REVIEW OF DANGERS ON THE INTERNET


Speech given by Donna Rice Hughes at EIE Leadership Luncheon
June 7, 1995
Russell Caucus Room, U.S. Senate
Washington D.C.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s my job during the next ten minutes to dispel some popular misconceptions about pornography and expose you to the realty of this issue we face. Unfortunately, the worst and most deviant forms of illegal pornography have invaded our home, offices and schools via computer.

Computers have emerged as the leading-edge technology for the distribution of hard-core and child pornography. This is due to the low risk of law enforcement detection, speed of transmission and ease of access for both children and adults. In fact, the Internet has become a central means of distributing child pornography worldwide. The emphasis of this gathering is on protecting our children.

Children today are increasingly computer literate, in most cases, much more so than their parents. Any child with a computer and a modem can access pornographic material in seconds, and once they’ve seen it, it can’t be erased from their minds.

Just as disturbing, is the fact that we cannot protect ourselves or our children from those who derive sexual pleasure from viewing this toxic material.

First, I want to emphasize that technology, in and of itself is not the problem, it is neutral—the misuse of it, however, can be devastating.
We will walk through three primary areas where computer technology has been exploited by the pornography industry. 

First, through Adult Commercial Bulletin Board Services accessible via modem for a fee.

Second, through the Internet itself, and 

Third through Interactive Technologies, namely CD-Roms. 
If you will, please take out your white educational packets and remove the manila envelop with the red warning label. This packet does not include any pornographic pictures, but I believe that the listing alone will make the point. I apologize in advance for what you’re about to see.
You may elect not to open the envelope.

Now remove the contents of the packet. The pages are numbered, please keep them in order as I proceed.

Page 1 is one of over thirty pages of an adult bulletin board service describing videos for sale. A quick scan will give you an idea of the gruesome material that is available.

Page 2 is an adult bulletin board service providing over 25,000 picture files. At least 5,000 are images of little children. These pictures are as clear and vivid as those found in magazines and videos. The full list comprises over 500 single-spaced, typed pages. This computer bulletin board is owned by Robert Thomas, who is now in jail for distributing obscenity. Yet, his bulletin board is still in operation! In fact, when Thomas was indicted last year, he had approximately 3,000 subscribers. That number has now mushroomed to over 10,000—spreading his illegal pornography globally. His images have been downloaded millions of times, making Thomas, himself, a millionaire.

Page 3 is a captured screen from the Usenet section of the Internet. Notice the different groups available. One click on any group will take you into a listing of free files concerning that subject. The files consist of a combination of pictures, stories and messages.

Also popular and free are the chat groups where people can engage in real time conversations. Chat groups have become the playground of the 90’s for the pedophile to contact children for illicit sexual encounters.

Click on alt. Sex pedophilia, up comes the next page (turn page), two more clicks and up comes the message at the top of the screen on page 4. Please take a moment to read it.

And on page 5 you’ll find another typical message posted to alt. Sex pedophilia in the highlighted box at the bottom of the page. These are the kinds of people who search for their victims through conversation with unsuspecting kids playing on the Internet.

On Page 6 is another popular place for hard-core pictures…alt binaries pictures erotica…another section of the Internet. I’ve highlighted some of the most popular groups: bestiality, bondage and teens.

On Page 7 is a captured screen from the bestiality news group. One click on any picture file and the image will appear on your computer screen free of charge. Any computer literate child can view pictures of women having sex with animals-from dogs to horses to snakes.

On Page 8Bondage—Pictures of women being bound, tortured and mutilated.

Page 9—Teens—Pictures depicting teenagers in sexual situations.
You may have read about the college coed, Jake Baker, who wrote a story about the torture and murder of a female coed. The next hand-outis one of the stories he wrote and posted on the Internet worldwide. It is the most sickening thing I’ve ever read—and remember—children have access to this same story. There are similar types of stories everyday in alt sex stories—again, free of charge.

Last we have CD-Rom Interactive technologies.

The Glamour magazine article I’ve included provides an excellent summary on this technology. A consumer can interact with a moving, speaking woman on the screen. He can tie her up, beat her, torture her or tell her to perform sex acts at his command.

The pornography consumer now moves from passive observer to full participant, increasing the likelihood of acting out these same fantasies on real people.

A case in point, the next hand-out is a “how to” article which appeared in Hustler Magazine in 1993. Briefly glance at the text under Mayhem Manuals. Although Hustler is considered legal pornography for adults, the publishing of this article most likely fueled the grisly sexual violence against a 9 year old boy within days of its publication. If you’ll turn the page over, you’ll find the article describing the young boy’s torture…which bears a striking resemblance to the Hustler editorial.

One of the cornerstones of attacking this problem is public awareness, we must find effective ways to let the public at large know the extent and baseness of the illegal porn that has invaded our society. This has happened right under our collective noses, and its time we say, …No more…Enough Is Enough!

For the past few minutes you have been hit with an avalanche of very distasteful material and we have only just scratched the surface. This is clearly beyond what most adults have ever conceived of as pornography and yet, your children or grandchildren may have already seen it. And if they haven’t yet, they will if we don’t do something about it.

So…What do we do? Parents can learn to partially safeguard their homes. You’ll find a hand-out in your white folder on how to do this. But this is not enough! 

Even if you could completely prevent this material from invading your home, whose to say that another child or teenager won’t show your child pornography that was retrieved through the Internet.

Woman, how safe are we when our next door neighbor can realize sexual gratification from picture of woman being tortured…available on a home computer, 24 hours a day…for free?

How safe are our children in the care of a babysitter who gets turned on by pictures on the computer screen of naked children performing sex acts?
No matter how hard we try, we cannot protect ourselves and our loved ones in a culture that permits this material to flourish. With support and help of leaders and citizens like you, we can help pave the way for a future where our children can be free to explore the world around them—in their neighborhoods, in their schools and even in cyberspace. 
Thank you for your time and attention.