Prime Minister David Cameron: Google, Bing and Yahoo! 'Enable' Child Porn

from the look-how-furrowed-my-brow-is,-dammit! dept

"I'm going to try to regulate [insert concept or technology here] because I really have no idea how it works," said no politician ever. "Bad things are happening and we're going to do something about it!" said too many government officials to count.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron is at it again, fretting about child porn and saying grumbly things about holding search engines responsible for the actions of others. This is one of Cameron's favorite hobby horses: porn on the internet, both legal and otherwise. He's pushed for mandatory porn filtering on every new computer and insisted any business offering open wi-fi block access to the nasty stuff.

Child porn is the new focus, thanks to the recent high profile trial (and conviction) of Mark Bridger for the kidnapping and killing of a 5-year-old girl. Bridger's computer showed he had viewed pictures of child sexual abuse shortly before the kidnapping.

Despite the efforts already being made by search engines and ISPs (including Google's new child porn database that it's sharing with competitors and law enforcement), Cameron is insisting these just don't go far enough.

David Cameron will tell internet companies including Google they have a "moral duty" to do more to tackle child abuse images found by using their websites.

In a major speech on Monday he will call for search engines to block any results being displayed for a blacklist of terms compiled by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop).
Strange. I would have thought the "moral duty" lay with those creating and viewing the exploitative material, not the inadvertent go-between whose job it is to index web content. Complying with a blacklist seems like a good idea, but there are two problems with that idea: determined people will get around the blacklist and blacklists tend to inadvertently block legitimate searches.

Why these search engines need to comply with the blacklist in Britain is a mystery, considering every major UK ISP already filters the web using this list, according to the head of the CEOP.

Jim Gamble, chief executive of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), said the blacklist currently used to filter the vast majority of UK internet connections had been a "fabulous success".

At that point (2009), only small "boutique" ISPs had yet to adopt CEOP's filtering and the Home Office estimated roughly 95% of internet users were covered. But Cameron insists that more needs to be done, even as ISPs voluntarily comply with most government recommendations -- like "splash pages" that warn users they are attempting to view illegal material.
[T]he prime minister will call on firms to go further, with splash screens warning of consequences "such as losing their job, their family, even access to their children" as a result of viewing the content.
Everything already in place just isn't good enough. Apparently, it all needs to be bigger and bolder and subject to brand new laws created in the climate of panic and paranoia that usually follows high profile criminal activity. Cameron won't be satisfied until he tames the Wild West.
"I'm concerned as a politician and as a parent about this issue, and I think all of us have been a bit guilty of saying: well it's the internet, it's lawless, there's nothing you can do about it.

"And that's wrong. I mean just because it's the internet doesn't mean there shouldn't be laws and rules, and also responsible behaviour."
But, when Cameron says "responsibility," he means it in the governmental sense, which has nothing to do with personal responsibility and everything to do with the government acting as a national conscience and finding someone to hold responsible for the child porn problem. It won't be child pornographers or their audience, however.
"There is this problem ... that some people are putting simply appalling terms into the internet in order to find illegal images of child abuse.

[W]e need to have very, very strong conversations with those companies about saying no, you shouldn't provide results for some terms that are so depraved and disgusting...and that, I think, there's going to be a big argument there, and if we don't get what we need we'll have to look at legislation."
Do it or we'll make you do it.
"So it's about companies wanting to act responsibly. If you think about it, there's really a triangle here. There are the people uploading the images. We've got to go after them. There are the people looking at the images. We've got to go after them. But there is also in this triangle the companies that are enabling it to happen, and they do need to do more to help us with this."
Hi, I'm a seach engine. I index the web and bring you the results you ask for. I don't create child porn, nor do I consume child porn, but please, hold me responsible for the actions of others. The legal team at Google, Bing or any other search engine is always easier to locate than a child pornographer. It's the path of least resistance and taking on "tech giants" on "behalf" of the people makes government officials feel big. Win-win.

Cameron wants the search engines to return no results in response to CEOP's blacklisted terms. It seems like such a little thing to ask, and Cameron is certainly pitching it that way. They just need to "do more to help us." But what happens when law enforcement, intelligence agencies or the government itself decides other search terms are a problem, perhaps coming from an angle of "combating terrorism" or "preventing hate crime?" Almost everyone agrees those are "bad," but do they really want their search results censored and filtered and sorted according to secret blacklists? Probably not, but it likely won't matter. Agreeing to this allows the government to get a foot in the door.

