Episode #: 84
Show: National 7
Airdates: Oct 2000-March 2001(see Programming Schedule for specific airtimes)


On-Line Pedophiles - What Internet Companies Are Doing To Protect Our Children

Broadcast Excerpts

This next segment is a blunt message to all Pedophiles. Beware! The next time you think of luring our nations innocent into your demented world, think again. That's the message one company out of Tustin, California wants to get out to all Pedophiles. The company is MIRD, Millenium Internet Research & Development that boasts of a product called Netsafe, an exclusive filtering system that works on the basis of identifying keywords and phrases normally found within the realm of Pedophilia conversation. 

With the popularity of the Internet today, people are connecting online at an exponentially increasing rate. What was originally designed as a military project has turned into the hottest technology of this millennium. Internet companies are growing at a rate of over 200 per day. This medium, however, is an untamed beast with no control mechanism. Content of any and all types are accessible through this giant virtual encyclopedia. 

Because of this, children fall victim to unscrupulous villains who prowl the many chat rooms, looking for their prized opportunity, a young, naive child who's looking for a friend. Jonelle Caudill took us into this taboo world and talked to Patrick Hayes, the engineer responsible for this controversial, but necessary method of filtering content on the World Wide Web.

The pornography industry alone has used the Internet to create a 50 billion dollar a year market for "flesh pedaling." Radical hate groups have also turned to this medium to get their message of hate out to the masses. And the one big issue that rears up when you talk about filtering is the First Amendment of the Constitution. 

Although commercial filters have been available for end users since 1995, still questionable content gets through. All of the commercial filters on the market use the same basic technology. But are they effective? The experts say that with the constant change in web technology for creating web sites, these filters become ineffective. Some web sites even tell you how to circumvent a filter. The developers of Netsafe say that their product addresses these concerns and stops the onslaught of offensive sites that pop up on a daily basis.

With the 30 different companies today that claim to have filtering software, how do we know which one is really effective. Each of these companies make claims that they are the most effective on the market. Company hype makes for good brochures and ad slicks, but how effective are these filters?

Netsafe was developed in 1994 after it was discovered how easy it was to get pornographic sites on to the Web, which was still in its infancy. The ease of getting to these sites was appalling to the parents of America. It was apparent, however, that the World Wide Web was the medium of the future and that it would be the choice for businesses and children in their search for information. With these factors in mind, programming commenced and a filtering program that would stop this type of content from getting to those who didn't desire it was developed. 

The FBI states that there are thousands of Pedophile cases each year in which suspects are charged with luring or attempting to lure a minor and solicit sexual relations. And as the developers of Netsafe have told us, youĂll never know who has this filtering system on their computer. Well maybe next time a Pedophile thinks of attracting an unsuspecting child online, he'll think again.



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