back to article Irish cop child abuse image plan attracts data protection ire

An initiative to combat child abuse images by the Irish Police has fallen foul of the Data Protection Commissioner. The plan by An Garda Siochana was intended to reduce the availability of child abuse material online, but has been referred to the Irish Data Protection Commissioner on the grounds that it raises significant …


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  1. Inachu
    IT Angle

    Stop the culture of pedophilia now!

    Then maybe it would not be so pervasive online!

    Songs like "Into the night" by Benny Mardones

    Shes just 16 years old....leave her alone they say.....

  2. Anonymous Coward

    So what

    Dear police, please break any law in the world if it prevents a child becoming victim of sexual abuse.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      re: So what

      I really hope you're being ironic so I don't have to post again explaining how wrong and stupid you are.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        please do explain

        I am fascinated to see how you will justify sexual crimes against children in order to protect an IP address. Personally I would be more than happy if police shot dead someone about to sexually abuse or take part in the sexual abuse of a child.

        Maybe I am weird like that.

        1. Gilbert Wham

          Yes, yes you are.

          There's a thing called 'due process', which includes something called 'trial by jury', where things called 'evidence' are presented, for the perusal of the presiding judge and the assembled jurors. It's been around for a while now, so one assumes that it's generally though of as a 'good thing'.

          Whereas giving police carte blanche to shoot people because they suspect they may be about to do, or may have done, something reprehensible comes under the heading of 'a fucking stupid idea'.

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    2. PhilDin

      Some crimes are so heinous...

      that even people who haven't comitted them need to be locked up!

    3. Amazon Wageslave

      unintended consequences are a bitch...

      AC, clearly thinking isn't your strong suit. Decisions have unintended consequences: in the 80s and 90s there was a wave of "Satanic Ritual Abuse" cases. Children were taken from their parents on the basis of extremely flimsy "evidence" of abuse. So what I hear you say? Better the social workers erred on the side of caution, "if it saves one child..."

      Well here's the thing. At least one of those children was abused by a medical professional while IN CARE. That's right, a decision made in the child's best interests ultimately harmed them.

    4. Anonymous Coward

      @So what

      Dear Police,

      I have a grudge against^W^W^W, sorry, I meant "information that" the Anonymous Coward who Posted on Wednesday 30th March 2011 13:12 GMT is in possession of Child Pornography.

      Please break down his door, seize his computer, take his children into care and tell all his neighbours and work colleagues that he's been arrested for being a kiddy fiddler.

      Don't worry about Presumption of Innocence or Due Process of Law or that you'll be destroying his marriage, career and any other such things, I've been told that it's ok if it prevents a child becoming a victim of sexual abuse.

      Yours Sincerely,

      Another Anonymous Coward

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother


    So you would rather have hundreds of innocent adults persecuted without any valid reason, so you can fell like the police state as protected a child?

    Seriously, you need to get your priority strait. Having a father of 2 put in jail for taking a picture of his 6 months old dauther in the tub isn't saving kids from pedos.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      not quite

      but I wouldn't be to upset about someone's privacy being breached if it stopped them committing a sexual crime against a child.

      1. Wayland Sothcott 1 Bronze badge
        Thumb Down

        That may be the intention

        but you don't know if it's actually prevented child abuse. You can claim it has. Think of all the work we did and money we made out of Y2K, nothing bad happened because we prevented it, yeah right.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      you are making some assumptions

      "So you would rather have hundreds of innocent adults persecuted without any valid reason"


      "Having a father of 2 put in jail for taking a picture of his 6 months old dauther in the tub isn't saving kids from pedos"

      I agree.

  4. Owen Carter


    Are we talking about the HTTP Referrer here? Or a longer list?

    - If so who defines how far back such a history must go...


    @Inachu: 'Younger is better' is certainly a sentiment shouted long and loud by those who want to sell us stuff, or get us to read their papers. It's a message that has probably provided succour to many a paedophile in their rare moments of guilt.

  5. Winkypop Silver badge

    Oh the Police want to block the interwebs now.

    What on earth could go wrong?

  6. Snake Plissken

    Won't somebody think of the children?

    Even though that is what got them in trouble in the first place...

  7. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    First 'extra' site blocked

  8. Christoph Silver badge

    The usual obvious problem

    As soon as this was live there would be loads of faked links directing people to those blocked sites while they thought they were going somewhere innocent.

  9. Steve Brooks

    pre-emptive crime control

    "Personally I would be more than happy if police shot dead someone about to sexually abuse or take part in the sexual abuse of a child." Yes, just like backpackers who are about to blow up trains, if we kill them before they commit a crime then no crimes will ever be committed. So lets give the police permission to shoot potential paedophiles on sight. The brazilian death squads had it right when they started going around shooting all the homeless youth, nasty potential criminals!

  10. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Did anyone else read that headline and think

    So *who* is this Irish cop and how are they planning to hang on to all these images (and of course for what purpose)?

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      1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

        Prior Art

        Isn't that a sub plot in one of Tom Sharpe's books, either Riotous Assembly or Indecent Exposure, when the 10 blue-bottles assigned to anti-terrorist work, each manage to infiltrate a terrorist cell consisting of 10 people........

        The cops should stick to what they do best, like ignoring corrupt bankers and politicians and putting speed traps on wide safe roads.

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  11. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Big Brother

    I'm always suspicious of extreme reactions around porn.

    Of *any* kind.