On top of the collateral damage, there's the fact that filtering search engine results is going to make a lot of headlines but do very little to curb the trafficking of child pornography. Jim Gamble of CEOP feels we've already maxed out the effectiveness of web and search filters -- something he pointed out back in 2009.
At the frontline, web filtering is now viewed as a peripheral issue. Gamble agreed with the charities that filtering is useful, but added it was ineffective against "hardcore predators" who swap material over peer to peer networks and for whom "the internet has moved on".

"I believe filtering is good to avoid inadvertent access that will disturb or damage a young person, or deliberate novice access," Gamble said.
The pros don't bother with public web sites and search engines. They go P2P and circumvent every filter put into place by government intervention. Gamble realizes this and has already shifted the agency's focus to peer-to-peer networks. Unlike Cameron, Gamble doesn't waste time constructing stupid "triangles of responsibility" in order to pin the blame on the biggest, easiest target.
Gamble, a former intelligence chief in the Police Service of Northern Ireland, was however keen to head off accusations of an attack on peer to peer technology itself. "We can't blame technology - it's people," he said.

"Peer to peer is a valuable resource for the online community. Our focus is on child protection."
Maybe Cameron should spend a little time actually discussing his plans with CEOP before using the agency's name in vain in order to attack search engines for being search engines. CEOP seems to have a handle on the problem -- the real problem. It's too bad Cameron's more interested in publicly displaying how deeply concerned he is than making actual progress against child pornographers.



Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Rikuo (profile), Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 3:20am

    Ya know what child pornography viewers aren't typing into a search engine? The words "child porn download".
    No. If they use a search engine at all (not very likely) they're typing euphemisms. Perfectly legal and natural words in place of child pornography.
    If someone wants to read an adult story about some TV show/cartoon/anime/whatever characters having sex, they don't type in "Dragonball sex story". They type in "Dragonball lemon". Lemon is a euphemism for a descriptive sexual story. So even if you're a kid at home and Mommy and Daddy have set up web filters for the word sex, you can get around it by searching for lemons.

    Basically, what's going to happen is Cameron will one day hear that those looking for CP type in Innocuous Word X. So he says "Ban Innocuous Word X". Then Innocuous Word Y. Then Word Z. Until the entire flippin' English language is blocked from search engines and those child pornographers in England are searching on Baidu in Mandarin Chinese.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 5:53am

    I'm concerned as a politician and as a parent about this issue, and I think all of us have been a bit guilty of saying: well it's the internet, it's lawless, there's nothing you can do about it

    Except this is not the case. If law enforcement did the most basic investigative jobs it would be enough. Filters just brush stuff under the rung because they don't deal with the source.

    no, you shouldn't provide results for some terms that are so depraved and disgusting...

    Oh but there's tons of depraving stuff everywhere that are perfectly legit, legal and that have an audience. I'm fairly sure that if someone goes looking for "masturbation" "eel" and "dildo" or "cucumber" or whatever they know exactly what they want to find. (Apparently there's market to that but I had to actively search to confirm it and while I think it's plain disgusting I'm not calling a ban or something)

    It seems like such a little thing to ask, and Cameron is certainly pitching it that way. They just need to "do more to help us."

    Maybe if they actually did their investigative jobs...

    But what happens when law enforcement, intelligence agencies or the government itself decides other search terms are a problem, perhaps coming from an angle of "combating terrorism" or "preventing hate crime?"

    What happens? My site dedicated at covering and analyzing terroristic stuff gets censored. The site leaking stuff from "terrorist" Snowden that has "ties" with Al Qaeda gets censored. My site with rap lyrics that talk about violence and stuff gets censored.

    "Peer to peer is a valuable resource for the online community. Our focus is on child protection."

    Seems SOMEONE is sane.

    It's all about some moronic moralism and the need to get votes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 7:13am

    Search engines DO make a good point to control the web...

    So maybe that's going to be their purpose, and maybe has been all along. You of insufficient suspicion will pooh-pooh the notion, but the theme of this piece is exactly that child porn will be used by the gov't to implement censorship. The possibilities of controlling access to ALL ideas had to have long ago occurred to those who implemented the search engines -- it's practically the same, only with a "\=" at crucial point.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Spike, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 7:13am

    Is he going to claim that they enable infringement next on behalf of big content?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 7:17am

    Perhaps next car makers should be required to display a long list of the bad things that could happen from using a car every time it is started.
    Making people read a document before they eat their fish and chips warning them about the dangerous of fatty foods and not controlling their portions.

