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Data reveal porn ‘epidemic’

<p>Reflecting what investigators are calling a "social epidemic," new policing data reveal thousands of Torontonians — and more than 15,000 Ontarians — are actively using their computers to distribute child pornography.</p>

Police say thousands of Torontonians distribute child porn


Reflecting what investigators are calling a "social epidemic," new policing data reveal thousands of Torontonians — and more than 15,000 Ontarians — are actively using their computers to distribute child pornography.



A special task force in the United States — with help from a global network of investigators, including Toronto police — has discovered that, in a four-month period last year, more than 4,000 computers in this city were involved in trading images of "child sexual abuse," says a U.S. Internet child exploitation expert.



"The numbers are scary, staggering," said Flint Waters, special agent for the Wyoming Attorney General and commander of the Internet Sex Crimes Against Children task force.



"It’s horrifying. These numbers have been analyzed by a lot of folks — if anything, they’re on the low side. They’re very conservative."



Yesterday, more than 18 police forces targeted child pornography in a series of raids across Ontario. Sources described the operation as the largest co-ordinated child pornography investigation in the history of the province.



Details of the sweep, headed by the OPP’s Provincial Strategy to Protect Children from Sexual Abuse and Exploitation on the Internet, will be released at a news conference today.



Data amassed since Jan. 1 last year using Waters’ software reveals more than 15,140 computers in Ontario — each one potentially employed by more than one user and with a cache of possibly hundreds or thousands of exploitative images — are sharing files in a global online web.




















illegal images




  • More than 44,970 computers nationwide are actively engaged in trading child pornography, the data show. Canada ranks fourth in the world behind Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Bermuda for the highest distribution rates per capita of such illegal images.


 
 
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