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2/16/2005
03:04 PM
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Letters: Responses To Our Story "Technology And The Fight Against Child Porn"

Ms. Aftab,

Thank you for your reply and previous recognition of Operation Blue Ridge Thunder. I know it's greatly appreciated. I also applaud you for your efforts over the years. I'd like to clarify what seems to be a misunderstanding. Law Enforcement Data Exchange is not a Bedford County Sheriff's Office-run or -funded program, nor is it an OBRT program. It has been a three-year effort to build the best system available for law enforcement to combat child exploitation and child pornography. LEDX continues to require upgrades to keep up with technology and is supported by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program and the ICAC board made up of members across many jurisdictions throughout the United States. While the LEDX concept was initiated through the collaboration of the ICAC Board and Bedford County Sheriff Mike Brown, Bedford only contributes to LEDX through Lt. Mike Harmony and myself, a reserve lieutenant.

Many articles have come out that silently imply or could lead readers to believe nothing is being done or has been done by law enforcement in applying technology in this area. That is very far from the truth, and the companies and people behind the contributions and dedication to LEDX aren't out asking for public notoriety, just occasional recognition for their continued contribution to a growing problem, which they so richly deserve. For instance, contributions by Microsoft and Integrated Digital Systems since November have exceeded $350,000 for maintenance, software and hardware upgrades, and development efforts to keep LEDX secure and up and running 24/7.

When writing articles of this nature one should be sensitive to the efforts of others and inferences that might imply otherwise.

My views in this E-mail do not in anyway officially or unofficially represent the views of the Bedford County Sheriff's Office. Thank you for your continued interest and valiant efforts to educate the public on child-safety issues.

Thank you,
Larry Hunt


Mitch,

Excellent article but missing information on a vital, little-known tool that has been in existence quietly making a difference in this fight. For the record, Canada isn't the first to develop a case-deconfliction and -tracking system or make major strides using technology to provide law enforcement with tools to do there job in the fight against child pornography. The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force is funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention in conjunction with an industry coalition made up of Integrated Digital Systems (a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and Xerox Partner), Microsoft, and Xerox DocuShare Group. Each began contributing hundreds of thousands of dollars in products, resources, and technology to design, build, implement, and host a state-of-the-art secure portal, www.LEDX.org, specifically to provide for the means of sharing case information, case deconfliction, child pornography identification information, statistics, education coordination, and task-force management nearly three years ago.

This is a prime example of government and private industry working together and bringing to bear their resources to combat such an ugly business. Today information for more than 20,000 cases, including enterprise case efforts like Peerless and Falcon and five other major efforts, is being used by the 44 state ICAC task forces, FBI, ICE, and postal inspectors comprising nearly 500 law-enforcement personnel to identify and consolidate efforts. This has been a major step in the right direction. As the use of this portal grows, so will the arrest and conviction of predators and child pornographers and hopefully a decline in the proliferation of child pornography. Just a few years ago these same law-enforcement agencies had no means of identifying individuals or organizations operating across jurisdictions; now they do. It's important your readers know that this level of effort has been in place and not just private organizations have been proactive in this effort.

Thank you,
Reserve Lt. Larry Hunt
LEDX Site Administrator
Operation Blue Ridge Thunder
OJJDP ICAC Task Force


Dear Ms Stahl,

Good for you! It's well past time those of us who help build the IT industry and the communication revolution called the Internet took a much more active role in protecting children from technology-enabled s-exploitation. As the founder and owner of such companies, I have personally and corporately benefited greatly riding the wave of this technological paradigm shift.

I am also aware that criminal elements within our society are often early adopters of information technology. Pedophiles and child pornographers being right out front in early use of emerging IT, as IT both facilitates and obfuscates their destructive criminal behavior. For the last 12 years my companies and I have, at no cost, helped law enforcement deal with these old crimes being committed in new ways. Unfortunately, child sexual exploitation has spanned the world, much like the recent and devastating tsunami in Southeast Asia. Child pornography and child sexual exploitation can truly be classified as pandemic, and we as IT professionals should be wildly altering our fellow man about this most serious erosion of hard-fought human rights and dignities.

Anything you can do from your position in the media to shake the sleeping mass would be greatly appreciated and directly contribute to steaming the tide of broken children.

Sincerely,
Doug Stead, President
Tri-M Systems Inc. - Tri-M Engineering - Wholly Smoke Inc.
Port Coquitlam, British Columbia


This society that we embrace does have many ills. But, like the government's "War on Drugs" grandiose fiasco, IT's attempt at controlling child porn can, at best, inefficiently slow down the distribution a little bit. Resources would be better spent on addressing the real problem--WHY ARE THERE so many consumers of this crap?

Kuryos

P.S. Have you watched network prime-time television lately? Seen the latest Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue? Listened to your kids' music? Probably good places to efficiently start reshaping this society's moral ills.


Illustration by Anastasia Vasilakis

Return to the story:
Technology And The Fight Against Child Porn

Continue to the column:
The Privacy Lawyer: The Pain Behind The Pictures

Continue to the blog:
Teaming Up Against Child Porn

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