Mar 15 2006


U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, participated in a press conference today to launch the Financial Coalition Against Child Pornography. He joined the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC), and eighteen of the world’s most prominent financial institutions and Internet industry leaders.

The goal of the Coalition is to eradicate commercial child pornography by 2008. The Coalition includes the following leading banks, credit card companies, third party payment companies, and Internet services companies: America Online, American Express Company, Bank of America, Chase, Citigroup, Discover Financial Services LLC, e-gold, First Data Corporation, First National Bank of Omaha, MasterCard, Microsoft, North American Bancard, PayPal, First PREMIER Bank/PREMIER Bankcard, Standard Chartered Bank, Visa, Wells Fargo, and Yahoo! Inc. Senator Shelby was instrumental in bringing these groups together to combat this terrible crime.

Senator Shelby said, “Child pornography is one of the most despicable, horrific crimes I can imagine. Predators are exploiting our children everyday. This Coalition will bring together members of the financial services community and encourage their active engagement in combating and eradicating child pornography. Banks and credit card companies are an unintentional part of the problem. Credit cards are the easiest and quickest method of payment and are accepted worldwide. The Internet offers a locale to sell and exchange these pornographic images anonymously and with little risk.”

“As I have mentioned in the past, if people were using credit cards to purchase heroine or cocaine over the internet, people would be outraged. What is happening with internet child pornography is WORSE. The time to take action to eradicate internet child pornography is now. We have the technology and resources to fight the problem. The key is cooperation, coordination and commitment in the financial services community,” Shelby concluded.