This whole case proves 2 things,
1) The law defining indecent images is wrong.
2) Having a shadowy, unaccountable, unelected, undemocratic organisation act as judge, jury and through ISPs automated systems, executioner, is also wrong.
UK e-tailers are scrambling to remove images of the Scorpions Virgin Killer album which led the Internet Watch Foundation to ban much of Wikipedia yesterday. The IWF claimed the article, and artwork, on Wikipedia were child pornography and added the URL to its banned list distributed to most UK Internet Service Providers. But …
The IWF claims to act in "good faith" yet didn't expect to be challenged why it hasn't addressed the issue of the album cover with other retailers?
(I would say Jesus H Christ but I'm trying to stop blaspheming. And failng)
Rather than stick an "Offensive image" caption, surely the caption ought to read "Offensive in the view of the IWF" - the IWF itself, although trying to be noble in its intention, has gone overboard and now its methodology and accountability should be highlighted, questioned and challenged.
Because of its heavy handedness it has caused much publicity for The Scorpions but also for its methodology and, in this case, ignorance. It should have approached this far more sensitively. It hasn't and now must bear judgement on its modus operandi.
Begs one question: if my local rock dj has this album with this cover, is he breaking the law? Is anyone who owns this album with this cover breaking the law?
The IWF spokesperson claimed that they police had advised them that the image was illegal. How would they know?
Also, she kept calling it a depiction of 'child sexual abuse' which seems disingenuous, unless sex has changed since I last had it.
I expect she's gone off now to abuse a paediatrician...
to bring to my attention a band that I have never heard of, an album I have never heard of and an album cover I have never seen before....
I am only 52.
Mine's the dirty mac (new) with the newly acquired Scorpion, Blind Faith CD's and Nan Goldin photo album in the pocket.
Best course of action, flood them with complaints, get most of the top sites blocked and perhaps common sense will return so we can go back to normal.
If no one has yet complained about the amazon.com image then perhaps I'll go do it later and see how long before they block it. I don't object to the image as such, I just object to the fact that they're inconsistent in how they apply their bans (I suspect the lawyer comment in the article is a bit too accurate).
"We have now received several complaints about the image that was blocked at the weekend being hosted on Amazon..."
I'm not defending this image or anything, but you've got to love these people, don't you think? Yesterday, nobody batted an eyelid about this particular image. Today, lots of people felt the compulsion to actively hunt for it just so they could then complain! That's exactly what bloody Mary Whitehouse used to do.
It reminds me of a TV program I saw years ago about some council dept dealing with neighbour disputes. Some woman complained the chap next door was sunbathing in the nude in his garden. When the council chap went to investigate, he found that he had to crawl behind her shed and stand on a box in order to see next door's garden!!
Well, in that case the IWF should also ban: New York Times, Washington Post, BBC, Le Monde, Pravda, and every other "proper" newspaper out there. They have all published a picture of a prebuscent stark naked girl running at the camera more than once.
This one: http://www.peace.ca/kimstory.htm
It also has a Pulitzer prise so their website should be banned as well.
Looks like a nakkid kiddie to me. So the lot should be all banned.
If they are still displaying the image then, since they are not UK based, IWF cannot issue a "take-down" notice and instead must add the relevant page(s) to the block lists that ISPs use. However, since one of the feature of Amazon pages is the "you may also be intersted in" or "people who bought this also looked at" sections then its possible for this "potentially illegal" image to appear on any page coming from amazon.com thus the "safe" option has to be to block amazon.com in totallity.
I suspect that the sale of this particular album is going to go through the roof - if only for the cover. It will now, more than likely, become a collectors item.
I was going to suggest that it may be a clever marketing ploy to increase the sales of otherwise crap music but having just listened to some snippets of the album it's not too bad.
Marketing, don't you just love them?
Of course it's exactly this sort of chilling effect that makes the IWF system wrong. There are no clear criteria for what's illegal. The IWF go about their work in secret, yet they can potentially devastate someone's business and they are completely unaccountable for their actions.
If we are going to have censorship, then it needs to be moved out into the open, and performed by an accountable public body.
Meanwhile, sign the pledge: http://www.pledgebank.com/boycottcensors
If i read the article right, it states that much of wikipedia is banned which is incorrect.
only two of the several means of accessing the image/entry are banned- and return error messages/blank pages.
yesterday's article had this right.
apart from the censorship of our internets, the problem is that now all traffic from those isps to wikipedia is via a selection of proxies that do not forward real ips. leading to millions of hits, and edit attempts, from millions of users, originating from 6 ips, which is impossible to police.
while this was made clear yesterday, it may be helpful if something of the consequences of the IWF/ISP method is mentioned in followup articles too, because it will have effects on even those that DO object to the image and want it to be censored.
yes. all three of them. and jacqui smith.
another reason religious types should be banned from voting....mentally deficient in the case of anything requiring brains or sense *rolls eyes*
The law is an ass, used in this case to scare people into keeping quiet for fear of being branded a "PEEDO" or a "PEEDO-LUVVER" (sic)
then again if they do block amazon.com....maybe bush will use his nuke card on us, then we can all sing "its christmas at ground zero" by weird al :)
My eminently sensible suggestion is that anyone who wants to apply for a job with the IWF is the sort of reactionary Daily Mail 'just think of the children' busybody who should be banned from such a responsible position. The one who slimed his way on to Channel 4 last night - well he's the sort of creep that my mum used to warn me about.
