Beyond Tolerance: Child Pornography on the Internet

By Philip Jenkins | Go to book overview

THREE
Into the Net

Didn't any of you see the counter at the old new board,
the one that got shut down? If that is true, then there
were hundreds of thousands of visitors in a few days.
Was that counter real? If it was, there sure are a hell of a
lot of pedos out there.

—Dad, Maestro board, May 1, 2000

So how does child pornography work on the Internet? While a distinguished literature describes the organizational patterns found among various kinds of deviants, social, political, and sexual, perhaps no structure thus far examined rivals the child porn world for sheer complexity and creativity and for its global reach. Equally, the devices and subterfuges that make the trade possible are still startling even to people with a reasonable working familiarity with the Net. The subculture survives by exploiting the international character of the Internet but also by avoiding fixed and permanent “homes” in cyberspace that can be raided by officialdom.

The Internet is, of course, a rapidly developing technology, in which matters can change dramatically over the space of few months and something that lasts a year can acquire the air of a timeless institution. I believe that the picture offered here is an accurate description of the situation as it existed in the period 1999–2000, though already by early 2001, some of the cherished landmarks of the subculture were in disarray. In particular, the freewheeling chat that had hitherto flourished on the boards showed signs of fading

-52-

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Beyond Tolerance: Child Pornography on the Internet
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Note on Usage ix
  • Glossary xi
  • One - Out of Control? 1
  • Two - Child Pornography 25
  • Three - Into the Net 52
  • Four - A Society of Deviants 88
  • Five - Moralities 115
  • Six - Policing the Net 142
  • Seven - Vigilantes and Militias 165
  • Eight - A Global Community 184
  • Nine - Where Next? 204
  • Abbreviations 225
  • Notes 227
  • Index 255
  • About the Author 260
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