    Isn't it amazing they secretly spy on everyone, but can't seem to find child porn people? Instead they want private companies to do their work for them, or at least just cave in once again to waste money on a pointless system that earns them another soundbite about how much they care.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 7:25am

    How many

    What he calls "simply appalling terms" are just certain combinations of characters. It is unlikely that you can ban these combinations of characters (in every possible language) without inflicting significant collateral damage (on the IKEA catalogue?).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 7:30am

    wow

    ". . . view illegal material"

    Is anyone else bothered by the idea that its illegal to "view" something?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 7:39am

    Re:

    Very likely scenario.
    "Google, Bing, and whatever, is taking billions out of our economy and costing us millions of jobs! They should be made to fix this!," the politicians will say.
    Also "Terrorism!"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    Designerfx (profile), Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 7:40am

    yahoo is bing

    shows how much cameron knows even beyond the grandstanding if he doesn't even know that yahoo basically *is* bing.

    (it's how they count bing marketshare at existing, as well)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Pixelation, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 7:41am

    Once again, old man yells at clouds.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Lord Binky, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 7:42am

    "well it's the internet, it's lawless, there's nothing you can do about it"

    I'm really tired of hearing this come up, and I wonder when they are going to realize that this over-simplified dumbed down explanation is insulting them.

    If this is what you were told, all the reasons come down to this: You (or the person who told you this) are too stupid to understand the basics of how 'the internet' works.

    I'm not saying the intelligence to comprehend it isn't there, but if your eyes glaze over during the explanation forcing the person explaining it to give up and you don't actively try to understand it on your own before trying to decide how it should be improved, you are being willfully ignorant which is downright stupid and inexcusable.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 7:45am

    Re: wow

    A complete surveillance state isn't built overnight. First implant the idea out there that merely viewing something is illegal, and then expanding what is illegal to other areas. You'll hear the phrase "viewing illegal material" over, and over, and over from the official propaganda outlets during the next few weeks and months.
    Small steps to the end goal.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 7:50am

    Modern politics is about control of information, and relied on a marginally tame press. Search engines make the control of information almost impossible.
    What the politicians desire is an Internet filter, and child porn and porn are such excuses. With a filter in place it becomes much easier to add political sites that the politicians do not like to the filter, and of course the RIAA and MPAA and friends will push hard to add whichever site they want to the filter.
    Forcing stuff underground has two advantages for politicians, it remains largely invisible to the public, and it makes the formation of large political protest and opposition groups much more difficult.
    The incumbent powers almost certainly desire the ability to dominate political discussions and set the political agenda by getting their views in front of the public, and keeping opposing views from any wide circulation.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 7:50am

    The digital version of building walls in front of strip (excuse me, gentlemen's) clubs.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 7:55am

    Diversion and hypocrisy

    So in the midst of countless revelations of a government spying on its citizens, David Cameron has identified The One True Threat(tm) to his population/serfs/minions or however he views the British people - watching pictures of naked people on the internet.
    What a jackass.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 7:56am

    Re: yahoo is bing

    You wanted actual facts before kneejerk reactions and empty rhetoric? Either you misunderstand the Tory mindset or you're not considering the Daily Mail readership they try to appeal to. Who needs workable and correctly targeted solutions when you can pick an easy scapegoat?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Pragmatic, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 7:57am

    Re: wow

    The trouble with CP is that, to actually make it, as a general rule, a child is abused and a recording made of the abuse. Viewing it proves that you're interested and may very well want to see more. The trouble with stuff like this is that mere viewers become jaded and require increasingly extreme images to satisfy their warped desires, after which, even the most depraved images fail to hit the target, at which point they begin to abuse kids themselves. That's what happened with Mark Bridger.

    Would he have abused and murdered a child if he had never seen CP in his life?

