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Minister briefed on fight against child porn

Hon Rick Barker
Minister of Internal Affairs

17 June 2008
Media Statement

Interpol briefs Minister on fight against child porn

Internal Affairs Minister Rick Barker met today with one of Interpol’s specialist officers engaged in combating sex abuse crimes against children.

Michael Moran is a member of Ireland’s national police force and is on secondment to Interpol. He is in New Zealand to view the operations of Internal Affairs censorship inspectors and the work they do tracking offenders via the Internet.

During the meeting Mr Moran thanked the government for passing stiffer penalties in February 2005 for those involved in the child sex abuse trade and he welcomed New Zealand’s contribution to this worldwide fight against the trafficking in images. Penalties now include up to 10 years’ prison for distribution and copying offences and up to five years for possession.

The Department of Internal Affairs is highly active on the Internet and feeds intelligence on offenders to Interpol and other agencies.

"Our inspectors would supply literally hundreds of targets throughout the year and are noticing that they in turn are getting more international referrals. Just a few days ago we learned that the Department had been responsible for discovering a young New Zealand victim of a paedophile. And so far this year they have been responsible for the jailing of five offenders," Mr Barker said.

Mr Moran was also interested in the software a member of the Department’s censorship team developed to quickly pinpoint where large amounts of objectionable material are originating and to focus on New Zealand offenders who are trading child sex abuse images.

"This technology is cutting edge, providing a level of information not previously available and has been made available internationally. It was also a hit at last week’s Interpol conference in Sydney," Mr Barker said.

"New Zealand's Internal Affairs’ operations are at the leading edge of the international fight against this trade and they have assisted us greatly in the development of ways of tracking down offenders. People operating on the Internet liked to think they were untouchable but not any more, thanks to the efforts of people like the Department's censorship team," Mr Moran said.


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