The only people getting aroused by this album are the likes of Jacqui Smith who even now is probably writhing in ecstasy at the prospect of lots more stuff getting banned soon.
Yeah I know, I've put the thought of an aroused Jacqui Smith in your mind now...
but, seeing as how you can get *someone somewhere* to beat off to virtually every image there is, (maybe ban pictures of Ferraris thanks to Clarkson's love of them) its probably best to ban all internet images.
These "pictures" and "drawings" are obviously the work of sick minds.
I can't, for obvious reasons, select the Paris icon 'cos someone might jerk off to it, therefore making it pron.
I can't, for obvious reasons, select the penguin icon 'cos someone might jerk off to it, therefore making it beastiality pron.
I can't, for obvious reasons, select the Thumbs up or Thumbs down icon, because they are obviously an incitement to masterbation.
I can't use the Man The Pumps icon because. Well. Obvious really.
I can't use a Billy Or Jobsie icon because.. well that would be extreme pron.
I can't use the skull and crossbones due to the necrophilia connotations.
I can't use the "stop" or "go" icons 'cos that's what girls tell you when you whisper your fantasies in their ear - so they re obviously closely related to onaistic pleasures.
I can't use the smily face - that person is obviously thinking about the last time they had sex, so that image is pornographic. I can't use the unhappy face because thats obviously the fissog of a sadist. I obviously can't use an icon that would suggest I love the author because that would be encouraging sex.
I can't go on. Someone hand me my coat. Its a long dark coat and its all i've got to wear.
The Victorian age is dead, says you? Ha! Says I that it indeed is alive and well, sir! Ladies and gentlemen of all classes and backgrounds may now rejoice (well not rejoice as this is unseemly) and go back to being sober and sensible after our decades of excess and depravity!! All praise to the good lady smith and her cohorts for their vigilence (Beware! Be Vigilent! Behave!) and good taste! Time to hack of the David statue's unmentionable and all those obscence lady parts of those vile Greek statues! All that supposed 'art' showing vulgar images of a...a...ahem..intimate..nature of parts of the body which are best left hidden!
This is a fine beginning! Let us welcome the new Victorian age!
The solution to this problem is easy with my simple 16 point plan
1. Gain access to everyone's web browsing and emailing habits - achieved by creating an environment which encourages ISP's to install up illegal snooping boxes funded through advertising revenue.
2. Ban the 60% of mobile phone subscriptions which are on anonymous prepay and force registration with ID cards (deal with anonymous foreign roamers one day in the distant future)
3. Feed intercepted phone, email, and web browsing records in to mega database
4. Issue ID cards to all citizens and use to join up NHS, Tax, DVLA, insurance and Social Services records. Feed in to the mega d-base and fund from selling this information to 'approved' private companies
5. Publicise the irrefutable link between terrorism and pedophilia to enable wider use of draconian terrorism, pedo and porn legislation
6. Make 'extreme sex' illegal - ensure that definitions are loose enough to catch just about anyone under terrorism, pedo and porn legislation
7. Designate all clubs using exotic dancers as 'sexual encounter clubs' (Roll in to 'extreme sex' legislation later)
8. Connect up all CCTV cameras, use face and number plate recognition and feed in to mega database.
9. Grant access to citizens private records to all police, social services, teachers, council employees, health workers, government employees and their associates / contractors / illegal immigrant cleaners. Just to be sure that everyone is watching everyone else and everyone comes in contact with an 'informant' to ensure a robust internal intelligence gathering infrastructure.
10. Enact legislation to hold 'terror suspects' for 42 days without charge (extend later)
11. Collect the DNA records of all citizens (just to ensure no discrimination) and feed in to mega database while 'considering' the judgement of European Court
12. Make full use of anti terror legislation to allow local councils to undertake surveillance of any citizen on the pretext of school zoning, dog fouling, fly tipping or leaving your rubbish bin lid open / more than 1 meter from the kerb.
13. Appoint secretive judge/jury/executioner panels to be the self appointed moral compass for the nation to determine who is a terrorist/pedo. Ratchet down the threshold until all citizens can be captured.
14. Remove the last remaining powers of the House of Lords to ensure legislation can be enacted unopposed
15. Arrest opposition MPs
16. Depose the Royal Family and Crown Jacqui Smith "Supreme Overlord"
It would actually be funny if it wasn't true.
Maybe we can turn this to our advantage.
How about submitting these depictions to the IWF of men lusting after school age children.
Although no images are available on Wiki. I'm sure the actual film images available on Youtube et al. would have the IWF frothing at the mouth.
At the same time we can reduce the number of Christmas repeats by forcing the BBC to not show them. If the IWF have banned them then how can BBC show them. Sorted..
Now if only I could get Chitty Chitty Bang Bang banned. Let's think...
