Prior Publisher

The Association of Digital Forensics, Security and Law (ADFSL)


Online child sexual abuse is an increasingly visible problem in society today. The introduction, growth and utilization of information and telecommunication technologies (ICTs) have been accompanied by an increase in illegal activities. With respect to cyberspace the Internet is an attractive environment to sex offenders. In addition to giving them greater access to minors, extending their reach from a limited geographical area to victims all around the world, it allows criminals to alter or conceal their identities. Sexual predators, stalkers, child pornographers and child traffickers can use various concealment techniques to make it more difficult for investigators to identify them and find evidence. Others physically hide removable media and incriminating evidence in rented storage space, impeding an investigator’s job to find the truth. France has given the protection of children from sexual exploitation and abuse a high priority. Traditional laws have been amended to address the challenges of information technology, violence and to bring at the same time the country into line with international conventions on the rights of children. Accordingly this current article will analyze some of the techniques used by offenders to abuse children online, including recent legal and administrative developments in France concerning online children protection.


Akdeniz, Y. (2008), Internet Child pornography and the Law, Ashgate, Hampshire.

Arnaldo, C. (2001), Child Abuse on the Internet: Ending the Silence, Berghahn Books, NY.

Bocij, P. (2004), Cyberstalking, Praeger, Connecticut.

Casey, E. (2004), Digital Evidence and Computer Crime, Elsevier Academic Press, California.

Chawki, M. (2008), Combattre la Cybercriminalité, Editions de Saint Amans, Perpignan.

Delmonico, D.; Griffin, E.; Moriarity, J. (2001), Cybersex Unhooked: A Workbook for Breaking Free of Compulsive Online Sexual Behavior, Gentle Path Press, Carefree.

Ferraro, M.; Casey, E. (2005), Investigating Child Exploitation and Pornography: The Internet Law and Forensic Science, Elsevier Academic Press, California.

Marsh, I; Gaynor, M. (2009), Crime, Justice and the Media, Routledge, New York.

Sheldon, K.; Howitt, D. (2007), Sex Offenders and the Internet, John Wiley, West Sussex.

Van der Merwe, D.; Roos, A.; Pistorius, T. & Eliselen, S. (2008), Information and Communications Technology Law, Lexis Nexis, Durban.

Walden, I. (2007), Computer Crimes and Digital Investigations, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Wall, D. (2001), Crime and the Internet, Routledge, Oxford shire.

Beech, A.; Elliott, I.; Birgden, A.; Findlater, D. (2008), “The Internet and Child Sexual Offending: A Criminological Review”, Aggression and Violent Behavior 13, pages 216-228.

Bross, D. (2005), “Minimizing Risks to Children when they Access the World Wide Web”, Child Abuse & Neglect 29, pages 749-752.

Cankaya, S.; Hatice, O. (2009), “Parental Controls on Children’s Computer and Internet Use”, Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences 1, pages 1105 – 1109.

Doring N. (2009), “The Internet’s Impact on Sexuality: A Critical Review of 15 Years of Research”, Computers in Human Behavior 25, pages 1089 – 1101.

Elliott, I.; Beech, A. (2009), “Understanding Online Child Pornography Use: Applying Sexual Theory to Internet Offenders”, Aggression and Violent Behavior 14, pages 180 – 193.

Hoeren, T. (2009), “The European Liability and Responsibility of Providers of Online – Platforms such as Second Life”, JILT, 1.

Hughes, D. (2002), “Use of New Communications and Information Technologies for Sexual Exploitation of Women and Children”, Hastings Women’s Law Journal, Volume: 13, Issue: 1, pages 129 – 222.

Kierkegaard, S. (2008), “Cybering, Online Grooming, and Age play”, Computer Law and Security Report, 24, pages 41 – 55.

Lievens, E. (2007), “Protecting Children in the New Media Environment: Rising to the Regulatory Challenge?” Telematics and Informatics 24, pages 315 – 330.

Mitchell, K.; Finkelhor, D.; Wolak, J. (2005), “Protecting Youth Online: Family Use of Filtering and Blocking Software”, Child Abuse & Neglect 29, pages 753 – 765.

Preston, C. (2009), “All Knowledge is not Equal: Facilitating Children’s Access to Knowledge by Making the Internet Safer”, International Journal of Communications Law & Policy 13, pages 115 – 132.

Schell, B.; Martin, M.; Hung, P.; Rueda, L. (2007), “Cyber Child Pornography: A Review Paper of the Social and Legal Issues and Remedies – and a Proposed Technological Solution”, Aggression and Violent Behavior 12, pages 45 – 63.

Stol, W.Ph.; Kaspersen, H.K.W.; Kerstens, J.; Leukfeldt, E.R.; Lodder , A.R. (2009), “Governmental Filtering of Websites: The Dutch Case”, Computer Law & Security Review 25, pages 251 – 262.

Subrahmanyam, K.; Greenfield, P.; Kraut, R.; Gross, E. (2001), “The Impact of Computer Use on Children’s and Adolescents’ Development”, Applied Developmental Psychology 22, pages 7 – 30.

Taylor, D. (2004), “Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and their Responsibility for Content under New French Legal Regime”, Computer Law and Security Report, Vol.20, Issue 4, pages 268 – 272.

Wall, D. (2008), “Legal Professionalism in the Information Age”, The Paralegal Educator, Vol. 22, No. 1, pages 50 – 54.

Wang, S.-J. (2007), “Measures of Retaining Digital Evidence to Prosecute Computer – Based Cybercrimes”, Computer Standards and Interfaces, Vol. 29, Issue 2, pages 216-223.

Wolak, J.; Finkelhor, D.; Mitchell, K.; Ybarra, M. (2008), “Online Predators and Their Victims”, American Psychological Association Journal, Vol. 63, No. 2, pages 111 – 128.

Reverdy, P.-M. (2005), La Matière Pénale à l’Epreuve des Nouvelles Technologies, University of Toulouse 1, Toulouse, un published Ph.D. Thesis.

Penna, L.; Clark, A.; Mohay, G. (2005), “Challenges of Automating the Detection of Paedophile Activity on the Internet”, The First International Workshop on Systematic Approaches to Digital Forensic Engineering (SADFE’05), November 7-9, 2005, Taipei.

Quayle, E.; Loof, L.; Palmer, T. (2008), “Child Pornography and Sexual Exploitation of Children Online”, The World Congress III against Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents, 25 – 28 November, 2008, Rio de Janerio.

Sommer, P. (2005), “Evidence in Internet Paedophilia Cases”, NCS/ACPO Conference, July 2002, Bournemouth.

A. Schrock and D. Boyd (2008), “Online Threats to Youth: Solicitation, Harassment, and Problematic Content”, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Cambridge.

Dixon, N. (2002), “Catching Cyber Predators: The Sexual Offenses”, QLD, Brisbane.

Garlik (2008), “U.K. Cybercrime Report”, Richmond.

Internet Watch Foundation (2008), “Annual Report on Cybercrime”, Cambridge.

Sénat (2007), “Loi n° 2004-575 du 21 Juin 2004 pour la Confiance dans l’Economie Numérique”, Paris.

Wortley, R. (2006), “Child Pornography on the Internet”, U.S Department of Justice, Washington, DC.

Agence France Presse (2009), , [retrieved 12/08/2009].

BBC News (2009), , [retrieved 15/08/2009].

Childnet International (2009), , [retrieved 22/08/2009].

France Today (2009), , [retrieved 22/08/2009].

Legifrance (2009),, [retrieved 18/08/2009].

Second Life (2009), , [retrieved 07/08/2009].



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.