OF DANGERS ON THE INTERNET
Speech given by Donna Rice Hughes at EIE Leadership Luncheon
June 7, 1995
Russell Caucus Room, U.S. Senate
Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s my job during the next ten minutes
to dispel some popular misconceptions about pornography and expose you
to the realty of this issue we face. Unfortunately, the worst and most
deviant forms of illegal pornography have invaded our home, offices and
schools via computer.
Computers have emerged as the leading-edge technology for the distribution
of hard-core and child pornography. This is due to the low risk of law
enforcement detection, speed of transmission and ease of access for both
children and adults. In fact, the Internet has become a central means
of distributing child pornography worldwide. The emphasis of this gathering
is on protecting our children.
Children today are increasingly computer literate, in most cases, much
more so than their parents. Any child with a computer and a modem can
access pornographic material in seconds, and once they’ve seen it,
it can’t be erased from their minds.
Just as disturbing, is the fact that we cannot protect ourselves or our
children from those who derive sexual pleasure from viewing this toxic
First, I want to emphasize that technology, in and of itself is not the
problem, it is neutral—the misuse of it, however, can be devastating.
We will walk through three primary areas where computer technology has
been exploited by the pornography industry.
First, through Adult Commercial Bulletin Board Services accessible
via modem for a fee.
Second, through the Internet itself, and
Third through Interactive Technologies, namely CD-Roms.
If you will, please take out your white educational packets and remove
the manila envelop with the red warning label. This packet does not include
any pornographic pictures, but I believe that the listing alone will make
the point. I apologize in advance for what you’re about to see.
You may elect not to open the envelope.
Now remove the contents of the packet. The pages are numbered, please
keep them in order as I proceed.
Page 1 is one of over thirty pages of an adult bulletin board service
describing videos for sale. A quick scan will give you an idea of the
gruesome material that is available.
Page 2 is an adult bulletin board service providing over 25,000
picture files. At least 5,000 are images of little children. These
pictures are as clear and vivid as those found in magazines and videos.
The full list comprises over 500 single-spaced, typed pages. This
computer bulletin board is owned by Robert Thomas, who is now in jail
for distributing obscenity. Yet, his bulletin board is still in operation!
In fact, when Thomas was indicted last year, he had approximately 3,000
subscribers. That number has now mushroomed to over 10,000—spreading
his illegal pornography globally. His images have been downloaded millions
of times, making Thomas, himself, a millionaire.
Page 3 is a captured screen from the Usenet section of the Internet.
Notice the different groups available. One click on any group will take
you into a listing of free files concerning that subject. The files consist
of a combination of pictures, stories and messages.
Also popular and free are the chat groups where people can engage in real
time conversations. Chat groups have become the playground of the 90’s
for the pedophile to contact children for illicit sexual encounters.
Click on alt. Sex pedophilia, up comes the next page (turn page),
two more clicks and up comes the message at the top of the screen on page
4. Please take a moment to read it.
And on page 5 you’ll find another typical message posted
to alt. Sex pedophilia in the highlighted box at the bottom of the page.
These are the kinds of people who search for their victims through conversation
with unsuspecting kids playing on the Internet.
On Page 6 is another popular place for hard-core pictures…alt
binaries pictures erotica…another section of the Internet. I’ve
highlighted some of the most popular groups: bestiality, bondage and teens.
On Page 7 is a captured screen from the bestiality news group.
One click on any picture file and the image will appear on your computer
screen free of charge. Any computer literate child can view pictures of
women having sex with animals-from dogs to horses to snakes.
On Page 8—Bondage—Pictures of women being bound,
tortured and mutilated.
Page 9—Teens—Pictures depicting teenagers in sexual
You may have read about the college coed, Jake Baker, who wrote
a story about the torture and murder of a female coed. The next hand-out
is one of the stories he wrote and posted on the Internet worldwide. It
is the most sickening thing I’ve ever read—and remember—children
have access to this same story. There are similar types of stories everyday
in alt sex stories—again, free of charge.
Last we have CD-Rom Interactive technologies.
The Glamour magazine article I’ve included provides an excellent
summary on this technology. A consumer can interact with a moving,
speaking woman on the screen. He can tie her up, beat her, torture her
or tell her to perform sex acts at his command.
The pornography consumer now moves from passive observer to full participant,
increasing the likelihood of acting out these same fantasies on real people.
A case in point, the next hand-out is a “how to” article
which appeared in Hustler Magazine in 1993. Briefly glance at the text
under Mayhem Manuals. Although Hustler is considered legal pornography
for adults, the publishing of this article most likely fueled the grisly
sexual violence against a 9 year old boy within days of its publication.
If you’ll turn the page over, you’ll find the article describing
the young boy’s torture…which bears a striking resemblance
to the Hustler editorial.
One of the cornerstones of attacking this problem is public awareness,
we must find effective ways to let the public at large know the extent
and baseness of the illegal porn that has invaded our society. This has
happened right under our collective noses, and its time we say, …No
more…Enough Is Enough!
For the past few minutes you have been hit with an avalanche of very distasteful
material and we have only just scratched the surface. This is clearly
beyond what most adults have ever conceived of as pornography and yet,
your children or grandchildren may have already seen it. And if they haven’t
yet, they will if we don’t do something about it.
So…What do we do? Parents can learn to partially safeguard their
homes. You’ll find a hand-out in your white folder on how to do
this. But this is not enough!
Even if you could completely prevent this material from invading your
home, whose to say that another child or teenager won’t show your
child pornography that was retrieved through the Internet.
Woman, how safe are we when our next door neighbor can realize sexual
gratification from picture of woman being tortured…available on
a home computer, 24 hours a day…for free?
How safe are our children in the care of a babysitter who gets turned
on by pictures on the computer screen of naked children performing sex
No matter how hard we try, we cannot protect ourselves and our loved ones
in a culture that permits this material to flourish. With support and
help of leaders and citizens like you, we can help pave the way for a
future where our children can be free to explore the world around them—in
their neighborhoods, in their schools and even in cyberspace.
Thank you for your time and attention.