back to article Anti-paedophile group targets child abuse sites

The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) has called for international cooperation to tackle a core of 2,755 foreign-hosted abuse sites that it says are responsible for the majority of images of children obtained by UK paedophiles. In its annual report, released today, the consortium of ISPs and content providers argues that the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looks like they're including non nudes

    Reading their report, the lowest level they consider abuse doesn't mention 'nudity' as a requirement which makes me think they're including non nude child sites.

    In which case the longevity problem is due to the lack of illegality. Difficult to remove sites that aren't illegal in most countries.

  2. Jamie

    Have you seen some of the evidence???

    They have used evidence to file charges againt people according to some papers such as one in Reading where a person was charged for having indecent images of children. The pictures where in his cache from a site where he was trying to get his daughter into modelling. It is a recognized international site and not on any other watch lists.

    Problem is some of these organizations lose all sight of reality in persuit of illegal activities.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    But, but... Think of the children!

    Um, or maybe for some people, stop thinking of the children, alright?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Jamie

    Other one got busted because somebody mixed up IP records at ISP. So at least 2 innocent ones out of 7. Keep going Police!!!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    If I understand, they seem to be requesting a DDOS attacks against these servers? Using crime to fight crime really doesn't lead to just outcomes. there are also a couple of points to bear in mind:

    1) The sites may not be illigal in the contries of origin

    2) The servers could be hosting legit sites as well as illigal ones

    3) Samantha Fox, age 16, goes topless in the Sun, this would be considered illigal in many contries, some may argue that we should shut down the Sun's web site, but I can't help thinking there may also be a few who don't...

    4) If these sites are taken down, they will appear somewhere else and it'll take a while to find them.

    This in no way means that I think we shoulnd't get the bastards that run sites which host child abuse.

  6. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Good idea

    Why are people trying to pick out technical problems with this idea? I would be deighted to read about denial of service attacks on these sites and hope a group gets set up to do this. Would most botnet owners be interested? I think - I hope - the majority would be up for it. We might hate spam and disapprove of spammers but even your hardened spammer has principles when it comes down to it...

  8. Anonymous Coward


    It makes by bloody boil. Always, always, always it's the paedophiles fault !!!

    Why oh why does nobody ever blame the sexy children ??

    (ducks, and presses AC button)

  9. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Down


    "Samantha Fox, age 16, goes topless in the Sun, this would be considered illigal in many contries"

    Including in the UK.

    Under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 the definition of "child" in "child pornography" (ie indecent images of children) was reduced from 18 to 16, thus suddenly rendering a whole load of images illegal overnight.

  10. michael

    not going to happen

    this is a real pie in the sky effort it just will not happen

    there multipul reasions that I just will not go into here

  11. pastamasta


    Pedantry alert...

    ...if the definition of "child" had indeed been reduced from 18 to 16, it would have rendered a whole load of previously illegal images (e.g. those of 17 year-olds) suddenly legal overnight. The 2003 Act in fact raised the defined age from 16 to 18.

    My coat is already on and I am beating a hasty retreat from the pub.

  12. Ambi Valent
    Black Helicopters

    Lets get these bastards

    I also feel we should DDoS the paedophiles servers out of the internet for good and plant root-kits in them so when they come back again we can do it again and again....

    Probably Script kiddies have found their use finally......deface the sites and put a nice picture saying "We care for the kids"

    Ok take cover here comes a flood of packets.........

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Won't work

    Won't work. All that will happen is that this stuff will go onto encrypted and anonymous services like freenet.

    Which is a damn shame, because freenet is a wonderful idea that I now feel I can't participate in due to the prevalence of child (and other abusive) porn.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    16 to 18?

    So let me get this straight, its okay for a "child" of 16 to have sex, but if you take a photo with her consent of your girlfriend, you could get locked up and put on the sex offenders register?

    Are they totally fucking stupid... oh sorry that is a dumb question...

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Undue Interest ??

    I continue to be impressed by the enormous energy spent by some of these moral campaigners in pursuit of their particular hobyhorse. Surely most 'normal' people - while opposing abuse - would not go out of their way to seek it out?.

  16. James

    Slow starters...

    EHAP (Ethical Hackers Against Pedophilia) have been quietly fighting the legal battles for years, whilst even quieter hmmm 'grey' hackers and crackers were strong in assisting EHAP's cause in the late 90's/early 00's (in their own 'grey' way).

    You (generally speaking) probably wouldn't believe it, but the issues with Pedophilia and the Internet were far more prevalent a decade ago to that which it is now.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Undue Interest

    Did you not catch the sponsors page? It's another nice little earner, but only as long as it's a big problem.

    They say there's 2000+ commercial sites, which is odd because there's less than 1000 or so commercial *adult* porn producing companies online. The rest being affilates, and the payment mechanisms have already been tackled so nobody could buy it with anything but a direct bank transfer or cash.

    Then they talk about 5 categories and don't mention how many are in the worst category, but the least category doesn't mention even nudity as a requirement for being included. Then they talk about an abuser who was caught (not by them).

    So it looks like they're talking up the problem. But then the NSPCC makes a fortune helping, erm no, well protecting, erm, no, you know I'm not sure what the NSPCC does, a quick look on their website says they lobby for changes in the law, and attitudes... so basically politics. Bet you thought they save children from abuse, but that's the police's job.

  18. Pete James

    I've been working on a cocktail called ground for divorce....

    I'm continually disappointed by these calls to arms made by people who really should know better. It's bad enough the likes of the Daily Fascist - sorry, Mail - should describe the web as a Wild West without others giving them more ammunition. Trying to round up some sort of rag-tag bunch of part-time sherrifs as a web-posse will do nothing to curb the menace of peadophiles; however it will hamper legitimate attempts to catch those involved in such a vile trade.

  19. Jamie

    I have to agree with some of the comments

    Yes we need to stop it.

    Problem though is that once you have been questioned on something whether you are charged or not does not matter your life if ruined. As with the person in Reading he has stated that he has lost his job and everything.

    There was a couple back in the 90's who had a daycare centre in the US (California I believe). Parents and cops asked open ended questions to children to get the answers they wanted. Charged the couple, who lost everything, and the judge threw it out when he asked the children and then heard the truth.

    Just a couple of years ago a bum in Florida spent 18 months in jail for supposedly trying to fiddle two girls 12 and 13 years old. Turns out they made up the story so they would not get in trouble for being late back to school from lunch.

    Problem is people cannot find a happy center it has to be to one extreme or the other. You get drunk one evening and decide to urinate in public, depending on the country (US, and Canada not sure of the UK) and the police you can be charged and order put on the sex offender registry. Your life is shot down the crapper becuase you had to have a wii.

  20. Tim


    What makes this group think they can handle this problem any better than the police from the various countries involved, and who put them in charge?

    If you go out kneecapping sex offenders you'll wind up in jail, if you illegally hack their sights you will too.

    These people are actually worse that sex offenders, they break rules and promote it to get others too. Atleast Paedos give out free sweets, what positive things have these people ever done?

  21. Anonymous Coward

    Sick of it all

    Sick of witch-hunts and sick of these charities and their bullying sensationalist bullshit.

    NSPCC are the worst chuggers out there. Tell 'em you're giving 'em nowt and they try to make you feel personally responsible for these molestations.

    Fuck 'em.

  22. Andy Bright
    Thumb Down

    I think we already got this one covered

    We already have a government backed initiative to handle this one, in fact most countries do. It's called The Police, and backed by billions in funding. No it doesn't catch them all, but I feel it does a better job than some charity and a bunch of script kiddies would.

    Injustices? Yes plenty of those too, including hundreds who've had their credit card details stolen and found themselves on the receiving end of dawn raids across Britain and the US. The Police never were perfect unfortunately.

