"You have an instant message from Naturalbornkiller2000. Would you like to accept it?" A similar message to this one flashes on computers throughout the United States and the world, inviting computer users to "chat" or "IM" with friends, family and perfect strangers alike. While the opportunity to engage in real-time conversation over the Internet provides an interesting and often less expensive way to keep in touch with friends or to meet new people, instant messages and other Internet communications increasingly appear as a means for adults to interact inappropriately with young children. The use of Internet communication for the solicitation of minors to engage in sexual activity and the availability of child pornography on the Internet has become a dominant theme in the political arena. While some states have promulgated statutes specifically criminalizing the use of computers and the Internet for solicitation of minors to engage in sexual activity and child pornography, other states and the federal government rely on existing laws to prosecute such activities.
Jessica C. Cobaugh,
Bloom v. Commonwealth: Identifying The Face Behind The Instant Message,
Rich. J.L. & Tech
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/jolt/vol8/iss3/4