Abstract and Keywords
Operating in the shadows created by recent technological advances in online communication, child pornographic exploitation (CPE) is considered among the most psychologically harmful types of cybercrime. In an era of unprecedented technological accessibility coupled with the perception of online anonymity, concerns have escalated regarding the proliferation of CPE and the excessive brutishness of child sexual abuse involved in the creation of new CPE content. Conversely, highly publicized cases have raised questions regarding overreach by police and courts when handling sexting juveniles as serious sex offenders. This essay examines emerging concerns over the redoubling of criminal justice resources devoted to combatting CPE in the last decade with a critical analysis of the evidence pertaining to the extent and nature of CPE and CPE content. The essay also highlights challenges to combatting CPE due to the widespread use of mobile technology and the anonymity of the Darknet.
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