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back to article Sex offenders need internet access, judge rules

A British court has ruled that denying a sex offender access to the internet is an unreasonable intrusion into his civil rights. "Nowadays it is entirely unreasonable to ban anybody from accessing the internet in their home," Mr Justice Collins ruled at the court of appeal in London, the Guardian reports. The case stemmed from …

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Holmes

What?

The judge thought the guy would die due to lack of Internet access?

Something is missing here.

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ACx

Re: What?

No, the judge didn't think that. What is missing is your ability to read.

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Re: What?

I think the judge meant that the guy would die while still being subject to the order, not die due to being subject to the order.

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Anonymous Coward

Terrorists

Will also be given the right to the Internet and use of mobile phone, and a safe haven here in the UK.

Justice is blind.... And mad.

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Facepalm

Re: Terrorists

@AC 07:22

Or, if you pulled your head out of your rectum for long enough to be able to read more than about two consecutive words, probably not.

If you take the time to read the entire article, you'd see that even under the revised sentence the chap in question is still required to provide police with access to his computer and browsing history on demand. So, you know, any terrorist stupid enough to continue actively plotting after having been caught and convicted in a similar fashion would in all probability be giving up his or her accomplices.

Nice try at a knee-jerk reactionary response - shame you hit yourself in the nuts, though...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Terrorists

Damn, because it'd be so hard for him to browse using an incognito tab, via TOR, and then to delete his internet history. Or shock horror, put a mobile browser onto a memory stick for added depth of secure information.

Encrypt the hard drive, and then the police probably wouldn't even be able to access restored data.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Terrorists

> If you take the time to read the entire article, you'd see that even under the revised sentence the chap in question is still required to provide police with access to his computer and browsing history on demand.

And how often do you think they might nip round and demand it?

Would it be entirely unrealistic of me to guess that "never" might be the frequency?

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Re: Terrorists

@Both ACs:

Yeah, because I'm sure that, after managing to get a conviction for terrorist activity which still allows the convict some computer access, UK plod (or more importantly MI5 & MI6, and related agencies) wouldn't think to do anything that might help then log the system usage and monitor for anything useful.

As for encrypting the hard drive, using TOR ect - if you were to pay a little more attention to the information revealed about some of the cretinous throwbacks who've been behind many recent attempted terrorist attacks you'd realise that we're not dealing with the cream of the intellectual crop here. These are the chaff that decided that the promise of jam tomorrow is a good motivation for attempting to blow themselves up.

Don't let that stop you from talking bollocks, though...

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Joke

Re: Terrorists

"Encrypt the hard drive, and then the police probably wouldn't even be able to access restored data"

http://xkcd.com/538/ ?

// several icons applicable, but I'll take TWAJS.

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Re: Terrorists

The simplest solution would be to equip by downloading onto a USB drive as follows: Truecrypt, then make and subsequently mount a TC drive with a long alphanumeric/symbols password; download a drive/file eraser and Tor into said mounted drive; obliterate all traces of activity by erasing anything left in temporary files and similar directories, then wash the drives. Subsequently mount Tor from mounted Truecrypt drive. The main hole, apart from ISP forensics, will be the USB stick.

Perhaps even more radical/sensible; download and install a Linux distro onto a USB stick. Take it anywhere, implicate anyone but yourself. But be sure to make it a Truecrypt bootable drive.

20 or so years ago I worked with one of these individuals in a forensic psychiatry unit in the days before I realised that the net could be used for this sort of thing; he was a very sophisticated computer user, favouring what seemed like a very powerful Archimedes (I think it was) that made my XT look pedestrian. Not long after I finished I Googled his name and discovered he'd been up to it again, on discharge. The net was involved, of course.

My internal response is that preventing them from having access leads to the assumption that they do not, and that is unwise. There are plenty of covert ways to maintain an internet connection, and it can lead to worse problems than if the offender is supervised.

Encrypting the hard drive would be the wrong way to go from the offender's perspective, if only because it would alert the authorities and result in withdrawal of 'privileges'... ...oh wait a minute, I stand corrected; 'rights'.

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Anonymous Coward

Rather that

the first Judge anticipated that his order would remain intact for the remainder of the offenders natural life.

