Editor's Note: IT Needs To Fight Child Pornography - InformationWeek
Business & Finance
02:10 PM
Stephanie Stahl
Stephanie Stahl

Editor's Note: IT Needs To Fight Child Pornography

In a recent story called "Machine Wars" (Jan. 17), we highlighted the problem of automated hacking, where computers subverted by hackers churn out malicious code with such speed that it's nearly impossible to track. Last week, Microsoft issued a whopping 12 security bulletins encompassing 19 vulnerabilities, 14 of which it marked "critical," including a vulnerability that could lead to one of the nastiest computer worms in years. These and other computer security threats are disturbing.

But let me bring your attention to something else running rampant out there in the world of the Internet, something that's far worse than a nasty virus or a system vulnerability, something that law enforcement can barely keep up with: child pornography.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's CyberTipline logged a 39% increase in reports of possession, creation, or distribution of child pornography in 2004, the seventh consecutive year child-pornography incidents have risen since the group set up its 24-hour hot line in 1998.

Our cover story and other online elements are disturbing, but educational. Many readers will be shocked at just how pervasive the problem is. You should be aware. You should be outraged. It's a problem the technology industry can't ignore. Our hats go off to companies actively and aggressively trying to find ways to prevent this heinous business. I asked InformationWeek columnist Parry Aftab, a privacy lawyer who also runs Wired Kids Inc., a nonprofit organization devoted to online consumer safety, how InformationWeek readers can help. First and foremost, she needs volunteers to raise awareness of the situation. Technology equipment and funding also are needed. For more information, go to www.wiredkids.com.

Stephanie Stahl

To discuss this column with other readers, please visit Stephanie Stahl's forum on the Listening Post.

To find out more about Stephanie Stahl, please visit her page on the Listening Post.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Digital Transformation Myths & Truths
Transformation is on every IT organization's to-do list, but effectively transforming IT means a major shift in technology as well as business models and culture. In this IT Trend Report, we examine some of the misconceptions of digital transformation and look at steps you can take to succeed technically and culturally.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll