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back to article Canadian teens cuffed over alleged Snapchat child sex pics ring

Ten Canadian teens face child pornography charges after allegedly trading explicit photos of young girls that they had surreptitiously saved from sexting-friendly photo-sharing service Snapchat. The boys, all aged 13 to 15, allegedly coerced the girls into sending pictures of themselves in sexual poses or performing sexual acts …

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Bronze badge

Timely, innit?

Just when the boss is doing the rounds of the broadsheets, raising brand-awareness among the wider public, trying to pump that VC buy-in / IPO potential... Gee, that doesn't stink one little bit.

Also: criminal prosecution of minors for sexual activity with other minors still isn't looking like very emotionally-mature behaviour to me. Which side of the bench need to grow up, wouldjatellme?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Timely, innit?

So for you rape is OK as long as it is performed by underage boys ? I do hope you are not a father or a brother of a teenage girl.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Timely, innit?

You didn't read the article did you? In any case why are the girls not being charged as well?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Timely, innit?

I would have thought a prosecution for harrassment rather than sexual activity would have been more appropriate.

"allegedly coerced the girls" - so surely this is the main offence without which none of the other stuff could have happened?

Coercion - I'd like to see the detail of how they define that too, or did someone mean persuasion or peer pressure? If it is genuine coercion with threats then fair enough, but if we are going to start prosecuting teenagers for using peer pressure against each other then it is only good news for lawyers.

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Bronze badge

Re: Timely, innit?

Sheesh ... Won't pretend I didn't expect that, but anyone got anything on my main point? I thought that was more discussion-worthy, the other bit is just ... sad.

[Though since you asked, @AC #1, no I have neither and ain't likely to, so relax. I just think it's rather sad how people will set the bar much higher for sexual responsibility/awareness/emotional maturity (call it what you will) yet merrily drop it as low as it suits them for criminal responsibility. I question the emotional maturity of "adults" who self-contradict in this manner.]

So, point A? Anyone? No?

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Child facing child pornography charges?

It is odd to let boys of same ages as the girls face charges like this. Since this is child on child, not adult against a child (that is illegal). While this might be something that parents need to discuss with there children. This is not a matter of law, cops and lawyers.

What I think happened is that someone got drunk with power and is now sending lawsuits to anyone with naked pictures of under-age girls, even if the person in question is an under-age boy or even a boyfriend of that girl.

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Re: Child facing child pornography charges?

It's only a crime when boys do it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Child facing child pornography charges?

I don't understand your position. Why youngsters should have a free ride on this ? Crime is crime that's all irrespective of age and besides that, those boys knew exactly what they were doing.

Are you by accident a parent of one of those bastards ?

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Anonymous Coward

@Combat Wombat - Re: Child facing child pornography charges?

Are you trying to imply that the girls forced those poor boys to do it ?

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Re: Child facing child pornography charges?

That's exactly the point, it isn't regardless of age. If they had all been adults, it wouldn't have been a crime. Shitty thing to do, but not criminal.

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Re: Child facing child pornography charges?

"That's exactly the point, it isn't regardless of age. If they had all been adults, it wouldn't have been a crime. Shitty thing to do, but not criminal."

Except that in more and more areas this sort of thing IS being made a crime when only adults are involved. It's acknowledging the wrongness of distributing naked images of somebody, without their permission, regardless of how they were obtained. Key word there: distribution. It's not (necessarily) about simple possession.

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Silver badge

Re: Child facing child pornography charges?

Actually, yes criminal. The law isn't "what I want it to mean" but "what smart people wrote down".

Not saying you're wrong (on the first part), but do you have any kind of citation for the claim that sharing nude pictures of an adult, which you received lawfully, and without intent to cause is a distress (but without permission) is a crime in Canada? I'm also gonna need at least two citations for the assertion that lawmakers are smart, that's what you call an extraordinary claim.

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Re: Child facing child pornography charges?

+1 for the extraordinary claim bit

And +1 for calling out my misunderstanding whilst half awake, my brain merged the thread with the Canadian Snapchat article. I've no idea what Canadians do, or why. The kids photos bit, yes, actually illegal AFAIK not necessarily adults.

Seeing as I can't +2, keep one in credit, ask me for it next time we meet.

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Re: @Combat Wombat - Child facing child pornography charges?@AC 03:22

>Are you trying to imply that the girls forced those poor boys to do it ?

The girls were the creators and original distributors.

Are you implying that secondary distributors of child porn or those who view it should be punished while the creators are not?

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Childcatcher

Re: Child facing child pornography charges?

"It is odd to let boys of same ages as the girls face charges like this. Since this is child on child, not adult against a child (that is illegal). While this might be something that parents need to discuss with there children. "

No. This is North America.

But you are correct. The girls are guilty of the mfg, possession and distribution of CP.

Because, you know, society must be protected blah blah.

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Silver badge

If we take the article at face value the boys were harassing the girls to take photos and trading them. They do need to be punished for what they have done but these laws don't seem like the appropriate way to do it, particularly given the stigma they carry. Harassment or even assault charges might be a suitable substitute in the mean time.

