- permit access to vast quantities of pornographic images from around the world
- allows pornography to be accessed anonymously and privately
- facilitates direct communication and image sharing among users
- provides images that are of high digital quality, do not deteriorate, and can be conveniently stored
- provides for a variety of formats (pictures, videos, sound), as well as the potential for real-time and interactive experiences
- permits access to digital images that have been modified to create composite or virtual images
- makes pornography instantly available at any time or place
The internet is decentralized and has no single controlling agency or storage facility. Due to the nature of networks and networks connecting to other networks, when one pathway is blocked, an alternative pathway may be provided allowing one to reach the desired destination. Similarly, if one website or newsgroup is closed down, there are many others that can instantaneously take its place.
Many jurisdictions are reluctant to introduce laws that might help control internet users, despite the inherently unregulated nature of the internet. For the most part, legal obligations with respect to internet child pornography often remain unclear, and the majority of emphasis has been placed on self regulation.
Although there have been attempts to regulate the internet, such efforts have been hampered by cross-jurisdictional differences in laws and levels of permissiveness regarding child pornography. Due to cultural reasons or because of corruption, many countries vary in their commitment to act upon and enforce laws against offenders.
Offenders often vary in the manner which they employ means and security measures to avoid detection. There is reportedly a core of veteran offenders, some of whom have been active in pedophile newsgroups for more than 20 years, who possess high levels of technological expertise. Pedophile bulletin boards often contain technical advice from old hands to newcomers.
The actual volume of child pornography makes the task of tracking down every person who visits a child pornography site impossible. Many offenders realize that their chances of being caught are quiet remote. Catching peripheral offenders or disrupting individual networks may have little overall impact considering the scale of the problem.