P2P group launches site to combat child porn

Industry trade group aims to help consumers report online child pornography to law enforcement.

A peer-to-peer industry trade group is launching a Web site aimed at educating consumers about the dangers of child pornography online and helping them report it to law enforcement.

The Distributed Computing Industry Association's P2P Patrol site will go live Monday, as part of a larger approach to the issue, DCIA Chief Executive Officer Marty Lafferty said.

Previously, the group has worked with law enforcement to help find online child pornographers and has helped create a tool that pops up a warning to computer users if they are searching for a term frequently associated with the illicit material.

"This is focused on good citizen users, helping show them how to recognize, remove and report child pornography that is inadvertently encountered," Lafferty said.

The issue of child pornography available through file-sharing networks has repeatedly dogged peer-to-peer companies. Lobbyists from the recording industry and Hollywood studios have told legislators that the networks need to be regulated, in part because of that illegal content.

The issue has also come up in Kazaa parent Sharman Networks' trial in Australia, where executives have questioned the effectiveness of their own policies against child porn.

The DCIA was originally created by Sharman Networks and joint venture partner Altnet but has since broadened to include a handful of other smaller peer-to-peer companies and Internet service providers.

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