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Statements on Introduced Bills and Joint Resolutions

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Location: Washington, DC


STATEMENTS ON INTRODUCED BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS -- (Senate - June 13, 2006)

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By Mr. KYL (for himself and Mr. MCCAIN):

S. 3497. A bill to provide for the exchange of certain Bureau of Land Management land in Pima County, Arizona, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

Mr. KYL. Mr. President, today I am pleased to join with Senator MCCAIN to introduce the Las Cienegas Enhancement Act of 2006. This legislation directs a land exchange between the Bureau of Land Management and the Las Cienegas Conservation, LLC. in southeastern Arizona. The bill is the product of consensus. State and local officials, conservationists, and other stakeholders have worked together to structure an exchange that is fair and in the public interest.

Let me explain the details of the exchange. The land to be transferred out of Federal ownership, approximately 1,280 acres, is referred to as the ``Sahuarita property.'' This property is BLM-managed land south of Tucson near Corona de Tucson. The land is low-lying Sonoran desert and has been identified for disposal by the BLM through its land-use planning process.

The private land to be brought into Federal ownership is approximately 2,392 acres of land referred to as the ``Empirita-Simonson property.'' This property lies north of the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area managed by the BLM. The Empirita-Simonson property lies within the ``Sonoita Valley Acquisition Planning District'' established by Public Law 106-538, which designated the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area. The act directed the Department of the Interior to acquire lands from willing sellers within the planning district for inclusion within the conservation area to further protect the important resource values for which the area was designated.

Although this bill is centered on the land exchange I just described, it also accomplishes two other important objectives: addressing water withdrawals at Ciengas Creek and providing road access to a popular recreation destination, the Whetstone Mountains controlled by the Forest Service.

Let's talk about water. Arizonans understand that protecting our water supply is crucial to the State's future. For this reason, when we can, we look for ways to promote responsible use of our limited water supply. This bill is one of those examples of responsible use. There is a prior claim to a well site on the private land that will be exchanged. That prior claim would allow the developer to withdraw 1,600 acre feet of water a year. Pima County and the community at large are concerned about the future of Ciengas Creek and the entire riparian area if these water withdrawals occur.

To address this concern, the land exchange is conditioned on Las Cienegas Conservation Inc. conveying the well site to Pima County and relinquishing those water rights it controls. The net result is a water savings of 1,050 acre-feet per year. This is a significant benefit to this riparian area.

Overall, this bill allows us to accomplish important environmental and conservation objectives while managing our development. It is a bill with broad support that includes the Governor of Arizona, Pima County, the city of Tucson, and many others. I urge my colleagues to work with me to approve this legislation at the earliest possible date.

By Mr. KYL (for himself, Mr. GRASSLEY, Mr. DEWINE, Mr. CORNYN, Mr. BROWNBACK, Ms. SNOWE, Mr. BURNS, Mrs. HUTCHISON, and Mr. ALLEN):

S. 3499. A bill to amend title 18, United States Code, to protect youth from exploitation by adults using the Internet, and for other purposes; to the Committee on the Judiciary.

Mr. KYL. Mr. President, I rise today to introduce the Internet SAFETY Act of 2006. The word ``SAFETY'' in the bill's title stands for Stop Adults Facilitating the Exploitation of Youth. It is a fairly descriptive acronym, for the provisions of the Internet SAFETY Act are designed to crack down on the spread of Internet child pornography and related conduct. The act does so by creating new Federal offenses and causes of action targeted at those who produce or knowingly facilitate Internet child pornography, by increasing penalties for child pornography, sex trafficking, and sexual abuse offenses, and by increasing resources available for prosecution and prevention of child sexual-abuse offenses, including authorizing 200 new assistant U.S. attorneys across the country to prosecute child pornography and sexual exploitation crimes.

