US card issues start to tackle child porn

I'm pleased to report that 18 card issuers, ISPs and other useful parties - most of the card issuers, in fact - in the US are clubbing together to tackle the growing problem of Internet kiddie porn.

Under the Financial Coalition Against Child Pornography (FCACP) - whose founders include Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover Financial Services, America Online, Bank of America, Chase, Citigroup, e-gold, First Data Corporation, First National Bank of Omaha, Microsoft, PayPal, Wells Fargo and Yahoo - any transactions thought to involve child porn will be blocked where possible, and, if appropriate, reported to the authorities.

Normally I'd shriek civil liberties about the card issuers tipping off the authorities, but the problem of Internet paedophilia is major, with the US National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children saying that 19 per cent of identified offenders had images of kids under three on their PCs that were downloaded from the Net.

39 per cent, meanwhile, had images of children younger than six years old; and 83 per cent had images of children younger than 12 years old.

NCMEC investigators also claim to have identified 70,000 US customers paying $29.95 per month and using their credit cards to access graphic images of small children being sexually assaulted...