Web Browsers Beware: Innocent Sounding Sites May Shock You

By Robert Baldwin | July 7, 2008 | 8:08 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) - Among the pros and cons of cyber-surfing is this one: That innocent-sounding web site you call up to do research could instead be loaded with X-rated images, aimed for your computer screen. Even the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) web site was recently infiltrated by the purveyors of porn.

A visitor to AARP's "Social Security Reality Check" web page would have found computer links like this one: "Other Social Security Web Pages." Another click on the category, "Americans Discuss Social Security," would have taken internet users, anxious to talk about retirement benefits, to something called "Sex-Directories.com," a pornographic site leaving nothing to the imagination.

As soon as AARP was alerted to the problem, the organization eliminated the sex link from its web site. But how did the advocate for the elderly get its internet page linked to a porn site in the first place?

The "Americans Discuss Social Security" project was shut down more than a year ago, according to a representative of the Pew Charitable Trusts, which funded the now defunct organization. Although the ADSS is no longer in business, its domain name still is available, for those producing material like "Sex-Directories.com."

Representatives from the PCT and the AARP were equally dumbfounded when led to the seedy link. "I was like, what is this?" exclaimed a receptionist at the PCT, who had trouble understanding the nature of the inquiry without a visual aid. A webmaster at the AARP said the link "was not supposed to be there."

AARP is not alone in trying to keep its web pages and links clear of pornographic content. Burger King was recently forced to withdraw a CD-Rom, given away with children's meals, after parents complained that the disc contained internet addresses for more than 2,000 pornographic websites.