The need for renewed law-enforcement attention to child pornography is demonstrated in a recent report of the U.S. Justice Department titled ``Project Safe Childhood.'' I will ask to have an extended excerpt from the report printed in the RECORD at the conclusion of my remarks. As the report notes, ``judging simply by [recent] crime statistics, it is clear that the Internet is helping to fuel an epidemic of child pornography'' in this country. Unfortunately, by providing greater technical ease and increased anonymity in trading images, the Internet has ``taken down barriers that one time served as a deterrent to child pornographers.'' In 2003, an estimated 20,000 images of child pornography were posted on the Internet every week. Between 1998 and 2004, child pornography reports made to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children increased from 3,267 to 106,119--a thirty-fold increase over a 6-year period. The Justice Department also notes that there has been an escalation in the severity of abuse depicted in child pornography in recent years, ``with the images found today more frequently involving younger children--including toddlers and even infants--and despicable acts such as penetration of infants.'' The Project Safe Childhood report concludes that ``the nation should be alarmed at the fact that child pornography is being produced, possessed, and distributed in record numbers.'' As the report notes, child pornography's harm extends beyond that done to the children who are sexually abused to produce such images: ``child pornography [also] plays a central role in child molestations, serving to justify offenders' conduct, assist them in gaining compliance with their victims, and to provide a means to blackmail the children they have molested in order to prevent exposure.''

The Internet SAFETY Act does the following things. It creates a new Federal offense, punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison, for financially facilitating access to child pornography on the Internet. The act also deters Internet facilitation of child pornography by imposing civil penalties for Internet communications providers that fail to report child pornography, criminal penalties for Web site operators who insert words or images into source code with the intent to deceive persons into viewing obscene material on the Internet, and by requiring commercial Web site operators to place warning marks prescribed by the Federal Trade Commission on Web pages that contain sexually explicit material.

The Internet SAFETY Act also punishes the operation of child pornography enterprises. It creates a new Federal offense, punishable by a minimum of 10 years in prison, for the operation of an enterprise that profits from the sexual exploitation of children. The act also imposes mandatory, consecutive 10 year sentences for any child pornography or exploitation offense committed by a registered sex offender. In addition, the act increases penalties for offenses involving child pornography, child prostitution and sex trafficking, child sexual abuse, and sexual assault.

The Internet SAFETY Act also expands the Federal private right of action against child pornographers. It allows a victim, including parents of a minor victim, to seek civil remedies, and also allows a victim to seek remedies as an adult. This provision is inspired by a young girl named Masha who was adopted from Russia by a man who repeatedly molested her, photographed her, and posted pornographic images of her on the Internet. In addition, the act adds the obscenity and child pornography statutes to the RICO predicates and adds electronic mail fraud to the wiretap predicates.

The Internet SAFETY Act also establishes within the Justice Department an Office on Sexual Violence and Crimes Against Children to coordinate sex offender registration and notification programs and grant programs, and to assist State, local, and tribal governments and other entities with sex offender registration or notification and other measures.

Finally, the act authorizes and directs the Attorney General to make grants to States, local governments, Indian tribes, and nonprofit organizations for child sexual abuse prevention programs. In addition, the act authorizes appropriations for 200 additional child exploitation prosecutors in U.S. Attorneys' Offices around the country and 20 additional Internet Crimes Against Children task forces.

I ask unanimous consent that the following passages from the Justice Department's report Project Safe Childhood be printed in the RECORD.

There being no objection, the additional material was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows:

Project Safe Childhood--Protecting Children From Online Exploitation and Abuse

INTRODUCTION

The Internet and other communications technologies are increasingly used by sexual predators and abusers as tools for exploiting and victimizing our children. First, these technologies have contributed to a significant increase in the proliferation and severity of child pornography. They provide pornographers with an easily accessible and seemingly anonymous means for collecting large number of images of child sexual abuse. Eventually, some predators turn to producing their own images. The result has been that images of child sexual abuse today are more disturbing, more graphic, and more sadistic than ever before, and they involve younger and younger children. Second, as the Internet and related technologies have grown, children have become increasingly at risk of being sexually solicited online by predators. Law enforcement is uncovering an escalating number of ``enticement'' cases, where perpetrators contact children in chat rooms or through instant messaging and arrange to meet at a designated location for the purpose of making sexual contact.
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Part II. The Need for a national initiative to protect children

Two types of dangers to children are especially problematic. First, the threat of sexual predators contacting children online, with the hope of luring them to meet in person, has been amply demonstrated by academic studies as well as recent investigative journalism reports. A Youth Internet Safety Survey conducted between August 1999 and January 2000 found that approximately one in five children per year receives an unwanted sexual solicitation online. One in thirty-three children per year receives an aggressive sexual solicitation--i.e., one in which a solicitor asks to meet them somewhere, calls them on the telephone, or sends mail, money, or gifts. And one in four per year has an unwanted exposure to sexually explicit material. Meanwhile, only 25 percent of the youth who encountered a sexual solicitation told a parent. Only a fraction of all episodes were reported to authorities, such as a law enforcement agency, an Internet service provider, or a hotline. According to a recent media report, at any given time, 50,000 predators are on the Internet prowling for children. These figures make clear that the threat of online enticement of children is immense.

