What is it?
How does it work?
1. File Transfer Protocol (FTP) Upload
There are three (3) different types of upload methods:
2. Streaming Method
A Closer Look
Implications for Law Enforcement, Parents,
With technology rapidly evolving, webcams are now wireless and can be concealed almost anywhere. Some require a power cord, however some of the more expensive wireless video surveillance webcams will work on batteries and a receiver within 100 feet which allows for multiple recording from several different angles.
In addition to wireless webcams, they are also being manufactured smaller, making them a very popular tool for child sexual offenders as they can be concealed in several places (i.e.: in a room, on a person).
Since most webcams use a medium-level video resolution to keep the file size down, the video produced by the webcam is not equal to that of a high quality video camera. Also, unless the picture is taken in close proximity to the subject, the picture quality of most webcams is gritty.
The use of Trojan files (a program that appears legitimate, however once opened or installed will cause damage to your computer) has, in the past, led to the manipulation and exploitation of children. If someone has sent a Trojan file to a child’s computer, it is possible for the individual to gain remote access to that computer including any peripheral devices such as a webcam. The images or video file created by the offender could then be used to blackmail the child in an effort to gain additional footage or an in-person meeting.
Wireless or not, webcams can easily be concealed in a room with limited light. While this technology is often used by child sexual offenders it can also be used by youth involved in consenting sexual relationships. For example, youth sending real time images to one another. While both may be consenting at the time, the reality is that those images cannot be erased (at any time) and can be distributed by either party.
Canadian law enforcement is currently investigating such cases where one of the people have distributed the images. It is imperative that youth be made aware of the permanency and future implications of images that are available on the Internet. As well, there are criminal consequences when one of the parties shares the material without the other’s consent as this now becomes a case of distributing child pornography if the youth are underage.
Webcams are currently being used to meet the demand for two different types of child pornography. The first, streaming video, allows other individuals to view a sexual assault occurring in real time. If the abuser is part of a child sexual abuse network, viewers can potentially request specific forms of abuse to be performed on the child. The second trend that is increasing and made possible via a webcam relates to the sharing of audio files of child sexual abuse.
As webcam technology improves, it will continue to have negative impacts on children and youth in respect to exploitation. As the number of people engaging with webcams increases, the potential risks as outlined above also increase. Educating youth on the dangers and implications associated with sharing images via webcams will help to limit those risks.
IP address : A number that uniquely identifies every host on a network.
FTP: File Transfer Protocol, used to exchange files over the Internet.