In the past decade the Internet’s popularity has soared highly and can now be found in practically every home.
If one does not personally own a computer, many still are able to gain access to one through their school, public library, or even at a friend’s house.
As many already know, the Internet can be used as a tool for exploring infinite realms of information and for entertainment.
What occurred on March 18, has caused the Internet to be looked at in a different aspect: a tool for the exploitation of young children.
On March 18, the FBI conducted over a hundred nationwide searches that targeted an Internet child pornography ring.
The ring, later identified as the “Candyman e-group,” had been organized and operated for a while.
According to the FBI, it has approximately over 7,000 users in the United States.
Exploitative pictures of 36 children were swapped by the users and passed around the United States.
The FBI also stated that the e-group was operated through the Yahoo Internet server, which was not aware that the community existed at the time.
The story thickened when officials became aware of exactly what type of people were involved in the Internet heist.
According to MSNBC, the list included a variety of individuals who interact with children on a daily basis such as: two Roman Catholic priests along with other clergy members; two law enforcement officials; Little League coaches, a school bus driver, and a nurse.
After thorough investigations, 40 individuals were arrested (39 men and one woman) from various states, including Nevada and New York. Although these arrests were made, the FBI continues its search for the reaming users, and plans that arrests will increase after many of these users have been investigated and found.
Kristie Sobeck, a senior English major at Quinnipiac, agrees that the people involved in the web community should be punished.
When asked if the government should try to pass any laws that would censor content on the internet (such as the Hamden community) Sobeck said. “Being an advocate of free speech, and having that right, I don’t think that you can restrict people from publishing or posting any type of material on the Internet.”
Sobeck also feels that if children are able to access such material, often the parents are to blame.
“The Internet is a place of learning, and it’s not their job to monitor children,” said Sobeck. The parents should be aware of what is out there, and should know what their children are doing.”