    But I fail to see how an organisation that takes no consideration of local culture and laws, but in a rather American manner decides to impose their own can be better than the organised law enforcement we already have. The Police are quite dedicated to the task too I think you'll find, have excellent methods of searching out paedophiles and the results are usually more pleasing.

    Rather than shutting down a bunch of websites, prison seems to be a much better way of dealing with things. It's a karmic thing really, kiddie fiddlers gang raped and tortured warms my cockles somewhat more than taking away their internet.

    Look we have no right to say that consensual sex at puberty is wrong if the culture we're interfering with says its okay. What we do have a right to do is stop that and worse in our own country, where we are entitled to say its wrong.

    As for Child Protection Services the world over. They are usually worse than the people they take kids from. They certainly have no regard for children, and while none of us would disagree with removing kids from sexually or violently abusive parents, this is hardly the reason 99% of children are ripped from their homes.

    Tell me a single parent that was forced to leave her kid in a car while working nights is worse than ripping a child away from his family, and placing them somewhere where they will suffer all the kinds of abuses we cringe about. Tell me that literally destroying that child's possibility of a decent education because of mental trauma is worse than playing with his toys by himself for a few hours.

    Yes we'd love to say "get child care, a baby sitter or a relative" but usually these people are estranged from family, can barely afford to feed and clothe their kids, certainly can't afford over night child care and are usually refused the services they're entitled to by judgmental people working in social services.

    Those are the people I'd love to see prosecuted, along with the CPS employees who negligently place children with foster parents that have had no background checks and are not inspected for abuse.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nasty Goings On ... Can Anyone Join In?

    Before the advent of the internet, HM (British) Customs. (Now 'Revenue & Customs'). Boasted one of the largest collections of pornography in the world. Their star is now dimmed. It was only a matter of time before a new organisation appeared to save us from ourselves.

  24. R Callan


    Oh dear, all of those class photos and sports day day photos from primary school are now illegal. I'd better destroy all I possess quickly, and bring charges brought against all of the school staff that organised the photos in the first place as being paedophiles.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    wait a sec

    a lot of you guys seem to be complaining about poor old innocent moms who have registered their daughters for modelling sites and got stuff in their cache, or other such innocent mistakes.

    but what about all the poor young innocent 5 yearolds who have their uncles cocks in their mouths? surely anything that cracks down on this is a good thing?

    ofcourse yes they will probably cock it up (no pun intended).

    @Andy Bright

    great comments

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You have to have balls

    to hunt them down even finding them by accident will get you branded a pedophile it's no wonder they are not getting much help. I don't ever want to see any kiddie porn it's like detecting a root kit only much much worse. Sorry, I hate to be so craven but society wills it to be thus.

  27. James

    @ Andy Bright

    "We already have a government backed initiative to handle this one, in fact most countries do. It's called The Police, and backed by billions in funding. No it doesn't catch them all, but I feel it does a better job than some charity and a bunch of script kiddies would."

    Ah the Police. The Police who didn't even have a 'cyber crime' unit (let alone division!) when the 'charities and script kiddies' were already tackling child pornography crimes globally. They started on the back foot, they won't recover.

    "Rather than shutting down a bunch of websites, prison seems to be a much better way of dealing with things"

    I agree but it takes time, usually involves a very small proportion of the people that are actually accessing the child pornography, and by the time one is prosecuted, there's 100 more to catch. I do not disagree with jail time for the offenders, but you have to attempt to stem the flow too.

    "Look we have no right to say that consensual sex at puberty is wrong if the culture we're interfering with says its okay. What we do have a right to do is stop that and worse in our own country, where we are entitled to say its wrong."

    The situation is a hell of a lot more complicated than you'd think. It would be wonderful if the world was black and white, wouldn't it?