    Child abuse and murder happened before CP was available, I know, but is it possible that fewer people would "graduate" to actually abusing a child for real if they hadn't first seen them abused online? I think so, based on accounts I've read of crimes against women and children. In many of these cases, the perpetrators were watching or reading about it first, then "inspired" to commit the crimes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    icon
    RyanNerd (profile), Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 7:57am

    When the web was an infant

    There were quite a few and still are many Internet filter applications. One of the first I had experience with was called CyberNanny. This kept blocking www.whitehouse.gov. The offensive phrase/word was "couples".
    This has been one of the biggest problems with Internet nanny systems is that they do not have the AI to discriminate...I mean even humans are still debating what constitutes obscene, so I don't know why people think that there is a magic push button the Internet that Google or any other technological entity can simply push and magically make all the bad sites go away. Sometimes the stupidity of people (especially those in power) astounds me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    icon
    That One Guy (profile), Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 7:58am

    Re:

    'Except this is not the case. If law enforcement did the most basic investigative jobs it would be enough. Filters just brush stuff under the rung because they don't deal with the source.'

    But, but... if you can't see the problem, that means the problem is gone! More importantly, if you can't see the problem you get to claim credit for solving it. -Politician logic in a nutshell

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 8:00am

    Re:

    I was wondering why all that child porn was appearing when I was looking for fruit.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Tosha Villanveua, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 8:05am

    I think they have the right idea for this one.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 8:14am

    Re: When the web was an infant

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scunthorpe_problem

    The problem is twofold. One is that perfectly innocent - or even important - speech can be locked by incorrect filtering. The other problem is that language changes, and often changes rapidly.

    It's simply not feasible to both accurately filter current slang and keep up with changes in terminology without negatively affecting legitimate speech and content. Sadly, politicians often don't care about the feasibility as long as they're seen to be "doing something".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    icon
    Mike-2 Alpha (profile), Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 8:15am

    On the subject of filtering the internet, President-Elect Hassan Rouhani of Iran seems to have recognized the futility of the exercise. He's been quoted as saying "Gone are the days when a wall could be built around the country. Today there are no more walls."

    He's also asked "Which important piece of news has filtering been able to black out in recent years?" A question he apparently asked on Twitter, no less.

    Is it just me, or is the Prime Minister of the UK taking a less sensible, less grounded in reality approach to the usefulness and practicality of filtering the internet than the future President of Iran?

    When did that happen?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 8:18am

    Re: Re: wow

    The answer is yes, he'd still have been drunk, still have hit her with the car. If he'd not jacked off to some strange stuff before hand it wouldn't have changed a thing.

    I'm a huge skeptic of this case if you didn't guess, trail by media with such weak evidence doesn't sit well with me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Simon, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 8:19am

    I imagine 90% of this spin is an attempt to divert attention away from the lobbying scandal involving Lynton Crosby, the other 10% is to appease his prude wife and her idealistic friends on mumsnet.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 8:20am

    Re: Re: wow

    That is a very very very long string of assumptions and hand waving not at all dissimilar from the typical narrative out of the anti-drug crusaders that pot is a 'gateway drug' to harder drugs. It's a bullshit argument though and your rhetorical question about your anecdotal case where the narrative appears to be correct completely ignores all other possible outcomes as if it was some sort of inevitability that porn creates sex offenders. It doesn't. Studies have shown that it doesn't. What you've got here is a base rate fallacy. You're using the viewing of CP as a potential 'future crime' detector and pointing to the near 100% coincidence of viewing child porn and committing a sex crime with a child but you're completely ignoring the rate at which child porn is viewed by someone that never ever 'graduates' to victimizing a child. You're completely ignoring that there's another possible outcome: viewing satisfies the need sufficiently that no further action is necessary. Studies indicate that, on net, that latter more than counter-acts the former in cases of adult on adult rape. I see no reason to suspect it would be different for adult on child rape.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    icon
    Trails (profile), Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 8:25am

    Re: Re:

    Actually, politician logic is quite internally consistent and cohesive. It just doesn't line up with what comes out of their mouth, which is a manipulation rather than an expression.

    Cameron KNOWS his scheme won't work. He's not dumb. What he's counting on is that a significant portion of UK voters are dumb.

    He wants this to be intrusive on the lives of normal people, it gives him "mindshare". "If you got this screen by searching for something innocuous please know that you and David Cameron are heroes who are stopping Child Exploitation!!"

    Believing politicians are stupid is a VERY dangerous premise and they're counting on it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 8:27am

    Re: Re: wow

    Would he have abused and murdered a child if he had never seen CP in his life?

    Put on your wall in big letters

    "CORRELATION DOES NOT IMPLY CAUSATION"

    Given an individual like Mr Bridger who has the capability and desire to do what he did then the question " would you expect him to view CP?" is equally invalid.

