Comprehensive Investigative Manual


The federal law defines child pornography as any visual depiction which includes photographs, videos or other electronically and mechanically produced material that involves minors involved in sexually explicit activities. The same law prohibits any production, possession, distribution, and even receiving such materials. It is a crime to participate in child pornography in any format because of not only the moral and ethical reason but also on the psychological problems that may be experienced by the minor when they have matured enough to make choices. In this study we are going to focus on sources, motivation and effect of the activity as well as the protocol of investigation, conducting of searches and seizure of the prohibited materials.

According to National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in America (NMEC 2011), there has been an 11% increase in the cases of child pornography that have been reported in the last four years. The trend is up beat because of the introduction of easier sources where the trade can thrive easily and effectively. With the invention of wireless phones which are internet enabled that come cheaply the cases of visiting the pornographic websites have tripled. Because of the cost and the efficiency of communication it is with a good faith that parents by the gadgets for their teenage children. However the phones seldom come with a provision that bars visitation to some websites by people of certain ages. In addition to that almost all households in the developed world have at least a personal computer that is internet enabled. His necessitates the curious teenager to make it to the net when no one is around and watch the content.

Another dimension of child pornography is the aspect of teenagers participating in the business as actors or actresses. Because of the monetary amounts that pornography industry rakes in, it is possible to lure the naïve teenagers with money for them to participate in the actions. This is by law a crime of many sorts because it encompasses minor rape and pedophile activity.

As investigators, it is then vital to understand sources of the pornographic content or avenues that are used in the trade. Before the investigation and seizure begins it is also important to understand the four aspects of the exercise namely the computer system, the target, the possible crime definition and the possible software that is employed in making the sites. Because of the uniqueness of the internet and its usage which may hinder the investigation not to be as smooth as the traditional one, adequate and precise information prior to the investigation is required (NMEC 2011).

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