Two years ago, Dallas police officers, U.S. postal authorities, and the Justice Department announced the arrests of 100 people in a global Internet child pornography ring. More than 250,000 people from 60 countries were paid subscribers, netting organizers more than $1 million a month. The bust has led to the arrests of hundreds of suspects around the world.

But comparatively few arrests have been made in Canada, even though police have the names of over two thousand suspects. Many understaffed police units have not followed up on the names and credit card numbers of the 2,300 Canadians who downloaded images advertised as child porn. Child porn generates $3 billion annually in online sales, according to a report by Internet Filters Review.

Robert Matthews of Ontario's police unit investigating child porn told the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, "Canadians produce as much or more child pornography, per capita, as any other developed country."

The EFC has expounded on the problem in a background paper, "Innocence Preserved."

Project Snowball


Many Christian groups are calling for action. But they are finding inertia hard to overcome. Many Canadians consider graphic sexual content involving minors as a matter of free expression. Few police divisions across Canada have assigned officers or funds to the investigation, dubbed Project Snowball.

Toronto's police force is one of the few that have responded. Six Toronto officers have made 21 arrests in Project Snowball so far. They have also seized two million images.

"There are many divisions that have not even opened their files on this case because they lack the manpower or funds to proceed," said detective sergeant Paul Gillespie of Toronto's sex crimes unit.

All officers involved ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.