FBI agents have been making greater use of technology, including the specific use of file sharing networks, in order to crack down on child porn. This has meant a huge increase in the number of child porn prosecutions. According to the FBI's own estimates, there has been a 2500% increase in the number of child porn arrests in the United States over the last decade. Since 2006 alone, U.S. Attorneys have prosecuted 40% more cases, and these have resulted in 2,315 indictments against 2,427 defendants in 2009.
Prosecution rates for child pornography have increased after new federal laws mandated a five-year prison sentence for persons convicted of child pornography. The Internet has led to an explosion in criminal activity involving child pornography. Not surprisingly, FBI agents are increasingly using the Internet to arrest persons for child pornography.
In particular, they have been targeting peer-to-peer file sharing networks like Lime Wire. This particular network has been linked to a few child pornography arrests over the past couple of years. The FBI has also been accused of entrapment for the manner in which law enforcement officers have lured potential offenders. These methods have included hyper linking to a site that promises pornography images or videos. A person who clicks on these links can expect a visit from FBI agents. To Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys, however, many of these techniques reek of entrapment.
Besides, such aggressive prosecution and arrests for child pornography fail to take into account the differences between a hard-core pornographer engaged in widespread distribution of child pornography, and a person who clicks on a child porn link on his computer at home. The latter is not a hardened criminal, but someone completely innocent or perhaps with a mental health issue who needs treatment. Unfortunately, the current practices being employed by the FBI are not designed to offer counseling or treatment, but incarceration which doesn't solve the problem.