So, if the Judge's words were inappropriate, what sanction did he then suffer?

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Banned from using a camera in public?

Seems maladroit since it was his use of a covert camera in a private setting that led to his being detected. I'd feel safer if he was restricted to using a camera obscura.

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Unhappy

Clearly, the "private browsing" mode of most modern browsers isn't a factor in the decision since that would mask the browsing history of any "dubious" sites if the offender so desired.

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ACx

So, you dont think the ISP will be monitoring him then?

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Facepalm

Well Doh!

While you can go into any mobile shop and buy a £10 (or thereabouts) Sim Card for mobile Broadband PAYG without signing your life away in blood then no they won't be monitoring him.

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Re: Well Doh!

@Steve

I don't disagree with your point, but the same could be said for the Internet ban as well. The thing about non-custodial remedies is there's an element of trust involved (in that it's expensive/impossible to ensure compliance 100% of the time). It would, of course, have been easier to catch him breaking a ban than to prove he visited site x and cleared his history though. Perhaps they've been busily installing malware on his machine so they'll get a full log!

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Probably not, the order was against the individual, not the ISP.

Tor Browser bundle on a USB stick and he's away again, happy at a pig in shite

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WTF?

No

Why would they?

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Joke

Bestiality? Didn't the victim die in the end?.

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Thumb Up

What's with BRITISH BEAKS?

Mr Justice Collins has got to be one of the more reasonable Beaks in the UK justice system, a realist.

Better the 'perp' be allowed to humour his needs on screen than getting into shampoo bottles!

These sentences handed down excluding the use of the InterNet is unrealistic and simply begs for offenders to re-offend and risk jail.

Congratulations, Mr Justice Collins!

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But shirley

he had access to the internet before, and yet still took indecent photos of minors. What next, legal child porn sites to feed the need of perverts in the hope it stops them offending in RL?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Better the 'perp' be allowed to humour his needs on screen

'Cos that's victimless?

Are you for real? The guy had child porn of a kid as young as four years old, and you think that's somehow better than hiding a camera in a shampoo bottle?

The c**t risked jail when he chose to do *either* of those things he did. Making it pretty easy for people like that to have continued access to kiddie porn not only pretty much *ensures* they will reoffend, it also helps ensure that those that make the stuff reoffend as well.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Better the 'perp' be allowed to humour his needs on screen

@AC

Not victimless, no, but it's a matter of trying to prevent further harm.

Let's assume he is going to re-offend in some way, and is devious enough to ensure that he'll achieve one of the following:

- Find some pics online

- Find a child and abuse him/her

Which would you prefer he did?

We should, definitely, be doing all we can reasonably do to prevent the creation and distribution (the latter being far harder to achieve without the first) of these images. But once the image exists, some twisted cunt looking at those images is far better than finding a child of their own to abuse. The issue, of course, being that buying those images creates demand for more, which in turn leads to more kids being abused.

Personally, I'd like to see them all shot, but the reality is it's not going to happen anytime soon. It's better to have 100 pervs looking at images of 1 abused child than it is to have 100 pervs abusing 1 child each. We need to take action to stop both, but yeah, it's far better (for society) to have him able to look for images than the possible alternatives.

Of course, he may be reformed and never re-offend, though it seems highly unlikely.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Better the 'perp' be allowed to humour his needs on screen

> Which would you prefer he did?

I'd prefer he did neither. Of course it's better to have 100 pervs looking at images of 1 abused child than have 100 pervs abusing 1 each, but it's better still to reduce that 100 to 99 in either case.

As you say, consumption feeds production. A common enough trait amongst them is to consume first, then move on to production.

Yes, he might well reoffend - many - possibly most - do. I personally caught one of the bastards doing so. He did precisely what I described - consume first, then move on to production.

So is it better for society to effectively be given the green light to continue to look for images? No, I don't think it is.

You don't give a convicted gunman a knife because "ooh, maybe it'll stop him using a gun again".

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Re: Better the 'perp' be allowed to humour his needs on screen

"A common enough trait amongst them is to consume first, then move on to production."

That is proven exactly how?

