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back to article Microsoft introduces warning on child abuse image searches

Microsoft is warning Brits who use its Bing search engine to hunt down child abuse content that they are attempting to view illegal material online. The company debuted the pop-up message on Bing in the UK following pressure from the Prime Minister David Cameron, who has been pressing internet firms to do more to help prevent …

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Facepalm

Laws of unintended consequences...

How long before the malware authors start copying these and creating ransomware pop-ups ? Not long, I reckon.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Laws of unintended consequences...

Probably already in the wild.

Ideally they'd snare an MP or two. I wonder what Claire Perry is up to at the moment ?

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Re: Laws of unintended consequences...

Already happened (and reported on this site months ago).

This will make such scams more plausible though.

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Happy

Re: Laws of unintended consequences...

Quite a while ago. And one struck gold two days ago.

"A man is fooled by an Internet virus into going to a police station to pay a fine for child pornography. He gives the police his computer to examine. They allegedly find child pornography on it"

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-57595811-71/man-gets-fake-fbi-child-porn-alert-arrested-for-child-porn/

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Laws of unintended consequences...

Whatever you do, don't search for Claire's initials in bing.

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FAIL

Re: Laws of unintended consequences...

More entertainingly, can we script Bing to reverse engineer the CEOP list of terms ?

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Silver badge

And can we know what's on this blacklist ?

Or do we need a website where people can register terms that they have seen bring it up ?

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Boffin

Re: And can we know what's on this blacklist ?

There's an easy way to find out.

Enter a search term into Bing. If it pops up a message, then that item is on the list. You could even automate it like a dictionary attack (Except here we're testing a search term for a positive or negative response.)

Though IANAL, and I don't know how illegal it would be to possess knowledge of the forbidden search terms.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And can we know what's on this blacklist ?

Precisely. Come on Reg, enough recycling press releases, go digging and find out what's on the blacklist. After all, if we're not allowed to search for certain things we should at least be made aware of what those things are, or it's super-injunctions all over again.

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Black Helicopters

Re: And can we know what's on this blacklist ?

If you know the 'illegal' terms then

1) you shouldn't be searching using them

2) You can't plead 'I didn't know that term was illegal'

OTOH, if the censors won't tell you what is actually illegal then how can you stop yourself from committing a crime?

How long before searching for 'Little boy Blue' results in --->

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And can we know what's on this blacklist ?

Which reminds me that in denmark there is a blacklist of sites which are censored. The censorship is "secret" and revealing the censorship list (or indeed seeing the list IIRC) is a criminal act.

So in effect they have criminalised seeing a list of web URLs that, some of which if viewed might constitute another different criminal offence (one can never know until one takes a peek).

Whew, I guess that's OK then ...

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FAIL

Absolute stupidity

By all accounts, it doesn’t include search terms you would think it should. Presumably because they have duel use; you could be looking for the news reports and debate surrounding blocking and pop-ups or they have perfectly innocent uses. Then, if you’re Peterborough Town Sports Club, you can get a box stating “Warning! Child abuse material is illegal,” slapped near the link to your website on a Bing results page.

So, we have a warning that’s only going to pop up on the most obscure of search terms. I had no idea what might be on the CEOP “blacklist,” so had to do a search to find a list of search terms that someone else had tried. Even then, it’s going to have false positives, and I don’t think the warning is shown if you set your Bing country code to anything other than “gb.”

The solution is to remove offending links, which has been going on for years. Why has a warning not been tried before? Because it’s absolute stupidity. There must be many engineers at Yahoo!, Microsoft and Google banging their heads on the table.

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Silver badge

Re: And can we know what's on this blacklist ?

No we cant:

------------------------

Good Afternoon,

Thank you for your email. We do not have a public list of these terms.

Kind Regards

CEOP Reception

-------------------------

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And can we know what's on this blacklist ?

um... can we not get this from a FOI request?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And can we know what's on this blacklist ?

Maybe Edward Snowden could find out?

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Any idea how I access the CEOP blacklist

Cant find one on their site - darent search for it!

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JDX
Gold badge

Re: Any idea how I access the CEOP blacklist

No point, you won't be able to find it or any sites which talk about what's on it.

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Facepalm

Re: Any idea how I access the CEOP blacklist

Obscurity! The best form of defence... hmmm.

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False Choice

"If CEOP give you a blacklist of internet search terms, will you commit to stop offering up any returns on these searches? If the answer is yes...:"

Then you've fallen prey to the false choice between child abuse and wholesale censorship which is being offered.

"If the answer is no..."

Then you've fallen prey to that same false choice, but have decided on the other side.

If the answer is no, but you'll warn searchers of the dangerous waters they tread, then you're on the right track. Make sure to provide a way for suspect search returns to be investigated and blocked completely if found to be illegal, and you're doing it right.

If Cameron had suggested these reasonable terms, he might have earned some respect, but a call to "commit to stop offering up any returns" on an arbitrary list of search terms is unambiguously excessive censorship.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: False Choice

if only the people sharing child abuse images online would start refering to their material with the codename "david cameron"...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: False Choice

I recall some years ago working at a prestigious German organisation. Web filtering was in place to stop us viewing naughty stuff.

Unsurprisingly, the filters were primitive, and the English town of Scunthorpe was duly flagged.

Interestingly, while planning a trip to Moscow I was researching the burial sites of famous Russians. This was prohibited as it was deemed as necrophilia. (Famous graveyards in Moscow, a must see!)

Censorship is pointless, and criminalising the act of sharing visual space with something today deemed offensive and illegal but yesterday was OK, is somewhat bizarre. Where does it end? Who decides what I may see and what are the criteria? The answers are as shifting as the sands and the winds of the political climate.

