Why Shut Down Child Porn Sites When You Can Just Tell ISPs To Block Them?

from the protect-the-children-for-us dept

We’ve often discussed how ISPs should focus on providing bandwidth, and leave policing content to law enforcement. Italy is just the latest country to place the child porn cure onus on ISPs, and have tasked providers with banning access to child porn sites within six days of being told about them. The announcement from the Italian Prime Minister’s office makes no mention of who is determining what sites should be blocked, how the determination is made, or how ISPs should go about blocking access — but you get the impression such details aren’t as important as the political grandstanding. Whether you’re talking about blocking child porn or hate speech, we’ve long argued that the proper course of action is to target the provider and the host of the content — not to burden ISPs with the costly role of playing middle man. Even if offending sites are successfully blocked, users who want access to banned content will ultimately find other ways to get to it, and illegal content providers will continue to find ways to satisfy that demand until they face proper criminal penalty — leaving the original problem intact. If the Italian Prime Minister’s office can spend time surfing for child porn sites, they should finish the job, and collaborate with law enforcement to take them offline — either by arresting the offenders or pressuring the content host. Laying the mess in the lap of the ISPs is a lazy and ineffective cop out.


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Comments on “Why Shut Down Child Porn Sites When You Can Just Tell ISPs To Block Them?”

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33 Comments
Sanguine Dream says:

Its simple...

to answer the question in the title of this post. Politicains will do anything to be noticed. And its a known fact throughout the world that “protecting the children” is a sure fire way to gain public appeal. But these days most people are so snowed over that politicians know that they only have to feint said protection for kids and will get the same effect. And often that feint lies in putting the problem in some else’s lap.

If something like that were passed in the US the next time Bill Walsh profile a child pornographer on America’s Most Wanted the family, friends, and hometown of the child in question would sue the ISP in question to oblivion.

The key politics isn’t just to look good, but to look good, claim all the credit, and shift all the blame to someone else.

No all politicians aren’t this way but they are all over the place these days.

Panaqqa says:

Hate to be an Italian ISP on this one...

After all, how do you block encrypted traffic that comes through an ISP via a proxy? And these days, a lot of child porn (and other illegal stuff) uses steganography – undetectably embedding encrypted illegal content into otherwise innocuous files such as JPGs or audio files.

What next? Block all JPGs larger than 200K because they could contain a concealed illegal image of 20K or so in size?

bmac (profile) says:

Feigning interest in your post

Sorry to nitpick, SanguineDream, but I think the word you’re looking for is feign, meaning to pretend or give the appearance of interest in someone’s viewpoint.

A feint is a millitary tactic, either a charge or retreat, designed to draw the opposing forces away from the real battle.

Jeremy: Is there a country where child porn is legal? I surely hope not.

bmac (profile) says:

Re: Re: Feigning interest in your post

Yes, I’m an arse. But no one, neither paid journalists nor amateur bloggers, uses proper spelling, grammar, punctuation, wording choice, etc. anymore on the ‘net. This isn’t IM, so everyone should try to use the knowledge you should have received sometime in your grade school years.

I don’t care whether you’re reading an article on TechDirt or CNN, you are going to find typos and omissions all over the place. Only moreso in the reply posts. It’s as if there are no proofreaders for any of this stuff.

Your misuse of “your” proves my point precisely. You’re a moron!

Jeremy Steele (user link) says:

Re: Feigning interest in your post

“Jeremy: Is there a country where child porn is legal? I surely hope not.”

There probably are.

Many countries, the US included, don’t have strict definitions of what it actually is, so that is a loophole that gets a few freaks out of trouble.

There was one case a while back in the US where some freak had photos of girls, under 18, in bikinis and in bad positions, in the same folder as his porn, the prosecutor (or was it the judge? can’t remember) for the case said it would have been legal to have the photos had they not been in the same folder as his pornography.

Now many people, myself included, would call that child pornography regardless of its location on his computer. That is just a horrible loophole in the law that can get some freaks out of trouble. I heard on CNN or some TV station a while back that Congress is taking a look at straightening out the definitions, and it would be great if they could get off their overpayed a**** and do that.

Sadly there are many countries where their law-making bodies won’t even think about changing the laws.

Jeremy Steele (user link) says:

Re: Feigning interest in your post

“I thought that definitin in the U.S. of child porn was a picture (or video) of a kid comitting (willingly or unwillingly) sexual acts.”

Yes it is, but the question is, what defines sexual acts. The laws don’t clearly define this. I mean, a person could be fully clothed but bent over sucking on a lollypop and that could be considered a sexual image. It is all just opinion.

The way and image or video is used can greatly influence a judge’s decision. Even if an image is never seen, just because it may be in your porn folder it can be considered a “sexual image”.

someone who knows says:

no

your rightin some ways but not in others….someone before you in this list of comments said why if so many people like child porn..why not change the laws…well the problem is that most child pornographers are the very people who are making the laws to catch them…The police..the lawyers…you name it…2/3 of this country likes it but are afraid or the popular vote..including the 1/3 of the people that want it band…everything has its season…this is the time for this…in a few years ..it will be a quiet subject all over again..who will the law makers target next…the gays?

PornTub (user link) says:

Porn is not all bad...

I don’t agree porn is all bad. There is also erotic, sex, porn, hugs, kisses, and last but not least love… it depends on how you look at it. SOme people enjoy walking naked on the beach, is that porn? Some others don’t show more than their eyes. Should that be forbidden. I believe in free porn for everybody to enjoy, above 18, of course: http://www.porntub.tv
Great blog, keep it up!

Alan says:

Child porn

How can one shut down child porn sites, I have reported some before and when I went back to check they are still there, what can I do, they seem to be growing everyday, never before did I even accidently come across one, maybe that sounds nieive but it’s true, after dating a women that was sexually abused for many years as a child and the damage it has done has made me interested in this growing industry, I have searched for these sites now and in seconds I found some, HOW CAN THIS BE. Can anyone help

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