    Look carefully at the "accounts you have read" and ask yourself whether there is any real evidence for causation.

    I could point to the fact that scaremongering about CP can also lead to violence. Someone I knew was murdered because he had "allegedly" had CP images on his computer. Ask yourself if the person who murdered him would have done so if he hadn't read all the scaremongering that goes around. Now ask yourself if David Cameron's speech should itself be banned on his own argument!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Garry Anderson, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 8:29am

    We are pushed into a childrens library

    I would support an opt IN for net-nanny DNS - indeed I advocated it near the beginning of internet.

    What I object to is that they are making it opt-out of the childrens internet - it is like being pushed into the blinking childrens library.

    The government are treating us like kids.

    You can be sure they not only want to control child porn - which few would say was a bad thing - but also want to control things they disagree with e.g. anything which they consider anti-authoriterian.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 8:30am

    and you can thank the us Entertainment industries for this crock of crap! they were using the 'there is porn on the site' as an excuse to get web sites blocked and or closed. now, governments run by fucking half wits like Cameron, who have no clue how to do a damn thing on the net, what is involved in trying to implement any block and certainly how to not affect those sites that will get caught up in the tangle, are going to do more harm than good. sites will go further underground, as will the organisations concerned. the police will have a harder job than they have already trying to stop the pedophiles. yet as long as Cameron can get his name associated with 'trying to stop pron', he's fine. what a prick!! i hope he and the UK government end up in court because the various measures that search engines are gonna be forced to take, end up wiping out some legitimate business(s).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Bengie, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 8:30am

    duh

    "Google, Bing and Yahoo! 'Enable' Child Porn"

    So does having children! We must punish parents!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    icon
    Designerfx (profile), Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 8:36am

    Re: Re: yahoo is bing

    heh, touche`. I suppose the traditional readership would have no idea what a search engine is, so maybe they are setting the bar too high.

    They just think "google", and type google into google to get to google. etc.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    FreeCultureForFreePeople, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 8:56am

    Will only affect UK residents anyway...

    The solution is simple:
    Just don't use the UK variety of a given search engine.

    Example:
    Don't use google.co.uk, use google.ch instead and switch your language to Englisch with a single click.

    If you want to know if any UK filtes are in place, just do a search for the same items in both search engines and compare results.

    Works similar for other search engines. I'd trust the Swiss varieties most.

    Easy to outsmart filters, isn't it?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    icon
    Not That Chris (profile), Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 8:57am

    Re:

    No one will ever be able to find a good place to get cheese pizza ever again.

    The cheese pizza with the dough and tomato sauce, I mean.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 9:00am

    Google's Porn Database

    Am I the only one who thinks Google's child porn database is a bad idea? After all, how does Google decide which images involve actual children and which of them are legal images of young adults? Should they include cartoon porn? Is there a way to report and remove miscategorized images from the database? What else will Google and others be asked to block once the necessary software is in place?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    icon
    Watchit (profile), Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 9:06am

    Maybe if the government actually got off their fat asses and did something about child abuse instead of pointing fingers then child porn online wouldn't be such a problem?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 9:11am

    cars enable wrecks

    food enables food poison

    tylenol enables overdoses

    laws enable abuse of laws....and people

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Lord Binky, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 9:17am

    Re:

    Wait... So if we make a list of acceptable words, people just use those words in place of unacceptable words? That's just wrong!

    Bad people shouldn't be allowed to use good words, or else how can I tell who is a bad person?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    icon
    Sheogorath (profile), Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 9:59am

    The problem with default filters

    Because I share my Android with my 14-year-old cousin, I didn't get Content Lock removed when I first bought it, thinking, "I can live without mobile access to AO3." However, a few months ago, I walked into her parents' lounge after getting a drink, only to see her trying to hide the phone. So I grabbed it off her only to see that she'd found a proxy website that allowed her to route around the filters, so I immediately downloaded a parental filter app and rang T-Mobile the next day to get them to remove the Content Lock. The moral of my story is: default filtering is useless and puts porn into the hands of those deemed too young to view it despite the overblocking.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    icon
    Simple Mind (profile), Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 10:01am

    Re: duh

    More like: Children enable child porn. We must outlaw sex!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 10:12am

    He must just be doing this for political points. No government or entity can control the internet. It was setup to resist such stupidity.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Jasmine Charter, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 10:18am

    It just goes to show...