We are traveling on the downward slope to totalitarianism dressed up by sophists as the moral high ground. You would think we would know better.

AC, obviously.

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Re: False Choice

if only the people sharing child abuse images online would start referring to their material with the codename "david cameron"...

Or moon-faced twat. I absolutely love this suggestion.

But the thing is, if they know enough to list these sites, then shirly they know enough to investigate and send a SWAT team in.

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Trollface

Re: codename "david cameron"

Got any CP? (Cameron Porn).

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Anonymous Coward

London Necropolis Company

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Necropolis_Company

go on CEOPS/IWF ban this. I dare you!

As an aside,

Brookwood Cemetary (once run by the above company who also organised trains from Waterloo) is well worth a visit.

Oh CEOPS, the book 'The Necropolis Railway' should also be banned. You know that children and pets are buried in cemetaries so according to the 'Protect the Children meme', any reference to this must really refer to necrophilia.

This is (As James May is often seen saying) a load of old cock!

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Big Brother

Re: False Choice

Hmm.

"excessive censorship."

Is there any other kind?

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Childcatcher

Re: codename "david cameron"

"Got any CP? (Cameron Porn)."

You want regular or hard core DC?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: False Choice

It's like the man with the red flag all over again. For the benefit of non-UK residents, this was a short-lived scheme set up in the 1860s to ensure a man with a red flag should proceed "road locomotives" for safety reasons.

This time, the government is desperate to censor the internet and exploit the national paedo hysteria in order to achieve this. But technology, as ever, is one step ahead of Cameron's Eton-reared brain. What a mess!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: London Necropolis Company

Well, Bing ain't censoring the search term "nabakov's lolita", which returns over 14,000 hits. Perhaps it should? I've put a modesty bag around my copy. You can never be too careful. Invite the neighbours around for a coffee, and the next minute while you're making it, they're browsing your bookshelves...

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Meh

"Microsoft is warning Brits who use its Bing search engine..."

That's not too many then, is it?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Microsoft is warning Brits who use its Bing search engine..."

So in the old tradition of twisting facts:

"Google Chrome: the search engine of choice for child abusers and pedophiles"

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Coat

Re: "Microsoft is warning Brits who use its Bing search engine..."

And in the best tradition of correcting the correction:

Google Chrome is a browser not a search engine.

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Trollface

Re: "Microsoft is warning Brits who use its Bing search engine..."

Don't be so picky, I'm sure the data ends up stored in the same place anyway.

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Joke

Re: "Microsoft is warning Brits who use its Bing search engine..."

Seeing as in Chrome you search from the url bar I will think you'll find Chrome offers a fully integrated peadoing experience so your're all wrong!

Google - the peado's choice™

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What next?

Covering up lads' mags in supermarkets?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What next?

http://metro.co.uk/2013/07/29/lads-mags-told-to-cover-up-or-vanish-3902146/

Of course, I'm sure you're being ironic, but for those that don't realise ... :)

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Silver badge

Re: What next?

Indeed it is

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2013/jul/29/co-op-lads-mags-ban-sale-censored

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h3
Bronze badge

Re: What next?

Don't see the difference between them and the womens ones like Cosmopolitan. (At least the covers anyway).

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Coat

Re: What next?

"Covering up lads' mags in supermarkets?"

Off-topic, I know, but I reckon their next edition should be "Burkha Special!"

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WTF?

Re: What next?

I assume we'll need to ban Men's Health too, far too many exposed nipples ?

Oh, male nipples are OK ?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What next?

With speech bubbles saying, "I'm naked under this!"

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What next?

Howsabout if you photoshopped an image of male nipples on to a woman's chest? Only partially guilty of downloading pron?

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Bronze badge

Hmm

Are these warnings there to try to prevent you from finding kiddy porn through Bing or to try to prevent you from finding out that you can't find kiddy porn through Bing and discovering what a waste of space CEOP, the IWF, Cameron and Perry are?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmm

The whole, daft exercise is to send Daily Mail and Sun readers off to the polling booths in about eighteen months from now with their little pencils firmly aimed at the Conservative candidate's box.

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Anonymous Coward

Bing Search

I caught my child watching porn what should I do?

You have searched for terms related to child abuse, you have now been reported to the local authorities who will be at your door in seconds, they will take away your children and throw you in jail for 6 months before you can plead innocent. When you return to your 'normal' life, you will have your house graffiti'd and vandalised, death threats will pour through your mail box and you won't be able to get a job anywhere. You sicken us

That about sums up what I think is going to happen.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bing Search

For the record, that search did not bring up the message. I had to try it just to see.

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The company debuted the pop-up message on Bing

Don't know about anybody else, but I have popups blocked in every browser I use...

;-)

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Black Helicopters

@Alister

Don't worry; it's only a matter of time. Then our "organisation for more security" (with many thanks to all the law abiding spam firms which donated heavily to our cause) will start our next campaign: force browsers to remove all those distracting pop-up blockers.

As you showed yourself they're only hindering decent websites from warning their visitors.

Sure I'm jesting; but how long before morons pick up on this as well?

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Popup blockers

This is probably not a popup in the traditional sense (as in a new discrete browser window), but a HTML floating div inserted dynamically over the page content. I've noticed a lot of sites doing this recently, presumably in response to the increasing numbers of people using popup blockers. Of course, disabling Javascript can reduce the incidence of this, but an increasing number of sites are circumventing this by simply not displaying anything at all without it.

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In this hot weather I've been parched but thats the last time I search for "delicious lolly" online.

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