Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Leading Brazilian Bank Joins International Fight Against Child Pornography

From MarketWatch:

Banco Bradesco is the First Institution in the Latin America Region to Join the Financial Coalition Against Child Pornography.

The International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC) announced today that Banco Bradesco, one of the largest financial institutions in Latin America, has joined the Financial Coalition Against Child Pornography (FCACP). The Coalition is a group of leading banks, credit card companies, third party payment companies and Internet services companies working together to fight commercial child pornography over the Internet. Launched in 2006, the initiative is managed by ICMEC and its sister organization, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC).

Child pornography has become a multi-billion dollar commercial enterprise and is among the fastest growing businesses on the Internet. The Internet has enabled instant access to child pornography by thousands and possibly millions of individuals around the world. Consumers are able to use traditional payment tools, such as credit cards, as well as new, alternative payment schemes, to purchase child pornography on the Internet. The mission of the Coalition is to follow the flow of funds and shut down the payments accounts used by these illicit enterprises.

"From the start of the Coalition, we knew that it would take a truly global effort to tackle this horrendous problem," said Ernie Allen, President and CEO of the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children and Chairman of the Coalition. "Banco Bradesco's commitment, expertise and leadership role in the financial industry will fortify our efforts as we work to disrupt the economics of commercial child pornography."

The exact number of child pornography web sites is difficult to determine. In 2001, the CyberTipline, a U.S. reporting mechanism for child sexual exploitation operated by NCMEC, received more than 24,400 reports. By October 2008, the number of reports had climbed to more than 636,000.

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