Most laws of this nature can't cope with people who are underage being sexually active with each other (not quite the same but I know of one place that the age of consent for boys was 16 but 17 for girls. If a boy on his 16th birthday kissed a girl who was older than him but by less than a year, he risked prosecution as a paedophile but I never heard of that happening) . They need to be rewritten to take account of this and could take a swipe at revenge sites while they're at it.

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Silver badge

The only way to protect the children is to make sure that boys and girls are totally separated upto the age of 18 with no allowed contact between them - then they can safely emerge as adults.

The system has worked very well for the UK ruling classes, and the current government.

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Paris Hilton

Good example of the way words can be twisted

This fits in every way the definition of child pornography. Except that when politicians suggest upending the way the whole Internet works in order to fight child porn, they probably don't have this kind of petty crime in mind.

That aside, the Snapchat claims seem completely bogus to me. Surely you can just snapshot a snapchat, and keep the picture forever…?

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Silver badge

Re: Good example of the way words can be twisted

Yes. Though apparently it will alert the sender if you use the standard screenshot feature. But anything sneaker than that and it offers no countermeasures at all.

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Child porn charges???

How is that justified? That will be on their criminal record despite them being the same age as the girls?

Whereas if they'd just actually, you know, had sex, then they'd just have had a quiet word about emotions and contraception.

Fucking stupid. Sure, what they did was wrong but child porn charges are totally inappropriate.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Child porn charges???

So you are saying that distributing images of children is not child porn?

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Silver badge

Re: Child porn charges???

"So you are saying that distributing images of children is not child porn?"

Hear that siren? That's the copsmobile rushing to arrest your mother for sending a naked pic of you aged 2 to your grampa...

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Unhappy

Re: Child porn charges???

"How is that justified? That will be on their criminal record despite them being the same age as the girls?"

Because it gets politicians votes?

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Re: Child porn charges???

I am pretty sure my mother never coerced me into performing sex acts before taking a picture to send to my grandparents.

As for all those who think it inappropriate to charge children with child porn, if they are doing this now, what are they going to be doing later in life? Also, laws are not just to punish, but also deter, and if some kids come to the realization that this is going to hurt if they get caught doing crap like this, then so much the better. The boys will not be harshly punished. They will spend some time in lockups and half way houses and their records will be sealed once they hit 18, assuming they aren't already there, so it wont be life destroying for them.

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Re: Child porn charges???

"if they are doing this now, what are they going to be doing later in life?"

Looking at girls their age like every other man? Guess what, there was a time when I was horny for 14 year old girls. That was WHEN I WAS 14! I've got older now so I don't. That is normal!

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FAIL

So if girls told boys to send them similar pics (and you KNOW boys have a higher chance of wanting to 'impress' the girls) - would identical charges be taking place here?

I think we all know the answer to this one.

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Silver badge

The boys would probably be getting done for creating child porn as well then.

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Protect children!

By declaring them criminals and branding them as paedophiles for the rest of their lives before they find out what the word means!

Why not? After all, it's a known fact that witches could be cured by drowning or burning at a stake.

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Gold badge
WTF?

So a group of 13-15 YO boys outsmart a $3Bn corporation. Unimpressive for the Corp.

Proving once again the near infinite power released by adolescent boys pursuit of pron.

BTW since when did Canada adopt the US legal system?

Did it do this wholesale or just the populist TOTC stuff?

I sort of thought that would have earned a few lines in the meja.

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Re: So a group of 13-15 YO boys outsmart a $3Bn corporation. Unimpressive for the Corp.

"BTW since when did Canada adopt the US legal system?"

Since Harper became Prime Minister.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So a group of 13-15 YO boys outsmart a $3Bn corporation. Unimpressive for the Corp.

It's not a $3B corporation.

It's more like $300k, even with the fantasy offer from the fantasists.

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Happy

"It's more like $300k, even with the fantasy offer from the fantasists."

In an honest world probably not even that...

But in this world Fapbook were ready to blow a $3Bn wad in cash (no paper-for-paper deals. The stuff with dead presidents on it).

Anyone whose read Joe Nesbo's novel "Headhunters" will know it's all about their reputation, in this case for not leaving recoverable photos on someones phone.

And their reputation for doing so is currently in the toilet.

Depending on how they recover from this could decide if their estimated value breaks $10Bn or they end up having to move back into their parents basements.

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Coat

Hi .. im in Laval where this happened. Indeed they been arrested and i hope those teens learn a lesson in jail , but this morning Toronto police and a bunch other constabulary forces nabbed over 350 people , docs , priests , pastors , teachers etc that were involved in a juvenile porn ring. This is a major problem , not only in Canada but all around the world. The IT angle ? Electronic surveillance : they did get these people using taps , and they did a job noone can argue about , used all means to catch these ( add unprintable comments here ) .. excuse me for callig them people. Ever since the NSA scandal broke into the open , we have asked for more privacy , more ways to steer clear of instances that do operate surveillance , but some of it , we must admit is good surveillance with positive impacts on our lives. The old " think of the children " applies here . I admit i am totally split on the issue because there's a lot of good , children were rescued in this nab , they been freed from horrible pedophiles. On the other hand .. there's people abusing their military power and financial advantages and make surveillance total and that is totally unacceptable . Maybe through laws voted by courageous politicians ( ..yeah..< gulp > ) we will find the right equilibrium between communications privacy and really needed public safety access to information. This is certainly ( those two cases ) an excellent example of why my wish for keeping communications private must be balanced with the greater interest of the community. I never thought i'd say this .. but i believe keeping the encryption to a level that can be broken by police forces have some advantages . In this case it saved lives , it put criminals in jail . What a week .. We won't get in Rob Ford .. i'd loose it . Have a great weekend .

