Take heed: State Attorney General warns perverts

Software aids kid porn downloaders, but software will catch 'em too

Florida's Attorney General makes a point during his talk at a Marco Island Police Foundation luncheon held April 16 at Hideaway Beach Club.

Photo by QUENTIN ROUX, Staff

Florida's Attorney General makes a point during his talk at a Marco Island Police Foundation luncheon held April 16 at Hideaway Beach Club.

Yoo hoo. Calling all child pornography perverts. Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum has a little message for you.

The message is this: Software enables you to view child pornography, but software is also going to catch you. And put you away.

McCollum’s message came during a whistle-stop visit to the area on April 16 when he spoke at a luncheon hosted by the Marco Island Police Foundation at Hideaway Beach Club.

The software, McCollum said, will be able to match up some of the downloads with the people actually downloading child porn.

“Child pornography often involves children under age 5,” McCollum told a hushed group of about 75 people at the luncheon.

“If my chief (of the CyberCrime Unit) was here today and went online to any chat room in America and said he was SuzieGRL15 or something like that, he’d be solicited for sex in less than 10 minutes, probably in less than five.”

The potential of that exploitation is exacerbated, he said, by 77 million American children going on the Internet every day.

McCollum said an ever bigger issue facing the state is the proliferation of gangs.

“It’s a growing issue ... there are an estimated 1,500 gangs with 70,000 members in the state.”

And, he said, they’re not like movie gangs, but are the primary retail outlet for drugs, the primary source of non-domestic violent crimes, and the primary source or organized retail theft.

“It also doesn’t matter where you live,” McCollum said. “Maybe they’re from Fort Myers and come to Marco Island ...”

Also in his address McCollum outlined some of his office’s myriad responsibilities, including the hot current topic of mortgage rescue fraud, and ringtone scams (free ringtone offers are seldom free, but involve unwitting contracts).

“We’re also responsible for the (Government in the) Sunshine laws and Public Records laws,” he said, directing people to myflsunshine.com which he described as a “great” site for training and FAQs.

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