It's always tempting for people to blame technology for certain problems, but sometimes it helps to look a little more thoroughly at the issue. An AFP report quotes the head of the FBI's cyber division talking about the rising caseload concerning pedophile predators targeting children. It's unclear if it's the reporter or the FBI who implies this, but the article focuses on how much easier technology has made life for pedophiles, by noting that the FBI's caseload has increased 2,000% for these types of cases since 1996. Of course, that makes one big assumption: that much of this activity wasn't happening at all before. Another way of looking at it is that the technology has made it much easier to bring this problem out into the open where authorities can catch the scum who do such things. While the internet clearly has made it easier for pedophiles to target victims, there is the flip side that it has also helped catch many more as well. So, an increase of caseloads doesn't necessarily mean that the problem is worse -- but that people are more aware of it and are doing a better job of bringing cases to the attention of authorities. That's a good thing. It's also brought a lot more public exposure to the issue, which has helped with education campaigns as well. It's easy to just blame the technology, but shouldn't we be looking at the larger picture? It seems like this is a case where the technology helped expose a problem that was already there. While it may have made it easier for some, hopefully the technology continues to progress at a rate that also makes it that much easier to prevent this kind of activity.
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