Patterns of ownership of child model sites: Profiling the profiteers and consumers of child exploitation material


  • Paul A. Watters University of Ballarat
  • Christopher Lueg University of Tasmania
  • Caroline Spiranovic University of Tasmania
  • Jeremy Prichard University of Tasmania



Child exploitation, criminal profiling, cybercrme


Recent research has indicated that cybercrime thrives when a corrupt social, economic, and political environment emerges such that law enforcement impact is minimised and key elements of crime prevention are absent. In this paper, using a snowball methodology we analyse patterns of ownership of “child model” sites which generate profits from advertising and/or subscriptions. While the material may not be traditional “pornography” in content, it is arguably exploitative. An open question is how the material compares to “beauty pageant” and other highly stylised mainstream photography that depicts children in adult situations, and whether access to all such material should be restricted.

Author Biographies

Paul A. Watters, University of Ballarat

Dr. Paul A. Watters is the Director of the Internet Commerce Security Laboratory, which is a joint venture between the Australian Federal Police (AFP), Westpac Banking Corporation, IBM, the State Government of Victoria and the University of Ballarat. Dr. Watters is also Associate Professor of Information Security at the University of Ballarat, and was previously Director of Postgraduate and Professional ICT Programmes at Macquarie University, and Head of Data Services at the UK Medical Research Council?s National Survey of Health and Development, the longest-running longitudinal health study in the world. He is a Fellow of the British Computer Society, a Senior Member of the IEEE, and a Chartered IT Professional.

Christopher Lueg, University of Tasmania

Professor of Computing in the School of Computing & Information Systems at the University of Tasmania

Caroline Spiranovic, University of Tasmania

Research Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Tasmania

Jeremy Prichard, University of Tasmania

Lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Tasmania




How to Cite

Watters, P. A., Lueg, C., Spiranovic, C., & Prichard, J. (2013). Patterns of ownership of child model sites: Profiling the profiteers and consumers of child exploitation material. First Monday, 18(2).