Second, the victimization of children through the production and distribution of child pornography is equally troubling, and on the rise. It was estimated, even in 2003, that more than 20,000 images of child pornography are posted on the Internet each week. NCMEC's CyberTipline logged a 39 percent increase in reports of the possession, creation, or distribution of child pornography in 2004. The gravity of these increases is more dramatically demonstrated by comparing the actual number of reports in 1998 to those logged in 2004, rather than merely reciting percentage increases. In 1998, the CyberTipline received 3,267 reports of child pornography. In 2004, the CyberTipline received 106,119 of these reports, marking more than a 30-fold increase in child pornography reports in a six year period. Judging simply by crime statistics, it is clear that the Internet is helping to fuel an epidemic of child pornography.

Not only is there an increase in the volume of pornographic images, there is also an escalation in the severity of the abuse depicted, with the images found today more frequently involving younger children-including toddlers and even infants-and despicable acts such as penetration of infants. And technology lends itself to the dissemination of more graphic images via the web, with its easy access, low cost, and apparent anonymity.

Experts agree that the escalation in both the prevalence and severity of child pornography is driven at least in part by advances in computer technology and increased access to the Internet. According to a recent study, 78.6 percent of Americans go online, and almost two-thirds of Americans use the Internet at home. While it is impossible to determine exactly how many people are looking at child pornography, experts attribute the escalation in the quantity of child pornography being created and distributed to the growth of the Internet, and the concomitant ease with which child predators can now buy, sell, and swap images. The resulting sense of community among child predators is in turn helping to embolden those who may have had misgivings about a sexual interest in children, and it is thus driving a market for new images with fresh faces. Before the Internet, it was difficult and risky for child exploiters to go out and find other child exploiters with whom to share images, which left the child pornography industry relegated to small black markets in underground bookstores or secret mailings. Today, the Internet has provided these pedophiles with an accessible, convenient, and anonymous means for interacting with their community and obtaining illicit material. The Internet has thus taken down borders that at one time served as a deterrent to child pornographers.

THESE ESCALATING TRENDS PRESENT A SERIOUS RISK TO OUR SOCIETY

The harm caused by enticement offenses is beyond question. Sexual abuse is a serious crime that deeply affects any victim, especially children, and it has dramatic secondary effects on our society. The looming danger of our children being preyed upon by pedophiles in chat rooms or through social networking sites is, in short, among the gravest threats facing children today.

The impact of child pornography on victims, and on society as a whole, is far less appreciated today than the threat of enticement offenses. Child pornography images are not just pictures, akin to any number of other images legally available on the Internet. Most images of child pornography depict victims--children--who have been exploited and abused. These images are permanent visual records of child sexual abuse. For this reason, the very term commonly used to describe these terrible images--``child pornography''--does not adequately convey the horrors these images depict. A more accurate term would be ``images of child sexual abuse,'' because the very production of the images necessarily involves the sexual abuse of a child. And the child is re-victimized each time they are viewed.

The nation should be alarmed at the fact that child pornography is being produced, possessed, and distributed in record numbers.

According to a 2005 study entitled ``Child-Pornography Possessors Arrested in Internet-Related Crimes: Findings from the National Juvenile Online Victimization Study,'' which studied defendants arrested and charged with possession of child pornography between July 2000 and June 2001:

More than 80 percent of arrested [child pornography] possessors had images of prepubescent children, and 80 percent had images of minors being sexually penetrated. Approximately 1 in 5 (21 percent) arrested [ child pornography] possessors had images of children enduring bondage, sadistic sex, and other sexual violence. More than 1 in 3 (39 percent) [child pornography] possessors had videos depicting child pornography with motion and sound.