    That last statement of yours I have quoted above is worthy of a few hundred pages of comment as it is, but I'll just ask you to consider this...

    The Sun, most read newspaper in London has allowed a number of times for women to pose topless on Page three the day they turned 16. Who's misleading who?

  28. Paul Talbot

    re: wait a sec

    Pretty sure this was a troll attempt but just in case:

    "but what about all the poor young innocent 5 yearolds who have their uncles cocks in their mouths? surely anything that cracks down on this is a good thing?"

    That's the problem. Internet legislation and prosecution will do nothing to stop that kind of thing happening. Most child abuse happens at the hands of family and friends, not the random stranger boogeyman that's plastered on the front pages. You might stop this hypothetical uncle from sharing his exploits but it won't save the girl.

  29. The man not from delmonte
    Thumb Up

    My experience with the IWF

    I have been involved to an extent with the IWF before. I was spammed with a link to an appalling website showing some horrendous images of child abuse. I reported it to the IWF who immediately passed on the report to the correct authorities that were responsible for the countries involved. The website was gone within days.

    Has anyone actually read the report? The exact quote is "During 2007, the IWF processed 34,871 reports which resulted in 2755 top level domains with child sexual abuse content being assess, confirmed as potentially illegal, traced and the appropriate intelligence being disseminated accordingly"

    Although the use of the TLD phrase is technically wrong, they are essentially excluding subdomains from counting as an extra number. 2204 of the 2755 were classified as websites which people were making money (hence commercial). This does not mean 2204 separate people trying to make money though.

    Whilst it may be correct that category 1 does not specifically mention nudity, it does not exclude it. The table comes from page 109 of the following, and is an official legal guideline document, not something exclusive to the IWF:

    From this document I understand that "no sexual activity" simply means that there is no physical contact with another person.

  30. Jon Ellis

    Logic error?

    How do these people go about FINDING these websites?

    Presumably they must visit them, and by visiting the websites, they would likely have cached pictures on their computers, and therefore potentially be charged for posessing indecent images of children...

  31. JC

    The good, the bad, and the ugly.

    It's good we have groups that are more concerned or at least putting more time in besides the ineffective governments.

    It's bad we have self-appointed watchdogs who may not be logical or even mentally stable attacking potentially innocent citizens.

    It's ugly that we have people doing this at all, we should post a sign in their front yard making them paranoid and giving neighbors the warning, let the chips fall where they may.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Get over yourselves, people.

    The IWF uses Internet-savvy people to help identify who's behind the kiddie porn, and turns the information over to authorities to get it fixed.

    In any case I've ever heard of people DOSing or DDOSing a kiddie porn site (which the IWF as far as I know does not condone let alone sponsor), it was because it was in a country where the police couldn't do anything to stop it. Some places are just not under the type of strict rule-of-law that we in the "Western world" take for granted.

    There are far too few police in the world to catch all the criminals without civilians willing to report the crimes to the police. There always have been and there always will be. That the IWF wants more people to help them help the police find these people is a good thing, and is not a call to vigilantism.

  33. Nick Askew

    Perhaps a great (fire)wall of Europe would not be so bad

    Clearly the idea that the governments of Europe could sensor what we see on the internet apalls a great number of people. I would argue that in other areas this is accepted, television, radio, and printed materials are already subject to controls.

    Still I would have no problem with the idea that a site that is (deliberately) hosting a virus or hosting a phishing site might suddenly find itself blocked from European eyes. Perhaps this could be a little more flexible than the Chinese equivalent with a public list of blocked sites, the reason for the block, and the option to circumvent the block if you are prepared to take the risk that your IP will be logged.

    We could extend this to cover any illegal form of pornography, sites that promote terrorism, and I'm sure people will think of many more categories for the sensor. I know, this is still censorship and could lead to some governments censoring political viewpoints they disagree with but, as long as you have the option of circumventing the block, those that really want to see the content still can.

    I'll get my coat!!

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