board was established to provide a forum for men who had a sexual interest in young boys to trade child pornography. Law enforcement authorities in the United States and abroad first became aware of the network when Norwegian and Italian authorities discovered that a North Hollywood, California, man was communicating via an Internet site with an Italian national about child pornography and how to engage in child sex tourism in Romania. Further investigation revealed that Lost Boy had 35 members; more than half were U.S. nationals. Other members of the network were located in countries around the world, including Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

To shield themselves from prosecution, the Lost Boy network had developed a thorough vetting process for new members to weed out law enforcement agents. Members were required to post child pornography in order to join the organization and to continue posting child pornography to remain in good standing. Lost Boy members advised each other on techniques to evade detection by law enforcement, which included using screen names to mask identities and encrypting computer data.

As the investigation unfolded, law enforcement agencies identified child molestation suspects in South America, Europe, and New Zealand. Suspects in Romania, France, Brazil, Norway, and the United Kingdom were charged and convicted, receiving long prison sentences. In the United States, offenders were prosecuted under the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, a 2006 law with a three-tier system of categorizing sex offenders, mandated lifetime sex offender registration for tier one offenders and increased penalties. It also allows judges to levy heavier sentences on child molesters who are engaged in cooperative, sustained criminal efforts with others, such as running the LostBoy network. Fifteen U.S. Lost Boy defendants have been convicted, one died in custody, and three remain at large. All told, the authorities identified 200 victims as a result of theinvestigation.

At the time, the Lost Boy indictment was the largest-ever child exploitation enterprise investigation since the signing of the Walsh Act. Because of the sentencing enhancements, some of those prosecuted in the Lost Boy case received sentences of between 20 and 35 years in prison. One man, Jeffrey Greenwell, who produced pornographic images and videos that appeared on the Lost Boy online bulletin board, pleaded guilty to five counts of production of child pornography and was sentenced to a total of 100 years in prison. Since the Lost Boy case was prosecuted, Operation Delego, conducted by the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security, resulted in the indictment of 72 defendants for their participation in Dreamboard—a private, members-only, online bulletin board created to promote pedophilia.

The Lost boy case illustrates the difficulty of controlling Internet pornography. Getting evidence sufficient for prosecution involved the cooperation of law enforcement agencies around the world and the arrests of people in multiple countries, a very expensive and time-consuming activity.