Environmentally unfriendly flying car - tick
Children - tick
Adults abusing children by locking them up - tick
Weird bloke who sniffs children - BINGO!
So, you saw John Carr on Channel 4 too eh?
When he appeared with his arguments on UKCrypto some years ago, he found he couldn't argue against many of the people there and so took away his ball to play with it elsewhere.
Now he's in some nice cushy pro-child charity, and they get tax breaks for this stuff!
Hypothetically, since a lot of wikipedia's traffic now comes spoofed from the ISP; wouldn't it be really easy for a real paedophile to go and post some indecent images on the site and never get found? How has the action of the IWF helped in any way apart from to shape our narrow mindedness in to no mindedness?
Political correctness has more of an opinion about what's right and wrong in the west than the actual people who live there! We're too busy getting the next round in at the pub. On a major note though, the Internet is all about freedom of information; now wikipedia (and lots of uni students :( ) are suffering because of some dictator like clowns acting on behalf of my safety.
Paris because: she looks about as old as the kid on the album art thanks to make-up
Dammit - I posted my comment on the wrong page !
I accidentally put it on http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/12/09/iwf_wikipedia_ban/
It was meant to be here...
The idea behind the IWF is fine (in theory) but the trouble is in the implementation. This album cover can be viewed on many sites - should every single URL be blocked ? If the IWF were to apply their criteria properly then yes.
This would mean blocking Google, Yahoo, Amazon and most search engines that display images - as well as blocking specific pages from other sites (eg a certain site that has this album as #1 worst cover of all time !).
Blocking the Wiki page has had VERY unintended side effects - inability for UK editors to amend pages - what might happen if Google / Yahoo pages were blocked ?
Also we have the issue of only some ISPs being blocked as others appear not to be signed up to the IWF's list.
The attempt to ban the image from the UK , while fine in principle, has not worked. Nor can it work without banning the sites mentioned above by all ISPs. Without too much effort I could probably find 100 unique pages with the album cover on it - there are probably many hundreds - ban them all ?
The idea of "ban a page if it might possibly be dodgy" is ill thought out. Don't get me wrong - the basic idea of the IWF seems fine - but in this case it seems it cannot possibly ban all pages that contain this image. Therefore it should ban none.
Did I go and have a look at the image ? Yes.
Does this make me a criminal now ? I really don't know - that might depend on which site I saw it on, which ISP I happened to use, whether I use a proxy server etc. It seems woefully messed up.
What did I think of the image ? Pretty tasteless - even for heavy rock 30 years ago in Germany !
Back in the eighties Tipper Gore and the PMRC managed to nag the US government and record labels until they finally got those silly "May contain explicit lyrics!" stickers on any half decent album.
Net result, every band deliberately put an f-word in their music just so they would have to have a sticker on their CD, because the bands and record company knew that any album with a silly PMRC sticker on the front would sell X amount more than one without! It completely backfired on those PMRC knobs!
Let's just see if that comes about, this time around!
While we're at it, can we ban Scorpion's Blackout as well, I might come home one day and find my kids are trying ram forks into their eyes.
Let's ban Celtic Frost's Emperor's Return, I might find people trying to dress up in S&M gear while attracting the attention of large green monsters!
Ban anything by Girls Aloud and the Pussycat Dolls, the covers I can handle, it's the "music" that's just utter, putrid shite!
I seem to remember a lot of naked children being portrayed in National Geographic and in documentaries of Africa. Even the film Powaqqatsi by Godfrey Reggio has a young African boy splashing through water, tiny penis bobbing in time to the Philip Glass score.
Surely a case for a ban! A good old-fashioned book and film burnin'!
Unless, of course, we're just protecting the white children?
Or is it more that digital media is being discriminated against, whereas 'old' media is given a free pass.
.. was the Polish movie 'The Crows' which has several scenes of childhood nudity. I saw it earlier this year at the '81/2' film festival Nairn that Tilda Swinton organised and which every highbrow newspaper website covered, surrounded by an audience of enrapt kids and pensioners. It is about a nine year old girl who kidnaps a three year old girl to be her mother because there is no love in her life. I'm sure anyone who wasn't left in angst about the passage of life by the end was fumbling in their pants at the back. Maybe more to Max Mosleys tastes would be the movie 'Shoah', the longer version clearly shows underage girls stripping just before they enter the gas-chambers.
What could be hotter than the footage of third world peasant girls covered in napalm?
I think this story is a symptom of a deeper malaise, British and US hangups about nudity and sexuality that have been lampooned for a long time in saner societies but it is no joke now. We could fly to the land of the sauna, where everyone happily sweats nude in mixed groups including mixed age-groups, and we'd learn learn something too since Finland has a lower level of child-abuse than we do.
"research has now been produced that the female in the picture was 16 when the picture was taken that makes her of the age of consent so not kiddie porn at all"
a) in terms of porn, she has to be 18 now (regardless of what the law was at the time). Age of consent relates to having sex, not appearing naked in a photo.
b) UK porn law now also forbids images of anyone who is portrayed to be younger than the legal age even if they are above it, as well as artwork/cartoons and computer generated images that are supposed to be of children.
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