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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

'Cybercop' Set to Patrol Child Porn on Internet

STOCKHOLM -- The recent establishment of a "Cybercop" to patrol the Internet, seeking out child pornography, is a first step towards banishing such material from the global network, a child sex conference heard on Friday.


Norway's ombudsman for children, Trond Waage, said to date there was very little action that could be taken to stop the distribution of child pornography on the Internet.


But he said the establishment last week of a international body to monitor child pornography on the net, a task taken on by the Norwegian branch of Save the Children, was firm action against pedophiles using the net.


"This is a kind of a cybercop," Waage told a press conference at the first World Congress Against the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children.


"We need some visible cops on the net. If you undertake these kinds of criminal activities someone will monitor you."


He said Save the Children would look out for anything suspicious on the Internet and encourage other users to contact the group's site, children@risk.sn.no, if they came across child pornography on the net.


All information will be handed over to the police and Save the Children would work closely with the international police authority, Interpol, to track the sources down.


Save the Children's program coordinator, Markus Aksland, said no one had any idea how much -- or how little -- child pornography was available through the Internet.


He said entering the keyword pedophile brought up 5,438 hits on the Internet but this was a dramatic fall from four years ago with pedophiles pulling further back on the net, hiding themselves and using codes.


Aksland said his group had engaged a team of computer experts over the past month to see what they could find and affirm whether or not child porn was a problem on the Internet.


"Even now, they still found a lot of sites with very suggestive names like Barely Legal," Aksland told Reuters.


"But the important thing is not to get hysterical and censor the net. The Internet is also open to a lot of good possibilities."


Waage said the past month's search found child porn on three levels on the Internet; by going into pornography shops and finding the child section, tapping into pedophile networks, and by contacting people in chat forums.