Judging by news reports, just about every other school IT tech, teacher, policeman, doctor and politician has been or will be caught with child sex photos on their computer, yet, there does not appear to be any increase in the number of actually physically abused children. Those who are abused are usually abused by their family members or priests or by Jimmy Saville.

I see absolutely no evidence that thousands of sad pervos are flooding the streets in search of children to abuse after having exhausted their wanking-in-front-of-PC capability.

Quite the opposite, it is much more logical to suppose that the majority of those people are content to just look at pictures and bask in their fantasies instead of actively trying to live them up IRL. And cutting of their access to pictures and pushing them on the street is the last thing any *responsible* individual would suggest.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Better the 'perp' be allowed to humour his needs on screen

> That is proven exactly how?

Informed of this by, amongst others, the child protection unit of the police service that I shopped they guy I caught to. Whilst not "proof" of anything, it's rather more reliable than your judgement from news reports which - going by the quantities you suggest - is seriously lacking in the credibility department.

> Those who are abused are usually abused by their family members or priests or by Jimmy Saville.

This seems to cover pretty much all bases of "people who are related to them, people who know them, or people who aren't related to them and don't know them". So unless you're specifically discounting that there's aliens flying in and doing it, then you don't seem to have narrowed it very much down. Let me help you here - people who have carefully crafted a means of gaining the trust and respect of parents in order to get access to their children. That's who you're looking for.

> I see absolutely no evidence that thousands of sad pervos are flooding the streets in search of children to abuse after having exhausted their wanking-in-front-of-PC capability.

No, they're too busy attending scout groups, youth football clubs, swimming clubs, gymnastics clubs, teacher training college, any number of places and/or activities where they can get long-term access to children. Again, much more reliable sources than your assumptions, including the child protection units responsible for vetting people in those capacities.

But sure, don't let anyone with expertise get in the way of your impeccable logic, when you can jump to conclusions from watching ITN or reading the Sun or whatever.

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Re: But shirley

Don't let the judge read that, or he will decide its a brilliant idea, or breaches our human rights if it isn't provided.

First thing I would do is check the judges computer for dubious images as well.

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Re: Better the 'perp' be allowed to humour his needs on screen

Alternatively

Castrate him (it is supposed to reduce the desire in dogs...)

Get a gibbet, put him in it, hang him up in the country, leave him until his bones fall through the cage.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: But shirley

I hope so, I refuse to even search for it, until after it's legal. Listening to high school students fuck is boring as hell.

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FAIL

Re: Better the 'perp' be allowed to humour his needs on screen

You've never had dogs then.

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Re: Better the 'perp' be allowed to humour his needs on screen

"Informed of this by, amongst others, the child protection unit of the police service that I shopped they guy I caught to. Whilst not "proof" of anything, it's rather more reliable than your judgement from news reports which - going by the quantities you suggest - is seriously lacking in the credibility department."

Are you sure the guy you grassed on was a pedofil and not a paediatrician?

Seriously, I consider the source you quoted as biased and the original proposition as credible as the statements that watching porn will turn you into a rapist, playing violent computer games will turn you into a murderer etc.

Paedophilia is a problem (although I can't believe it is as prevalent and widespread as the media is trying to portray) but it is a medical problem and not cultural or social."Behaviour modification" will not work here. If you stop a paedophile from looking at pictures he fancies he will not stop being paedophile. Measures like banning them from internet access or from possessing drawings or anime etc are totally futile and counterproductive and actually increase the threat they pose to children around them.

But, these "measure" are popular with politicians and police because they let them create a "low hanging fruit" for picking of which they then award themselves medals and accolade.

"No, they're too busy attending scout groups, youth football clubs, swimming clubs, gymnastics clubs, teacher training college, any number of places and/or activities where they can get long-term access to children. Again, much more reliable sources than your assumptions, including the child protection units responsible for vetting people in those capacities."

Are you serious? There really is a paedo around every corner? I thought CEOP's Panic button has put a stop to it once and for all...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Better the 'perp' be allowed to humour his needs on screen

> Are you sure the guy you grassed on was a pedofil and not a paediatrician?

Ahahahaha, aren't we hilarious.

