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Since their founding, computers and the Internet have become a tool that nearly every man, woman, and child in the World have been able to use. E-mail has become one of the Worlds fastest growing ways of communication and the Internet has become one, if not the largest source of information available today. You can find just about everything you wanted to know about anything with the stroke of a few keys on the keyboard. However, along with these positive aspects of the Internet, there lies much negativity surrounding the internet and its use. Access to teenage pornography, bestiality, brutal murder pictures, XXX stories, and other un-ethical sites is extremely easy. In fact, the pornography industry has grown 63% since the Internet was first available for use.(Bishop 91) It is one of the leading industries on the Internet and has become quite a controversy in the United States. Censorship of such sites has done very little due to the fact that most parents feel that these sites are not accessed by their children. We have currently found no solution that has worked and many government officials see the problem only getting worse. Pornography on the Internet though should not be banned, but rather better controlled and censored due to its availability and graphic nature.
Pornography on the Internet is available in different formats. These range from pictures and short animated movies, to sound files and stories. Most of this kind of pornographic content is available through World Wide Web pages. The Internet also makes it possible to discuss sex, see live sex acts, and arrange sexual activities from computer screens. There are also sex related discussions on the Internet Relay Chat channels where users in small groups or in private channels exchange messages and files.(Akdenis, 1997) There are millions of different pornographic sites on the internet, so there is almost no way of regulating every site unless there was some type of a universal censorship required for every site. Nearly every one of these millions and millions of sites is accessed daily. Men, women, and children of every age and race are on the Internet looking at inappropriate sites every day. Over 2/3 of Americans who have access to the Internet have accessed pornographic or other un-ethical sites, and the numbers are only growing.(Rawson 22) There were over 200,000 different companies that had pornographic web sites on the Internet in 1997 and the number since then has reached almost 1.5 million in either independently owned or commercially owned pornographic sites.(Rawson 29) The availability of these sites has reached an unbelievable height and it seems that as we move in to the new millennium, our computer capabilities are only going to improve. This has the potential to make these sites even more readily available at faster connections.
The other problem that is seen with Internet pornography is how graphic and explicit it can be. Many illegal sites appear throughout the Web and the controversy over child pornography is readily increasing. These sites are what originally created the Internet uproar that we see today. The statement that, if you want to see it, you can on the Internet, is very true. Sites like animals and humans in sexual positions, children of all ages in sexual situations, and some of the most repulsive things you could imagine can and are found on the Internet. This is where sites begin to actually break the law. In 1978 a law was passed in response to a growing problem of child pornography. Its main purpose was to close some potential gaps in the measures available to police and prosecutors. The law particularly deals with the use of children in pornographic photography even where no other form of abuse has occurred. (Gibbons, 1995, p. 87) This is the Act that put Father Adrian Mcleish in prison for the next 7 years after being arrested on charges of distributing child pornography on the Internet.