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Posted: 14 November 2007

Child Pornography – Crime, computers and society

The history of child pornography and the desire to record it for future viewing can be traced back as far as Antiquity. But it wasn’t until the invention of the printing press in the middle of the fifteenth century that large scale reproduction became possible.

In a new book published by Willan Publishing: Child Pornography - Crime, computers and society, Professor Ian O’Donnell, Director of the UCD Institute of Criminology, and Claire Milner, a former research associate at the Institute, explore the enduring appeal of child pornography and its ramifications for today’s criminal justice systems around the world.

By reviewing academic literature and newspaper coverage, trawling websites frequented by those with a sexual interest in children, surveying how police investigate these offences, examining how prosecutors make their decisions in such cases, and interviewing judges, the authors provide a framework for understanding the contemporary nature of this problem, and in particular its intimate relationship with new technologies.

“Just when suppression of the child pornography trade seemed within sight as national legislatures finally began to take seriously the harms caused by magazines and videos, the Internet arrived on the scene,” says Prof O’Donnell. “The digital age has created the potential for abuse on a hitherto unimaginable scale.”

With an unprecedented level of cooperation, especially from police and prosecutors, the authors were able to conduct an unusually wide-ranging inquiry into how child pornographers are investigated and brought to justice.

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Child Pornography – Crime, computers and society