Although their identities are often unknown, many of the children in these graphic images were sexually victimized and assaulted. Those who possess these pictures--for sexual gratification, curiosity, as a means of profit, or for other reasons--are adding to the burdens of these young victims, whose trauma may be increased by knowing their pictures are circulating globally on the Internet with no hope of permanent removal or could be entered into circulation in the future.

Child pornography victimizes children in a very real and dramatic way. Of course, no child can consent to being sexually exploited through the production of sexually-explicit images. Each time the image is viewed or distributed, the child is again victimized. ``[N]o mere words could ever truly describe the daily torture of victims who were forced to participate in child pornography years ago and now, as adults, see images of themselves `performing' on the Internet. In addition to the obvious physical injuries that a child can suffer due to sexual abuse, the emotional and psychological trauma is devastating, and lasting. Many child victims suffer from depression, withdrawal, anger, and other conditions that often continue into adulthood. They experience feelings of guilt and responsibility for the abuse, a sense of powerlessness and feelings of worthlessness.

Thus, for the sole fact of the victimization and damage that child pornography visits upon children, possession of child pornography is a heinous crime that must be stamped out. But that is only half of the story of the pernicious effect of child pornography. Possession of child pornography is a serious crime for four additional reasons, each of which is described more fully below:

1. The exchange of child pornography by and between child exploiters validates and encourages them in their beliefs and behaviors;

2. The greater availability of child pornography has led to the production, receipt, and distribution of more shocking, graphic images, which are increasingly involving younger children and infants;

3. The compulsion to collect child pornography images may lead to a compulsion to molest children, or may be indicative of a propensity to molest children; and

4. Child pornography is frequently used by molesters as an affirmative tool, either to silence their victims, to blackmail them into further exploitation, or to entice other children.

VALIDATION AND ENCOURAGEMENT

Use of the Internet by child pornographers to exchange images and communications regarding those images provides positive reinforcement for them in their beliefs and behaviors, encouraging further exploitation of children. One study of offenders revealed that exploiters' relationships with other offenders, forged online, ``legitimize[d] and normalize[d] their interests'' in their own minds. In short, the process of collecting and trading child pornography bonds the offenders together, and having an extensive child pornography collection heightens an offender's status within this community. The incentives to abuse children, capture the abuse, and share the images are strong, allowing the producer a way into the community and a means for obtaining yet more images of abuse from other producers or distributors. Child pornography is used as a means of establishing trust and camaraderie amongst child exploiters and molesters, as proof of good intentions when initiating contacts with one another. It is, in part, for these reasons that offenders are frequently found with thousands of images.

In considering this factor, one can see the important role that the Internet has played in the growth of the child pornography market. Before the Internet, child exploiters were isolated. Without knowing that others like them existed, pedophilia or a sexual interest in children was a shameful secret. Through the Internet, however, persons who desire to exploit children get to know that others like them exist, they share their preferences and their child pornography, and they no longer feel abnormal. The child exploiter sees in the Internet a way of validating his behavior: he is able to convince himself that his behavior or obsession is not abnormal, but is in fact shared by thousands of other people who, in the predator's mind, are sensitive, intelligent, and caring people.

MORE SHOCKING, GRAPHIC IMAGES

A more distressing trend is that, as pedophiles collect more and more images of child sexual abuse, they become de-sensitized to the horrors contained within their existing collections, and they seek gratification through novel and yet more disturbing images. The only way that this demand can be met is through a supply of new images involving more horrific images of I hands-on sexual abuse than that already present in the person's collection of images. The result has been a rise in demand for pornographic images of younger children, including babies and toddlers. Twenty percent of the images seized depicting sexual exploitation of children involved images of babies and two- and three-year-olds. And, disturbingly, the abuse is getting worse, with the depictions being more sadistic than ever.

INCREASED COMPULSION/PROPENSITY TO MOLEST CHILDREN

As an offender's interest in children draws him to the child pornography market, his compulsion to view and collect images may become entwined with, or lead to, a compulsion to molest children. A study conducted by Ethel Quayle and Max Taylor revealed that the subject's access to child pornography ``intensified his levels of sexual arousal and behavior and fueled his desire to engage in a relationship with a child.'' The subject progressed from viewing images, to entering chat rooms, to attempting to meet children offline.

