Prior Publisher

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


In our digitally connected world, the law is arguably behind the technological developments of the Internet age. While this causes many issues for law enforcement, it is of particular concern in the area of child pornography in the United States. With the wide availability of technologies such as digital cameras, peer-to-peer file sharing, strong encryption, Internet anonymizers and cloud computing, the creation and distribution of child pornography has become more widespread. Simultaneously, fighting the growth of this crime has become more difficult. This paper explores the development of both the legal and technological environments surrounding digital child pornography. In doing so, we cover the complications that court decisions have given law enforcement who are trying to investigate and prosecute child pornographers. We then provide a review of the technologies used in this crime and the forensic challenges that cloud computing creates for law enforcement. We note that both legal and technological developments since the 1990s seem to be working to the advantage of users and sellers of child pornography. Before concluding, we provide a discussion and offer observations regarding this subject.


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