U.S. Department of Justice Information On Child Pornography And Federal Statutes Related To It

Child Pornography

By the mid-1980's, the trafficking of child pornography within the United States had been almost completely eradicated through a series of successful campaigns waged by law enforcement. Child pornographers had become lonely and hunted individuals. Producing child abuse images was both difficult and expensive, and reproducing images was equally difficult and expensive. Purchasing and trading such images was extremely risky. Anonymous distribution and receipt was not possible and it was difficult for pedophiles to find and interact with each other. Unfortunately, technology has changed the situation.

Producing child abuse images has now become easy and inexpensive. The Internet allows images and digitized movies to be reproduced and disseminated to tens of thousands of individuals at the click of a button. The distribution and receipt of such images can be done almost anonymously. As a result, child pornography is readily available through virtually every Internet technology (web sites, email, instant messaging/ICQ, Internet Relay Chat (IRC), newsgroups/bulletin boards, and peer-to-peer). The technological ease, lack of expense, and anonymity in obtaining and distributing child pornography has resulted in an explosion in the availability, accessibility, and volume of child pornography.

CEOS works with the 93 United States Attorney offices around the country and investigative agencies to vigorously combat this growing problem. By maintaining a coordinated, national-level law enforcement focus, including coordinating nationwide and international investigations and prosecutions, CEOS works to deter the production, distribution and possession of child pornography by aggressively investigating and prosecuting of these crimes. Additionally, CEOS works with law enforcement to identify victims used to produce child pornography with the goal of rescuing the victims and preventing continued abuse of these children.

Reporting Child Pornography

To report an incident involving the possession, distribution, receipt, or production of child pornography, go to the website operated by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). Your report will be forwarded to a law enforcement agency for investigation and action.

Federal Child Pornography Statutes

-18 USC § 2251- Production of child pornography (mandatory min. 15 yrs; max 30 years)

-18 USC § 2251A- Selling or buying children for sexual exploitation (mandatory min. 30 yrs; max life)

-18 USC § 2252- Possession, distribution and receipt of child pornography (mandatory min 5 yrs for distribution or receipt; max 20 years)

-18 USC § 2252A- Possession, distribution and receipt of child pornography (mandatory min 5 yrs for distribution or receipt; max 20 years)

-18 USC § 2260- Importation of child pornography (max 10 years)