back to article Anonymised search engine page found on 'kid-friendly' search site

When it comes to seeking a magic bullet that will protect children from the evils of the internet, the first casualty is all too often common sense. So it appears in respect of the latest in a long line of child-friendly projects – Kiddle – which launched itself on to the scene a little over a month ago as a self-proclaimed “ …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cool. Now get me an adult search engine to replace Google.

    I want all the porn, pirate films, leaked documents and superinjunctions, just like the good old days before the search became all censored and pussified.

    1. #define INFINITY -1 Bronze badge

      yandex.ru

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "I want all the porn [..] just like the good old days before the search became all censored and pussified."

      Surely that'd be "de-pussified" if we're talking about porn?

      1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

        Maybe AC

        has other preferences.

      2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Depending on the time-scale w.r.t. pr0n then "de-pubified" is probably most accurate.

  2. notowenwilson

    Excuse me sir, there is a storm in my tea-cup.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE:Excuse me sir, there is a storm in my tea-cup.

      Totally agree, I fail to see where the problem is. If they do or do not use the anonymous search engine in the back. It doesn't return any of those undesirable page if using the correct page, if you use the unadvertised page which has now been deleted, yep, but then you would need to know about it, and it appears no one did until it was found.

      If it uses the anonymous search engine, how is that not kid friendly. How is a company not tracking what your children do and then not targeting advertisements at what your children search for not kid friendly?

    2. Tam Lin

      True, but a RUSSIAN storm in your tea-cup.

      The Russians eat their children, and now they're trying to capture ours by code reuse - specifically, proven web-search cache technology. Since the chunnel, they can do that. No, it's true, I read it queued at Tesco. Or maybe I read it on-line at elReg.

    3. Gordon 10 Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      storm in my tea-cup

      Agreed.

      If my kids already know enough to use Peach and find this page then Im going to retire and sponge off them for the rest of my natural.

      Sadly for me they don't.

      1. Jane Fae

        Re: storm in my tea-cup

        er, no.

        The kiddy-users don't need to be able to use Peach or equivalent. They just need a grown-up to use it and find it for them and publish the result somewhere.

        Agree: as far as i am aware, that did not happen...at least not in a big way. But if there is an exploit, do you think everyone is going to be shouting about it so it gets closed down.

        I watch what my son (aged 11) does online. He does not discover exploits by himself, does not hack mainframes. Yet.

        However, he is clearly going on to youtube and other spaces where he listens in on what the grown-up hackers and the like are doing and every now and then quite surprises me by knowing a lot about something i thought entirely beyond his range...

  3. frank ly

    "... internal testing during the beta testing period, ..."

    Configuration control, code walkthroughs, release reviews, testing by an independent team ..... We've heard about that.

  4. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    Let's have a heated debate

    Non-linked to redir.php page apart (agile DevOp fail yet again), if it were StartPage or DuckDuckGo would that have been less controversial?

    The trick seems to be in how you market these things.

  5. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    The other problem

    I have no problem with a child avoiding tracking (I would be a bit surprised that one made the effort). A way around the porn filter is a significant failure, but hopefully they can fix it. The thing that really caught my attention was that trying to access lukol by https caused certificate not trusted, certificate expired and a redirect to http. The form tag's action attribute was http.

    If you use lukol, your ISP will be able/required to log the address and search key and hand the details to your local Stasi.

    1. Old Handle

      Re: The other problem

      It's already fixed. It says so at the end of the article, and my check confirms that address just sends you back to the front page now.

  6. Mr Dogshit
    Facepalm

    "offers users the ability to go online and carry out searches they would rather that government and other authorities not know about."

    Blimey, what will they think of next. ixquick.com has been doing that for ten years.

  7. Necronomnomnomicon

    Is it just me

    That thinks that "Kiddle" sounds like a portmanteau of "kiddy" and "fiddle"?

    /calls the Daily Mail

    1. ZootCadillac

      Re: Is it just me

      It's not just you. The very first thing I thought of when I saw it was what numpty believed Kiddle was an appropriate name for this? Kiddle fiddle was the first thing I saw and I'm an upstanding gentleman with no devious tastes. (that have yet to surface at least)

      1. Swarthy Silver badge

        Re: Is it just me

        Really? I read it as half an homage to the Reverend Spooner. I've taken my kittle lids to see runny babbits at the zetting poo.

        And I did that with out any references to "Our queer old Dean".

        1. chivo243 Silver badge
          Childcatcher

          Re: Is it just me

          This must be Uncle Ernie's favorite search engine... Or Cousin Kevin's?

    2. Someone_Somewhere
      Coat

      Re: Is it just me

      My startup - an afterschool club where children learned to play the violin - failed.

      In retrospect, I think the name 'Kiddie Fiddlers' might not have been such a good idea after all.

      1. David 132 Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Is it just me

        My startup - an afterschool club where children learned to play the violin - failed.

        Well don't be disheartened; pick yourself up and move on to the next winning business opportunity.

        May I suggest a national chain of shops where parents can hock their kids' unused toys and outgrown clothes in return for money?

        "Kiddie Pawn".

  8. Robin Bradshaw
    FAIL

    Never trust user input!

    xss in the search box https://www.openbugbounty.org/incidents/138592/

  9. Awil Onmearse
    Joke

    But it IS safe, surely!

    It keeps kids safe from vicious assaults on their privacy by governments!

