Local News

Recent Charge Brings Attention to Internet Porn Availability

Posted December 14, 1996 12:00 a.m. EST

— It's known as the information superhighway, but how much information is too much?

Friday, 39-year-old Carl Byers Jr. was charged with using the internet to try to lure a 15-year-old Ohio girl to Raleigh for sexual purposes.

Brad Mehlenbacher studies trends in the internet, and says like other technologies, pornography has worked its way in.

One fact about Byers that might cause some public consternation is that he worked for the North Carolina Community College system. Mehlenbacher commented that many people believe that colleges and universities are very strict about what is put out over their computer systems.

The fact of the matter is, only two universities in the United States actively limit what people can access on school computer systems. And students are learning that it's not all that hard to find explicit material.

Right now there's nothing that limits pornography on the internet which means adults and children can access it pretty freely. But some computer experts, such as computer salesman David Upchurch, say there are ways parents can protect their children before they ever sign on.

And as computers grow, so do parents' fears. Because they know that with or without supervision, the place to be nowadays is surfing the net.

On a side note, most computer stores sell a variety of computer software programs that limit a child's access to the internet, and they cost as little as $30. Reported byTerri Gruca