Pedophile networks flourishing on Web

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At first blush, the two conversations - taking place almost simultaneously in different corners of the Internet - might have seemed unremarkable, even humdrum. In April, with summer fast approaching, both groups of online friends chatted about jobs at children's camps. Did anyone, one man asked, know of girls' camps willing to hire adult males as counselors?

Meanwhile, elsewhere in cyberspace, the second group celebrated the news that one of their own had been offered a job leading a boys' cabin at a sleep-away camp. The two groups were made up of self-proclaimed pedophiles - one attracted to underage girls, the other to boys. Their dialogue runs at all hours in an array of chat rooms, bulletin boards and Web sites set up for adults attracted to children. But it is no longer just chatter in the ether.

What started online almost two decades ago as a means of swapping child pornography has transformed in recent years into a more complex and diversified community. Today, pedophiles go online to seek tips for getting near children - at camps, through foster care, at community gatherings and at countless other events. They swap stories about day-to-day encounters with minors. And they make use of technology to help take their arguments to others, such as sharing online a printable booklet to be distributed to children that extols the benefits of sex with adults.

source: Article 'Pedophile networks flourishing on Web - They appear to facilitate crimes against children' by Kurt Eichenwald (New York Times News Service);,1249,645195948,00.html;; 25 August 2006