G8 justice and interior ministers meeting in Munich have called for private sector assistance in battling online child porn. UK, US, French, German, Canadian, Italian, Japanese, and Russian delegations issued a joint statement yesterday in which they said that "ISPs, IT professionals and financial institutions...should be …
Child abuse is a terrible crime but...
quite obviously it is being instrumentalised in pretty much the same way that terrorism is.
If you want to get a law that enables you to snoop on computer users, all you have to do is claim, that it is necessary to fight child porn or perverts and noone dares argue with you... brave new world...
Attacking kiddi-porn peddlers
I may be being very naive, but I've always thought that a first line of attack in stopping the distribution of this material, (at least the stuff that is distributed from web sites) would be to have a co-ordinated system that would:
a/ Block the relevant IP address - not so easy - This would probably have to be done at the ISP level, but it would be MUCH better if it was done at the carrier level (is this possible?)
b/ Disable the DNS entry for the site (if it has one) - this would be easy
c/ Revoke the domain name - again - very easy
These measures would cut the sites off from (I would think) 95% of potential "customers". And although you would be implementing censorship at the most basic levels of the internet (which might raise some eyebrows), I can't see how many people could object.
Censorship is not a solution
Blocking websites and pretending there's nothing going on isn't a solution. The only course of action would be to identify websites, there owners, source of pictures, children involved and those providing the children. Good old honest police work.
I do also concur that child pornography is used very much the same way as terrorism is used - to scare people and to get doubtful laws granted. Reading MY emails will not help some abused child in Thailand.
What about ISP staff?
Before spend a lot of time and money on checking millions of customers of ISPs, chat room users, etc. how about doing what schools and the like are now expected to do? i.e. only employ staff who have been CRB checked.
At the moment there's nothing to stop folks with convictions for sex offences working in IT posts where they could easily access information about vulnerable users of Internet services.
It's quite possible that there are ISPs providing services to schools that haven't had their staff checked for convictions,
"We simply have to assume that this was done by a gang that passes on these children to be exploited". Why does this sort of crap go unchallenged? No, we don't have to assume anything; if we *do* want to assume something then we can go on the historical record which shows that time and again when a child is abducted it is a lone (and usually opportunistic) nutter.
"Zypries also raised the spectre of children being abducted for adoption rather than sexual abuse." Spectre. As in something that doesn't exist. We've all read about these gangs that abduct children for adoption... but nobody has EVER come up with any proof of their existence.
Carrier Level Controls
Carrier level blocking, inspection, rerouting and such already exist and are easy to implement. They are however very expensive.
These technologies are already getting plenty of action for VOIP and P2P blocking, and anti-terrorism efforts. I don't follow the logic that Skype and terrorism are bad but kiddie-porn is OK??? But hey nobody ever accused the telcos of being nice guys.
Before you go calling for censorship, please remember that *all* these people are doing is looking at pictures, no matter how distasteful you may find the subject matter. *If* they actually go out and harm children, *that* is the proper time to arrest them. And yes, these may be pictures of acts of abuse; but looking at a photograph in no way adds to the harm that was already done when it was first taken.
There is *no* hard evidence that looking at child pornography induces people to abuse children, any more than there is hard evidence that looking at pictures of sports cars induces people to break the speed limit.
When all is said and done, if some sicko is going to get his filthy little rocks off, surely it's better that he does so into a box of tissues than with a child?
Perhaps there should be much MUCH stricter laws against accepting of payments for illegal material ,including those operating payment systems such as paypal, egold etc etc etc ?
There are a lot of assumptions being made, but the truth is, many different things happen with child porn. The porn is being created by some people, varying from relatives of the children to opportunistic strangers to gangs that are in the business of buying poor children from their families in many poor countries. Yes, those all happen. There is much more that is insidious about those images, though.
Oftentimes, according to researches and police records and court statements, a person begins looking at the images because they prefer them, and then are pressured to provide some to those with whom they trade. New images, that are not already in that particular trade circle. Many people have admitted that they had never intended to harm the children they knew - even their own children - but they had to make some new images in order to get more. So...
The statement: "There is *no* hard evidence that looking at child pornography induces people to abuse children, any more than there is hard evidence that looking at pictures of sports cars induces people to break the speed limit." is abjectly untrue. However, data of this kind is not readily available to John Q. Public, he or Jane Q. Public must dig for it.