    It just goes to show that even a snappy British accent doesn't guarantee any extra degree of intelligence!

    Apparently... the higher a position you have in government, the more of your brain must be removed to make room for um... hmm... I'm not sure what they get in return actually...

    I just know that 99.9% of politicians are dumber than a 5 year old... especially when it comes to computers and the internet.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    icon
    Zakida Paul (profile), Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 10:21am

    Out of curiosity (and to prove a point) I did a search on StartPage (powered by Google search results) for "child porn" and all of the results that were returned were news stories and wiki articles.

    Clearly the search engines have already blocked child abuse images from their search results. What more does Cameron want from them?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 10:22am

    Re:

    Another commonly used search term is {subject} lime ( meaning softcore imagery of {subject}.) I lamentably found this out the hard way when I searched for something quite some time ago to do with an anime character on someone else's say-so.

    This...was not a smart move by myself.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 10:24am

    Re: Re: Re:

    The fact that the Big Three Liars in UK media (The Sun, the Express and the Mail) are completely behind this should tell you everything you need to know about this plan.

    In addition, it is expected that this should cost the taxpayer, rather than the ISPs. Added to that is my fear that this is the 'thin end of the wedge,' so to speak.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 10:25am

    Re:

    The cynic in me tells me that this is intentional. After all, paedophiles are an easy scapegoat for society's ills.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    Gemmy, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 10:30am

    Too bad Jim Gamble is no longer CEO of CEOP

    The new guy who is head of CEOP is Peter Davies, and I don't think he has the same mindset as Jim Gamble on this...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    icon
    Hans B PUFAL (profile), Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 10:35am

    Re:

    Our focus is on child protection

    You must "think of the children" and any pedophile would heartily agree

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 10:43am

    Video camera makers enable child porn.
    SDcard makers enable child porn.
    Browser makers enable child porn.
    Operating systems enable child porn.
    Computer hardware enable child porn.
    Your ISP enable child porn.
    Children enable child porn.

    Let's ban everything, it's so much easier than getting a half-decent common sense.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 10:51am

    Re:

    Experience?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 10:53am

    Re: Search engines DO make a good point to control the web...

    So maybe that's going to be their purpose


    Maybe, but if so, it would render the search engines substantially less useful and accurate for all searches. Which means that people would stop using them and start using alternatives.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 10:54am

    Re: wow

    Is anyone else bothered by the idea that its illegal to "view" something?


    Very much yes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 10:57am

    Re:

    There was no reason to flag this comment.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 10:58am

    What's needed is a few assassinations when this sort of thing turns up. The survivors will soon get the idea.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 10:58am

    Re: Re: duh

    We must outlaw sex


    They're working on it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 11:02am

    Re: Re:

    There was no reason to flag this comment.


    I think it was flagged because of the link... looks like spam to me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 11:21am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yeah. Comment spam. Get those all the time on a Wordpress blog I administer. A totally generic comment that could theoretically be okay even though it manages to avoid actually addressing the article. But then they put a spam link in their user name/website area.

    I think they're hoping to get search engine ranking moreso than actual visitors. As if rel="nofollow" isn't standard on most comment platforms anyway.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    icon
    Andrew F (profile), Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 11:55am

    Re:

    This reminds me of early Chinese filters where they would ban references to dates (June 4 -- the date of the Tiananmen Square protests), which only served to make otherwise non-subversive Chinese citizens curious why the censors were flagging invitations to get coffee on June 4.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    icon
    Gwiz (profile), Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 11:57am

    Re: Re: Re:

    ... looks like spam to me.


    It is spam.

    Same link, different name and a general comment not really pertaining to the article here also:

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130719/15245523870/michael-morisys-favorite-techdirt-pos ts-week.shtml#c226

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    icon
    Trails (profile), Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 12:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "The ISPs paying for it" = "The ISPs' customers paying for it". Given that just about everyone uses the internet, it's kinda a wash, no?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    icon
    Trails (profile), Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 12:18pm

    Re:

    A big part of the flaw is the idea of "the internet". The internet is not some massive computer with blinking lights sitting somewhere making R2D2-esque noises. It's a transmission mechanism between bazillions of tiny little digital fiefdoms (and a few massive ones). "Let's regulate the internet!" is about as coherent as saying "Let's regulate the sky!" Which sky? The sky over Wales? Over Germany? Over Somalia? Over Antarctica? How high up? How far down?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    icon
    Sheogorath (profile), Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 1:18pm

    Re: Will only affect UK residents anyway...

