One of the most interesting aspects that I’ve come across in my own investigations into organised child abuse has been its relation with technological advancements over the last 40 years.
It seems to me to be hardly a coincidence that the increased organisation and production of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) material coincided with the introduction of the home video (VHS and Betamax). This technology enabled CSA material to be distributed more widely and for the first time made it more easily available to anyone wishing to view it. This in turn made it a more economically viable underground industry.
Media technology evolves and becomes more sophisticated, so does the behaviour of the child abusers and the producers of CSA material.
Before the advent of home video, CSA material would have been in the form of still photographs and cine camera film. The cine camera film would have been harder to copy and distribute and the camera and the means to display the material would have been bulky and expensive. Only when the home video became affordable to most home owners could the production of CSA material, often using children from care homes, be produced, copied, distributed, and accessed on an industrial and economic viable scale.
Since the 1980s, media technology has made several further leaps which must have in turn seen similar changes in the behaviour of organised child abuse. The computer has made CSA material easier to duplicate and the internet has made it easier to distribute and much harder to spot this distribution.
But I think it is the increasing sophistication of mobile phone technology which must have had the greatest impact on the behaviour of child abusers since the home video revolution. It is so portable and potentially anonymous, it can in effect make any child abuser potentially a producer of CSA material.
If you accidentally come across CSA material (child pornography) please remember that it is evidence of a crime against children, and please report it to http://www.iwf.org.uk/ or http://ceop.police.uk/