  10. Old Handle
    Childcatcher

    I'm not sure what's supposed to be sinister about offering children more privacy online, I'd have thought that was a desirable thing. Clearly they shouldn't have left up a forgotten page that returned unfiltered results, but that's fixed now, and I doubt if many kids have a "fuzzer" handy, so no harm done. As far as the results on the intended search page, it looks like they're doing pretty good. I entered a few obscure terms that could have yielded nude results and the "worst" thing I was able to find was some classical art.

    1. Jane Fae

      A beta product launched as finished

      which site? Lukol or Kiddle? I have no probs finding smut via the Kiddle site...so maybe you just don't have a dirty enough imagination :)

      Tbh there are a whole series of problems with Kiddle. First, that it claims to offer a degree of edited search that i don't really believe. Perhaps an overclaim. Mostly, they are offering google safesearch with some filters over the top.

      When first released, it had some VERY dodgy views on sexuality generally: gay, for instance, was a "bad word"...as was dyke, lesbian, transexual and child abuse. So, as with many such filters....kids looking legitimately for info that would be helpful to them were barred from finding it...and much more severely barred than using other filter systems.

      They...sorta...fixed that.

      However, forget the argument about what kids SHOULD be able to see: this software promises a level of extra security to parents, which means enabling kiddle and therefore enabling the backdoor, when that was active.

      So in return for a promise of extra security, kiddle was actually delivering a lot less....

  11. DougS Silver badge

    This kinda makes sense

    You don't want your kid's searches being tracked by advertisers and cookies being saved to track their movements around the web, so an anonymized search engine makes perfect sense. What doesn't is an unfiltered search engine, but there is absolutely no reason you can't have anonymized filtered results, this site clearly screwed up in a major way on that front!

  12. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    I'm not sure what I am supposed to be outraged about. Is it the fact that someone is offering children access to an appropriately filtered search engine without being stalked by the government and other 3rd parties, or is it the fact that the web designers had inadvertently left an undocumented and unlinked page that accessed an unfiltered (but otherwise harmless) search engine which no child would ever be likely to find?

    Or perhaps the outrage is about offering free of charge something that may threaten the profits of businesses such as "Net Nanny" which offer expensive products that prey on parents' paranoia?

    1. DiViDeD Silver badge

      @ Cynic_999

      "I'm not sure what I am supposed to be outraged about"

      Me neither, but I'm not going to let that get in the way of a nice bit of outrage.

      I'm mad as hell and I'm just not going to take it anymore!! Won't somebody PLEASE think of the children??!!

      Gnash, fnarrrrrrr!

      Nurse, Quickly! The screens!

      1. Jane Fae

        Re: @ Cynic_999

        it got fixed. SO little actual outrage. However, the backdoor was there and by allowing children to access kiddle on the premise of "safe searching", any parent or isntitiution adding kiddle to their list of exceptions was also opening up access to something definitely NOT kiddle.

  13. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

    Protecting kids

    The only way to protect kids from the internet is by separating them from it. Consider Wikipedia, one of the sites that is pretty much guaranteed to be on a whitelist of websites for children, yet it is chock full of porn. In fact, an entire copy of "Debbie Does Dallas" is hosted on the Wikimedia servers, not to mention the images that show up on the articles for sex acts.

    Even fixing those issues, children will still find porn on the internet and kiddie fiddlers will still be able to contact them. Nothing in the universe can stop a 13 year old boy from getting access to porn. Leave a boy alone for a couple hours with even a completely disassembled machines with no networking, modems, or even any other connection and in no time, that machine will be up and running and connected to several porn sites. As for the predators, the law and society has pushed them so far underground that by-passing filters and exploiting weak points in child-protection software is second nature to them.

    1. Someone_Somewhere

      Re: Protecting kids

      > the law and society has pushed them so far underground that by-passing filters and exploiting weak points in child-protection software is second nature to them.

      I think I get what you're saying but, apart from the aberration/abomination that was the P.I.E., I'm not sure that the predators were ever anywhere /else/* - otherwise we'd have known about Jimmy Saville a /lot/ sooner.

      * no-one /I/ know has ever told me they harbour unnatural urges towards children. In fact, I think most people would be happier admitting they lust after sheep!

      1. Jane Fae

        Re: Protecting kids

        Ba-a-a-ah!

  14. EveryTime Silver badge

    The message, for those that missed it, was that this was just another slapped-together thing that promises parents "safety", while inside the brightly colored padded surface is jagged rusty metal and broken glass.

    On an somewhat unrelated topic, I was recently surprised to find that Twitter is a massive porn trove. I went there with a fresh browser and found the experience much different than my usual logged-in, ad-blocked view. Amusingly some PG rated pictures require an extra click, adjacent to hard-core movies and animated GIFs that autoplay.

    1. Jane Fae

      Thank you, yes. Because there are loads of people on here who don't see why children should not have access to such things...and that's their point of view.

      But that wasn't kiddle. Read back through all the gushing press reviews of about a month or so back and this was a special safe for kids search engine when, as you say, it was nothing of the sort.

      Other thing, of course, is that there are some institutes out there...expert reviews and the like...who swallowed the hype hook line and sinker without doing ANY due diligence on the product.

      The lesson...probably of greatest value to snake oil salespersons....is: if you wan't to make a quick buck, label your new thing "safe for kids"...and don't be too exercised about what's under the bonnet. Because most people will swallow whatever you offer under that label without asking too many questions.

      1. Jane Fae

        course, i learned ages back not to swallow.....

        ...least not unless you had a pretty good idea of what you were being asked to swallow.

        :)

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