    Using non-UK versions of search engines doesn't work where there is a UK version. For example, if I enter www.google.bs (Bahamian Google) into my address bar, it seems to work, but the results I get back make it very clear that my request is being served from Google's UK servers. Click on the link and try it for yourself.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    icon
    Sheogorath (profile), Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 1:20pm

    Re: Will only affect UK residents anyway...

    The above link should be www.google.bs., but I accidentally used i instead of a. Sorry.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 1:25pm

    Re: Re:

    Lets regulate the Internet is more like lets regulate every conversation that anybody has.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 1:30pm

    Re: It just goes to show...

    like all senior management, they are so far removed from reality that they just issue orders without caring about problems of implementation. Any failure to carry out those orders are the fault of whoever has to implement them, and could not possibly be their fault for asking for the impossible.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
    icon
    aldestrawk (profile), Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 1:30pm

    Re: Google's Porn Database

    I am not positive this is the entire story but my understanding is that Google's child porn database is essentially a list of hashes of known child porn files. Law enforcement and child protection organizations have compiled these hash databases and they are publicly available. No one at Google is viewing all the pictures or video files indexed by their spiders and deciding whether it is child porn or not. The known files are probably vetted via court cases as a defense attorney would challenge those not fitting the definition. These files are used by forensics experts to determine if a computer contains child porn images. There is no advantage to law enforcement to inflate the database with hashes that correlate with images that do not fit the legal definition of child porn.
    Note that Google does have personnel vetting videos posted on YouTube for various things, but child porn postings there are unlikely.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    icon
    Sheogorath (profile), Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 1:39pm

    inb4 da big block

    Hey, kids (read: adults who are presumed to be kids by default filtering)! Find what you want and fap yourselves silly by clicking on this link. Forever only!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
    icon
    aldestrawk (profile), Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 1:41pm

    a lesson for David Cameron

    We could teach David Cameron how internet search, filters, and language works by doing the following. Associate his name with something particular to child porn in the same way that Rick Santorum's name is now associated with "a frothy mix of lube and fecal matter". When he finds out that searches on his own name get filtered I think the lesson will sink in.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 1:50pm

    Re: Re: wow

    'Child abuse and murder happened before CP was available, I know, but is it possible that fewer people would "graduate" to actually abusing a child for real if they hadn't first seen them abused online?'

    I draw your attention to the following report, where you will find a Member of Parliament arguing that '...filters [for regular porn] would make a difference, [as] the killers of schoolgirls April Jones and Tia Sharp had accessed legal pornography before moving on to images of child abuse.'

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23401076

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
    icon
    Rikuo (profile), Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 2:06pm

    Re: Re:

    ..............................yes

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 2:25pm

    Re: Re: Google's Porn Database

    A hash database is easily bypassed, change one bit in the file and the hash changes dramatically without a noticeable change to the image sound or video. A hash is only good for detecting changes to a file when changes are to be avoided.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 2:42pm

    WRONG WRONG WRONG!!!

    "I'm going to try to regulate THE INTERNET because I really have no idea how it works." - Mel Watt NC 2010

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 2:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: wow

    Sadly the typical British MP is not the sharpest tool in the box when it comes to this issue.

    The fact is that all kinds of disreputable behaviour are represented in the media yet only a few types (usually involving sex or certain types of violence) are ever accused of provoking the same thing in the real world.

    Without some further, and much more carefully obtained, evidence you would have to either assume that the argument works everywhere (in which case any fictional portrayal of wrongdoing of any kind would be off limits) or nowhere.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 2:43pm

    Actually if they want to get technical about it cameras enable child porn long before the internet does.

    Seriously though the enablers are actually the people making it not Cameras, Google, Yahoo, Bing, Tor, or anything else internet related. Point the blame where it needs to be ffs. "The sick fuckers making it!"

    I mean blaming Google for child porn is like blaming Trojan for destroying DNA evidence.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 3:02pm

    Re: Re: Google's Porn Database

    "There is no advantage to law enforcement to inflate the database with hashes that correlate with images that do not fit the legal definition of child porn."

    It's not a question of inflation, but identification. Can you tell at a glance whether a subject is a minor or just a young-looking 18-year-old? Should naturist images of children be considered "child porn"? Do you include pornographic drawings?

