Parents of children kidnapped, tortured, or murdered by sexual predators are seeking more federal funding to deal with the problem, says USA Today. They cite new research that shows hundreds of thousands of child pornography leads go uninvestigated, planned to call today for increased funding. “We give a lot of lip service to protecting children but we don’t fund it,” says Erin Runnion of the Surviving Parents Coalition. Her daughter Samantha was abducted, sexually abused, and killed at age 5 in 2002. Runnion says the federal government investigates less than 2% of known child pornographers. Flint Waters of Wyoming’s federal-state Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. has traced child pornography to more than 570,000 computers nationwide, identified by their serial numbers, since he began surveillance in October 2005. He has developed software that tracks and locates computers by their Internet Protocol (IP) addresses and serial numbers.
A bill that passed the U.S. House would authorize more than double the current funding–$8 billion over eight years–to increase the number of forensic labs, federal-state task forces, and federal agents to combat child pornography. Current funding is “completely inadequate,” says Alan Hoffman, chief of staff to Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE). Arnold Bell, who heads the FBI’s child-porn unit, Innocent Images, said the agency increased its investigations of child pornography to 2,443 last year from 2,135 in 2006. He said arrests rose to 1,769 from 1,546 and convictions to 1,023 from 1,018.