Net trap awaits Aussie child-sex fiends

Australian police could soon be using fake Internet identities to trap paedophiles trying to lure children, the government said on Friday.

    Police may pretend to be children to trap child-sex prowlers

    A bill waiting for approval from the upper house Senate says

    adults caught using the Internet to procure children younger

    than 16 for sex, could face 15 years in jail. 

     

    The new law would also impose prison terms of 10 years for

    accessing or transmitting child pornography on the Net.

       

    "The new offences will strike at the heart of the repulsive t

    rade in material depicting the sexual abuse of children and

    will also enable consistent prosecution of offenders

    Australia-wide under federal law," Communications Minister

    Daryl Williams and Justice Minister Chris Ellison said in a

    joint statement.

     

    The bill has been introduced in the Senate, which must a

    pprove it before it becomes law. Around 85 percent of child

    pornography seized by police in Australia is distributed over

    the Internet.

     

    Australian police are forming a global taskforce with crime

    squads from Britain, the United States and Canada to patrol

    Internet chatrooms in a crackdown on paedophile rings as the

    problem grows.

     

    Last year, Microsoft's MSN Web portal shut down chatrooms

    in nearly every country where it operated, saying they had

    become a haven for paedophiles and spam-peddlers.

     

    Child safety groups welcomed the move, but others feared

    criminals would burrow further underground for prey.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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