    "The known files are probably vetted via court cases as a defense attorney would challenge those not fitting the definition."

    Is "probably" another way of saying it's just a guess?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 3:12pm

    Peer to peer is one of the easiest ways for people to get caught.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 3:15pm

    Re: Re: wow

    Agreed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 3:17pm

    Remember the recent revelation about the FBI actually RUNNING a child porn site?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 4:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: wow

    is it possible that fewer people would "graduate" to actually abusing a child for real if they hadn't first seen them abused online?


    It's possible, sure, but is supported by exactly zero evidence. Lots of things are possible, limited only by our imaginations, but we shouldn't legislate on what might be. We should legislate on what is.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  80.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 22nd, 2013 @ 5:24pm

    Re: Re:

    Not content to look at cheese pizza you want to look at tomato sauce too?! You pervert!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  81.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 12:28am

    Re: Re:

    Think newspeak.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  82.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 12:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Either way we pay... That is always the way!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  83.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 12:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yep, pretty much - a lot of these things tend to try and hide their spammy links in usernames while posting comments that are vague enough to be mistaken for genuine.

    That's one of the reason I laugh at the trolls whenever they complain about their comments getting caught in spam filters, as though there's some kind of personal vendetta against them. I have a blog that gets less than 100 visits on a regular day, and I get at least 10 spam posts that have to be manually filtered. I dread to think how many comments get flagged on this site, especially with the morons making "genuine" comments that contain links and phrases that are constantly being flagged because of the idiocy of their comments.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  84.  
    identicon
    Chris Puttick, Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 1:33am

    Re: Re: wow

    Historic rates of child abuse are not noticeably lower pre Internet. The strongest correlation between abusers and other activities is having been abused themselves as children. The seeking out of such images is indicative of an existing problem, not the cause of a problem.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  85.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 9:20am

    Seriously?

    Let's just ban computers while we're at it, because computers allow us to access child porn! So obviously they're bad!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  86.  
    identicon
    Dave, Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 10:39am

    Just has not got a clue

    Putting it bluntly, another bloody silly, grand-standing, technically-illiterate politician talking out of his arse! He obviously thinks that there is some magic switch that will instantaneously turn the net into a "good place". Well, it ain't gonna happen, brother! There will always be people using work-arounds to get so-called undesirable material from the "dark" net and does he seriously think that hot air and a load of blustering in the name of "think of the children" really diguises that fact that governments do not like the net's free speech aspect and they will do almost anything to control it? This is probably the first piece of an insidious creeping effort to censor the net - pure and simple...........I despair.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  87.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 23rd, 2013 @ 2:04pm

    "well it's the internet, it's lawless, there's nothing you can do about it."

    BULLSHIT

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  88.  
    icon
    aldestrawk (profile), Jul 24th, 2013 @ 11:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Google's Porn Database

    That is absolutely true. These databases still work because pedophiles don't bother to change the files. Changing the filename should also be an obvious, and simple, method to defend against detection but there are pedophiles who don't do that either

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  89.  
    icon
    aldestrawk (profile), Jul 24th, 2013 @ 11:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Google's Porn Database

    Your right, it is a guess. What I am trying to say it that it is not logical to use a match to a hash database to start a prosecution when the image file referred to is not actually child porn. That would be a waste of time for law enforcement. The compilers of the database have an interest in vetting all the files beforehand. If a particular image is used in a court case you can bet that a defense attorney will ask the prosecution to prove that a depicted teenager is, in fact, under 18.
    In the US, at least, there are prosecutors who would say naturist magazines with children are child porn. I will avoid arguing whether that is true or not, but one has to be cautious about possessing such images considering it is such a hot-button topic. I have a photo of my grandfather holding me over his head when I was two years old. I was unclothed and it's a full-frontal view. Does that make me a pedophile because I still have that picture. No, but I won't be posting it on the internet.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  90.  
    icon
    Sheogorath (profile), Jul 24th, 2013 @ 12:03pm

    Re: Seriously?

    Yeah, might as well ban DVD players and everything with a screen under Cameron's reasoning, since they enable the viewing of child porn.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  91.  
    identicon
    DP, Jul 25th, 2013 @ 1:36pm

    Re:

    Total twaddle. Either that or you've been reading far to much OOTB paranoia.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  92.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 27th, 2013 @ 6:09am

    is there the blakclist listed anywhere?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This