Tuesday, July 20, 2004
Carmel on the Case: Cell Phones And Porn
Between the internet and cable TV, protecting our children from pornography is no easy task. But now, parents have another reason to be concerned. Adult entertainment is going mobile. Kids can download images by dialing-up x-rated photos on their cell phones. The nighteam's Carmel Cafiero is on the case.
(WSVN) -- The adult entertainment industry has netted billions of dollars through magazines, movies and the Internet.
But now it's going wireless.
Joy: "We offer everything from X to triple X."
Palm stories.com offers a risqué menu of pictures, stories and video for pocket pc's.
The company's spokeswoman - who asked we use only her first name - claims they have thousands of subscribers.
Joy: "We're pioneering this industry and it's the future."
A future that upsets some South Florida parents like linda -- who also only wanted her first name used.
Concerned parent Linda: "I asked him do your friends know about this? He goes oh yeah everybody knows about that."
She says her son accidentally found porn while trying to download games on her cell phone.
It took him less than a minute to show us how.
Linda's Son: "I went to a search engine google I just put in free games."
Instead of free games, this 14-year old found links to web sites for live sex, porn images, and sexy teens.
Linda's Son: "I clicked the link and voi-la."
Linda: "I was horrified, I really was."
Computer engineer Russell Splain says porn is all too easy to access. Search engines use key words to sort material based on site popularity, not content.
Rusell Splain: "When you're looking for games that is a form of entertainment, the gambling industry and the pornography industries also feel they are a form of entertainment."
Splain says as picture quality and internet connection speeds improve, you'll have xxx images available anytime --- anywhere.
Rusell Splain: "The thinking worldwide will be around a billion dollar business to transfer adult content over the cellular wireless network."
And it's difficult to supervise teenagers with a mobile phone.
Joy: "The same threats that exist on the internet will eventually exist on a cell phone."
Most porn sites require age verification through use of a credit card. However, many will give limited access for a free preview. Experts say it's up to parents to teach their children right from wrong. Or give your teen a cell phone that doesn't have internet access.
For more information, or if you have a story for Carmel:
Call her in Dade at 305-627-CLUE
Or in Broward at 954-921-CLUE