    The AC's at 15:54 and 15:56 (the same person ?). So righteous in your stance yet so *shy* in naming yourself.

    I tend to want to get my digging spade out and see what's underneath.

    The obvious candidate is you've been a victim and you feel only more surveillance will stop it happening to someone else.

    You're *very* trusting that the Police would not misuse such powers to conduct fishing trips and that people who have such interests are dumb enough to pursue them in a way that will make them easy to find.

    Your reaction to authority is submissive, as might be expected of someone who had been told to keep a secret by an adult.

    Lets face it the Republic of Ireland has been something of a wonderland for child abusers of all kinds for decades, provided they took holy orders first. Authority figures here have not done much to but a stop to it. I'm amazed that more priests have not been murdered by former victims but then I suppose the hard part of being a *successful* predator is in choosing your victim.

    Or how about option 2.

    You've seen some children somewhere and noticed some of your reactions are not appropriate to the norms of western society. You're revolted and sickened with your self.

    Perhaps you might have (inadvertently) gone on to find some CP and feel "If *only*" there was someway to *warn* people when they might be exposed to this disgusting material that they might be warned off (not that I'm saying you're addicted) it for life.

    Your reaction is the rankest hypocrisy. You lack the guts to seek treatment for you're condition or to face your own character flaws. You seek to divert suspicion of your own behavior and seek to cage all of society when in reality it's your own behavior that needs to be controlled.

    If CP and paedophillia had the kind of profile and availability that campaigners *claim* it has it would virtually be the *norm*.

    This is clearly BS.

    With *no* supporting evidence to a growing "interest" I'd say the number of real paedophiles as a *percentage* of the population is fairly constant and fairly low (IE <<1%).

    Sadly the number of power seeking data fetishist control freaks is somewhat higher and society does rather less to control what I'd call their *equally* deviant appetites.

    BB because as usual this has *nothing* to do with TOTC but everything about control and the accumulation of power.

  12. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge


    Although the west midlands police standard procedure of automatically locking up the first 6 Irish guys every time there is a terrorist bomb might need small tweaks to be effective in Dublin.

  13. Old Handle

    I'll say one thing for it

    It is, on some level, a clever idea: Use pedophiles to find child porn. The premise is probably sound, if someone attempts to access blocked content, especially repeatedly, they are more likely than the average person to have accessed similar content that hasn't yet been blocked. So, data mining opportunity ahoy!

    But even without the additional concerns raised by this approach, I'm really not behind the whole blocking/censorship idea in any shape or form--I'm just not convinced it truly accomplishes anything.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Thumb Up

      @Old Handle

      "But even without the additional concerns raised by this approach, I'm really not behind the whole blocking/censorship idea in any shape or form--I'm just not convinced it truly accomplishes anything."

      But it sounds *so* good.

      Proactive. Stopping abuse *before* it happens etc.

      And such a convenient way to allow the police to start collecting all manner of information on someones browsing habits (it *presumes* they deliberately chose this address and did not go to a website whose links had been corrupted first). Ooops, we *never* thought that might happen.

      So handy for the Police.

      These ideas *always* look good in a superficial red top headline sort of way. I'll suggest the readers are as ignorant of the ways round this as they are of the true scale of the problem IE (a *lot* smaller than their overheated imaginations believe it to be).

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  14. David Pollard

    There must be a better way

    Some while ago I'd read of a scheme in the USA, amazingly started by the mother of a child who had been abused and run with help from others in similar situations. They provided telephone helplines for people who were worried about their growing interest in children's sexuality. After it had grown to include a number of states, the FBI got in on the act, wanting to monitor calls. So the helplines had to be shut down.

    If it really is the case that "something must be done", it's schemes on similar lines to the American mum's that deserve consideration.

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  15. SImon Hobson Silver badge

    It's hard to comprehend how ...

    Someone can be quite so ignorance as the AC near the top of this thread.

    So much these days is done in the cause of "if it saves just one child". So, so much that the protection causes as much, if not more, harm than it avoids. You don't need to look hard, just look back over the last (say) decade where the general atmosphere has now changed to the effect that all men are "peados", they just haven't been caught yet. No we're not, a very very small number are, but the vast majority are not.

    But because it's become so fashionable to try and achieve an impossibility (100% safe is an impossibility) then large numbers of children suffer. They suffer because extra-mural activities are declining because schools, sports clubs, scouts, groups of all kinds, are finding it harder to get volunteers. Without sufficient volunteers, then activities either stop or are less safe as there isn't the same quantity or quality of supervision.

    And then as mentioned earlier, there have been the witch hunts in the past where large numbers of children have been forcibly removed from their homes. How the hell can it be considered good for a child to be put through that trauma, yet some people are so blinded by the "if it saves just one child" approach that they are blind to the harm such approaches cause.

    Does that mean I support any form of abuse ? No it doesn't. But anyone who can get a few brain cells to talk to each other should be able to see that it's always gone on, and probably always will. Trying to eradicate it is a fine aim, but in reality impossible without causing such harm that it really should not be tried. What should be the policy is to be able to talk about it freely without any red-top extreme reactions - you know, the attitude that "if you aren't for stringing someone up on nothing but a hint of suspicion then you must also be a 'peado'". Such attitudes aren't helpful - they are extremist and prevent rational discussion about how to sensibly balance the risks, how to detect actual abuse (and bring the perpetrators to justice and offer suitable support to the victim), and how to create an environment where people don't need to be afraid of supporting (for example) children's social and sports groups.

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