You want the truth? The fact that after seeing what I saw on his machine left me unable to sleep at all for nearly a week, properly for at least a month, still causes me to wake up at night over two years later, that I felt completely unable to carry out my, err, husbandly duties for several months and any time i tried it I felt physically sick, the fact that the specialist unit told me it was amongst the worst material they had ever seen, and that there was what they considered to be a vast amount of it, all has me pretty convinced, yes.

> Seriously, I consider the source you quoted as biased and the original proposition as credible as the statements that watching porn will turn you into a rapist, playing violent computer games will turn you into a murderer etc.

I don't think everybody who takes weed will turn into a crackhead, I don't think everyone who has a half of shandy turns into a park-bench alcie, and no, I don't think everyone who looks at kiddie porn turns into a direct child-abuser. But some do, and even one is one too many.

> If you stop a paedophile from looking at pictures he fancies he will not stop being paedophile

No, it won't, but if I keep pouring petrol onto a fire it will burn more and more ferociously. I think were it your house, you'd be happy enough to deny me access to petrol.

> Are you serious? There really is a paedo around every corner?

Of course not. Do I think paedos weasel themselves into such positions of trust? Of course they do.

(ps. with regard to another point elsewhere in these comments - this was a guy with a previous conviction. Who despite this, was able to buy a house overlooking a kids playground, who was able to tempt kids into his house to take pictures, and yet it took someone doing a job in his house to actually find the evidence. So much for "monitoring")

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Re: Better the 'perp' be allowed to humour his needs on screen

OK, jokes aside, looks like you and the police have done a good job outing that one.

"but if I keep pouring petrol onto a fire it will burn more and more ferociously"

Here I disagree. The fire is fueled by combination of screwed up brains and hormones. I believe you can fight it by a) letting him burn out the hormones but in a way not physically harming anyone or b) chemically preventing the hormones from building up. Taking away his pictures does not fall into either category, in fact, I would put it into "pouring petrol into fire" category...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Better the 'perp' be allowed to humour his needs on screen

> I believe you can fight it by a) letting him burn out the hormones but in a way not physically harming anyone

Notwithstanding the fact that I don't actually agree with you there, the production of kiddie porn *is* doing physical harm *some*where. I'm led to believe that there are some that will do such things live on cam for a paying customer. I have no evidence that this *does* happen, however I do find it eminently believable. In this case, the paedo at the computer is in my opinion directly contributing to a child getting abused.

I can see the point you're making about taking away his pictures, but again I don't agree. I believe that viewing the material *does* most likely fuel the flames.

Of course, to borrow from an album title, there are three sides to every story - yours, mine, and the truth. The last one is usually somewhere in the middle - no doubt there are cases where taking away the pictures fuels the flames, no doubt there are some where viewing them fuels the flames. We may have to agree to differ, but I would honestly think that the second of these is the much more prevalent. Again, there are parallels. They may not be perfect, but feeding a heroin addiction with more heroin isn't likely to make anybody anywhere any safer from the addict who may well by now be desperate enough to commit serious criminal offences to get more. Now, I'm no addiction expert, but does it really sound completely implausible to you that the same could maybe be the case with paedophilia?

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Re: Better the 'perp' be allowed to humour his needs on screen

Substance addiction may not be a good analogy because it is acquired and it can be reversed, at least in some cases. Nevertheless, giving drugs to an addict may not help his health but it *does* make him safer for everyone because he does not need to rob anyone in order to fund his addiction.

"the production of kiddie porn *is* doing physical harm *some*where...the paedo at the computer is in my opinion directly contributing to a child getting abused."

I agree with you on that (except in the case of drawings or anime/hentai etc - no one is abused there) but I see it all as a stick and carrot situation - only stick or only carrots won't work. Something like "if you don't pay for stuff and only look at the milder things you will get away with it but if you go into real hardcore or if you pay for it you will lose your balls or worse" will work much better than internet cut off IMHO.

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Meh

Considering that more and more services, both commercial and mandated government, are only available via the internet I can foresee the time when such a prohibition would actually force the person to break the law.

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Anonymous Coward

Can't he just...

...get off on the London Olympic 2012 logo?

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Trollface

So kiddy fiddling can't get you banned from the internet, but downloading Lady Gaga albums can?