Several factors other than mere sexual perversion may cause the tendency of child pornography collectors to begin to molest children. For instance, a collector's desire for novel and more graphic images could provide an incentive simply to produce the images himself, and computer technology today makes it easier to create the images and distribute them. In addition, collectors often feel that they have to produce new images because, in order to continue trading for new images, they have to offer up their own new images as part of the rules of some child pornography communities.

Empirical studies support the proposition that individuals who view child pornography are often also child molesters. According to a study completed in 2000 by Dr. Andres E. Hernandez, Director of the Sex Offender Treatment Program at the Butner Federal Correctional Complex in North Carolina, 79.6% of 54 offenders convicted of child pornography offenses admitted that they had molested significant numbers of children without detection. On average, the offenders had 26.37 child sex victims and admitted to over 1,424 contact sexual crimes. Of these 1,400+ contact sexual crimes, only 53 were detected or known about and taken into account at sentencing.

Consistent with these studies, a 1986 Report of the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations on Child Pornography and Pedophilia stated: ``No single characteristic of pedophilia is more pervasive than the obsession with child pornography. The fascination of pedophiles with child pornography and child abuse has been documented in many studies and has been established by hundreds of sexually explicit materials involving children.''

Although the U.S. Senate Subcommittee found no direct evidence of causality--i.e., that possession of child pornography causes people to commit child sex offenses--it did conclude that child pornography plays a central role in child molestations, ``serving to justify [the offender's] conduct, assist them in seducing their victims and provide a means to blackmail the children they have molested in order to prevent exposure.'' In a 2005 study of child pornography possessors arrested in Internet-related crimes, the reviewers concluded that ``one out of six [child pornography] possession cases beginning with an investigation of or allegation about [child pornography] possession discovered a dual offender who had also sexually victimized a child or attempted to do so.''

According to Raymond Smith, Assistant Inspector-in-Charge of the Special Investigations Division and the manager of USPIS's Child Exploitation Program, the USPIS began in 1997 compiling statistical information on the number of child pornography suspects arrested by U.S. Postal Inspectors that were also child molesters. Additionally, the USPIS began to collect data on the number of child victims identified and rescued from further sexual abuse as a result of investigations conducted by Postal Inspectors. Since 1997, 802 child molesters were identified and stopped, and 1,048 victimized children were rescued. According to Smith, of the more than 2,400 individuals arrested since 1997 for using the U.S. Mail and the Internet to sexually exploit children, child molesters were identified in one out of every three cases.

AFFIRMATIVE TOOLS OF MOLESTERS

Not only do images of child pornography record horrific abuse and victimization of children, but they often are also used as affirmative tools by the abusers. Abusers frequently use such pornography to lower another child's inhibitions with images that appear to show the victim enjoying the abuse or to validate sex between children and adults as normal. Moreover, offenders use the images to blackmail the victim into silence or into performing further acts of abuse, threatening to release the images to parents, peers, or others if the victim talks or does not allow further exploitation. Such blackmailing even can be aimed at forcing kids into prostitution and the child trafficking trade.

Child pornography plays a central role in child molestations, serving to justify offenders' conduct, to assist them in gaining compliance from their victims, and to provide a means to blackmail the children they have molested in order to prevent exposure. Consequently, child pornography does not simply involve abuse of the individual child victim whose image is created; it is also used affirmatively to perpetuate the sexual exploitation of the same child or other children.

Child and adult pornography is frequently used by child exploiters to lure children into physical sex acts. After a child molester befriends a child and gains the child's trust, he will expose the child to pornography to persuade the child that the behavior is normal and acceptable, and to coax him or her into participation. The Sexually Exploited Child Unit of the Los Angeles Police Department conducted a ten year study and found that adult and child pornography was reportedly used in over 87% of all their child molestation cases. Child pornography is therefore not just a tool for perpetuating more (and more graphic) child pornography--it is also a tool for exploiters to gain opportunities to exploit and molest even more children.

A CALL TO ARMS

The measures taken to this point have not served to dramatically lessen the number of incidents of child exploitation. Indeed, all of the evidence leads to the conclusion that the exploitation of children is a burgeoning problem. The explosion in the production and trafficking of child pornography, in particular, represents nothing short of an epidemic confronting our country.

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