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Silver badge

Yes if there is one group that should have complete unfettered access to all your communications it's Quebec's police and politicians.

I here they are currently investigating one of the senior officers under suspicions that he had no links to the mafia

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Unhappy

I wish I could share your enthusiasm for all those kids being rescued. But that's only one side of the story. The other side is never told by the government, and rarely told by the media. Using this story as a starting point, lets to to look a little past the emotive surface description at the scant facts provided and what you can infer from them.

1. The pictures in question were being sold as supposedly legal nudist videos. (We're not talking hardcore porn. Probably what they call "Level 1" in the UK.)

2. The producers were in Germany, Romania and Ukraine. (The people arrested were not producers, just customers.)

3. Police said the children were "rescued from child exploitation" but did not give more details. (Police have no evidence the children were actually being abused.)

4. Three-hundred eighty-five children were rescued. (385 children are terrified right now, after being taken from their homes and placed in foster care, or at best with extended family. Even if it turns out this was necessary, it's hardly a cause for celebration.)

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Anonymous Coward

Time for the courts and police to grow up beyond Puritanism

Being Naked does not mean the same thing as acting sexual to anyone who has matured beyond the confines of Puritanism.

However stupid they were to take "Selfies" of their bodies, the girls were not knowingly distributing child porn. The boys were "just boys being boys" as this father of two boys will tell you. Very Stupid Boys to be sure, but it does not seem that physical contact was involved.

This incident should not ruin the lives of these children simply to satisfy the Puritanic requirements of prudes and the so called "law".

The only child porn going on here is in the dirty little minds of the Lawyers and Police, who automatically connect "Naked" with "Porno".

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Anonymous Coward

My impression is that the "hack" was not a hack, it was just taking a screenshot.

The premise that an image transmitted over the internet can't be captured and saved is flawed.

All the children involved in this story seem to be "on the wrong track".

Perhaps a lack proper parenting, if they don't get some sort of behavior correction, they will not live productive adult lives.

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Anonymous Coward

Proper charges

I understand the position of those who think that the girls are also guilty of child porn, BUT...

I expect that if the girl had just sent her snap to one boy, and whether he kept it or not we wouldn't be seeing such charges. However, the boy receiving the photo then went on to distribute it.... here is where the problem lies. This is (I expect) why they are being charged so heavily. I expect they will end up pleading guilty to a lesser charge in the end.

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Silver badge

Re: Proper charges

Yes they are lucky they are only being tried as child-sex offenders.

If the copyright police got them - they would really be in trouble

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Proper charges

The trouble here would be one of "Zero Tolerance" and "Mandatory Minimum Sentences".

If you take any plea bargains, you will be named a Paedo for life and it is way too expensive to fight the courts at trial.

There are NO LESSER CHARGES! Thus you are ruined for life!

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Bronze badge

Game over.

If all of this madness goes through and the boys are convicted of a sex offense, in the US they will have to register as sex offenders wherever they live, there will be restrictions on where they live and any future employer is going to see the conviction as it will be a matter of public record. They may not be able to get into college or a trade school. Any job that would put them in contact with children is out. If they thought to be an attorney, they will be disqualified.

All of this and more for talking some girls into snapping a selfie. Were I so silver tongued way back when I was in school. I wonder how many of the girls ran off to the restrooms giggling with each other and added to the boy's portfolios without being coerced for a grand laugh. I'm not so old as to forget doing things before thinking that I later regret when I was younger. Some things I didn't regret, but society at large may frown on the activities.

This is a case of mass hysteria by the Mrs. Grundys of the world. All of the teens involved need to have a serious chat with their parents who issued them the smartphones in the first place. There is no need for the taxpayers to have to fund the salaries of cops and judges for what is a lapse of proper judgement. The girls in particular need a strong word or two.

I don't consider handing kids smartphones a good idea. I see enough of the populace wandering around with their attention focused on a little black box and completely disengaged with the real world. They can be useful tools, but most people use them as toys.

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Is Snapchat still worth 3Billion?

How many incidents like this must happen before Spiegel sees the light and accepts a 3 billion or less, offer for his company? More incidents like this and he'll start feeling like an idiot for not selling for 3 billion. Greed is only good when you can take the money and run. Waiting around for more money may be proven to have been a very bad idea for Spiegel.

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Silver badge

Safe. Well maybe not.

I wonder if Snapchat itself will be targeted by the lawyers of all the teens involved - both boys and girls - for the security of the service being grossly inferior to what it was touted as being and for claiming to provide a safe venue for this kind of activity - thereby setting itself up as an enabling agent..

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