We can only conclude from this that piracy is worse than paedophilia.

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Anonymous Coward

Judges

Getting a judge all 'riled up and angry' for a sentencing hearing seems to be a good way to make them go over the top on applying restrictions and provides excellent grounds for a later appeal as we can see in this case.

These extra 'no internet' rulings really aren't required. Monitoring would be the solution here. They could force him to route all requests through some pedo witchfinder generals VPN / proxy and monitor his viewing habits from there.

What he downloaded is already illegal and covered by existing laws, it's just that they don't want to police them properly.

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A British court has ruled that denying a sex offender access to the internet is an unreasonable intrusion into his civil rights.

If they want civil rights then get them to act fucking civil. The same way that it's against their rights to take away TV access, books, good food, their own personal space etc. If they wanted to keep those rights they should have behaved in a civil way to begin with. Break the law you should have to rescind the majority of your rights.

You want human rights? Learn to behave like one (or how we'd like one to behave) break the law, fuck you.

And what's more, the internet isn't a right, it's a privileged The same as TV books and games. Hey tell you what, i'm going to refuse to pay my internet bill from now on, if they cancel my connection I'll just take them to court for breaching my civil rights.

God sake

And they wonder why we have so many freakin' criminals. They have more rights locked up than they do free.

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My own personal belief, which I think should be a de facto standard of course, is that should someone commit a crime which infringes on another's civil liberties/human rights then the criminal automatically gives up their own civil liberties/human rights. Black and white, no ifs or buts.

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I got a thumbs down, you got a thumbs down. Must be a pedo.

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Anonymous Coward

Regular occurence though isn't it. Post facts, get thumbs down. Post bullshit, get thumbs up.

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@Dire Criti¢ - I sort of agree. Every right should come with the duties it entails (in fact, if you go back to Kant, he said that rights arise from duties - without duties, right cannot exist). Break a duty, and rights that go along with it are liable to be forfeit. Being able to perceive a duty and fulfil it is one of the major aspects of being human.

However, it can never be black and white - children cannot perceive duties, nor can some people with developmental difficulties. How to deal with those groups requires a major change in Western civilisation to a clear differentiation between children and adults: a point, shall we say the 16th birthday, when you can say you were a child yesterday, but you are an adult today, no excuses and the duty on society to bring up children properly. We would also need places - shall we call them "asylums" - where adults who can't live by the rules for whatever reason can have a reasonably good life. Is our society willing to adopt this approach - well ... no. Pointless to even mention it, really.

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Anonymous Coward

@ wowfood / AC

Also, post horribly butchered English, nonsense, malformed sentences: get voted down.

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Headmaster

Even a child understands...

...what a smack on the back of the hand means.

It's a proportional thing.

Someone kills and/or diddles a kid then they give up their right to breath.

You steal from someone then you give up your right to own possessions.

You rape someone you give up the right to bear testicles.

You run a national bank into the ground then you give up the right to ever have any money.

Easy peasy.

Proportion is the name of the game.

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Facepalm

@Dire Criti¢ and wowfood...

Ah, so you're two the type of people who think that Human Rights should only apply to peope we *like*...

... The Daily Mail comment pages are over there -->

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Re: @Dire Criti¢ and wowfood...

No, I believe that people who piss on other's human rights get their own pissed on. Very simple, even for people called Graham to understand.

And by-the-by I've never read the Daily Mail in my life.

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Boffin

Re: @Dire Criti¢ and wowfood...

Yes, Dire Criti¢, it's very simple to understand that you don't have the slightest clue what Human Rights are actually about.

"Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it" - George Satayana.

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Re: @Dire Criti¢ and wowfood...

I always considered myself to be a liberal, yet unlike you I'm not blinded by my liberalism. I totally understand what Human Rights are, and what they mean. So much so that I value what has been taken away from the victim. Unlike you of course.

People like you are so taken up with the offender's rights that you fail to protect the victim's (and prospective victim's).

And no I don't save it for people I don't "like", it's just a coincidence that I've never met a convicted paedo who I haven't disliked. I met a murderer once, I didn't like him either. But then again I saw the results of his crime too.

I shall now leave you to your protected middle-England, liberal Shangri-La.

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