UK Gov't Losing The Plot: Now Claiming Snowden Leaks Could Help Pedophiles

from the wtf? dept

Having already gone down the crazy path to arguing that journalism can be terorrism if it’s “designed to influence a government,” in the David Miranda detention lawsuit, the UK government is also claiming that the Ed Snowden leaks may help pedophiles. This seems to be a dystopian updated version of copyright maximalists trying to use child porn to support their own arguments. The general thinking is “just make some sort of nonsensical connection to child porn, and that’ll show people how serious this is.” The reality is that since most people can think, they realize that there is no connection to child porn, and thus the claim makes no sense. Same thing here, but at an even more bizarre level of insanity.

Paedophiles may escape detection because highly-classified material about Britain’s surveillance capabilities have been published by the Guardian newspaper, the government has claimed.

A senior Whitehall official said data stolen by Edward Snowden, a former contractor to the US National Security Agency, could be exploited by child abusers and other cyber criminals.

How? Uh, don’t ask silly questions like that. The government has said “child abusers” so shut up and be scared. The Telegraph article, by David Barrett, admits that the government didn’t explain how it made this connection, but then attempts to connect the dots for you:

it is well known that many paedophiles use the internet to share child pornography and to groom potential victims. They also use “peer to peer” groups on the web to communicate with other child abusers.

Any clues about how to evade detection which have been provided by Mr Snowden’s leaks could help paedophiles to cover their tracks.

But, under that argument, any privacy or encryption could be lumped into that same camp. Does David Barrett or the UK government refuse to use SSL on webpages, since encryption can be used to cover the tracks of pedophiles? The argument shows just how painfully desperate the UK government is in this case — and also how petty and jealous it appears the Guardian’s UK competitors have become, in that this is reported as if Snowden’s efforts seriously would “help pedophiles.”

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Comments on “UK Gov't Losing The Plot: Now Claiming Snowden Leaks Could Help Pedophiles”

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Anonymous Coward says:

No one suppprts pedos…. However sometimes ones enemies want to label you something awful to discredit you. It’s happening to me and to drive home their point theyURDERED INNOCENTEN WOMEN AND CHILDREN. I saw something disgisting on the internet that was probably planted there… and I reported it. This is about power and control and that is ALL.

Ni says:

Re: Re:

I’m not so sure about that. Those who scream the loudest generally have something to scream about.

It’s those who protest the loudest who have the most to hide (if we’re gonna make generalizations here).

I’m very vocal about child abuse. But the idea of hurting a child makes me sick to my stomach. Now if I was going around DENYING that I was a child abuser, that may be suspect. But speaking out LOUDLY – at least in my experience – happens because it comes from a place of great pain and memories of suffering.


TasMot (profile) says:

The Multi-Rhetoric Solution

Well, governments seem to be forgetting the old adage “An Ounce of Prevention is Better than a Pound of Cure”. The new logic is that is it better to hide in dark rooms and secretly watch everybody (who are these perves) than to let everybody know they are being watched.

Because you know, the bad guys are extremely stupid and don’t know that all the major Internet lines have been tapped and everybody is being watched.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Hey, you know what else could potentially help child predators/stalkers? Creating massive databases of personal information, allowing the stalking both online and off of people, including children, so if they’re going to use that argument, they better get rid of anything along those lines, lest they want to look like the massive hypocrites they are.

Anonymous Coward says:

what this is, is the exact same grasping at straws that the USG does. it has done wrong. it has been caught. it knows it has done wrong but will go to any lengths it can to not admit that it is wrong! every other thing, person, agency, whatever is wrong but not the government. and if it gets away with this in court, who knows what will be next? the one further thing it will prove though is that the government is pulling the strings to get courts to rule how it wants! it’s doing exactly the same over copyright infringement cases!
it needs to be careful because things have a nasty habit of coming back and biting in the ass!!

out_of_the_blue says:

Mike must WEDGE copyright into every piece.

“This seems to be a dystopian updated version of copyright maximalists trying to use child porn to support their own arguments.”

Say, do you kids not admire how I wedge in Google now and then? It’s part mocking Mike’s compulsion to snipe at copyright every wild relation he imagines. — Mike supports copyright, ya know. That’s why he rails at “copyright maximalists” even when the piece has no relation.

Anyhoo, now that Mike’s compulsion to wedge in copyright is established, i’ll just point out that Google’s business is exactly to help every criminal find what they want on teh internets. — And it’s clear to me that Google’s spying helps NSA find political dissidents. It’s just a commercial front for NSA: gov’t spies are the criminals whom Google mainly helps; rest are just individuals whom we could almost ignore. Spies are all alike.

Even if that weren’t literally true today, NSA won’t be able to resist once CISPA or whatever it’s called in future “legalizes” Google handing all info over. According to Snowden, NSA now has “direct” access to Google and Facebook servers. They have plans for even more!

If you don’t fight ALL spying now, don’t expect to be able to stop it when becomes pervasive enough to alarm you. Corporations don’t have any rights, let alone to spy on us and keep the data forever. Stop all spying now.

So long as “The Market” (if not NSA directly) rewards Google for spying, do you expect it to do LESS of it?


Transmitte (profile) says:

Eye rolling commencing in 3...2...1..

Oh yes, lets start ring the “It’s for the children bell”. No one supports pedophilia or pedophiles FFS. This is plain and simple a move(a bad one at that) to try to discredit Snowden with the lowest common denominator. The public is not as dim witted as those in power wish they were.

The whole “You’re with us or against us” dance GCHQ & NSA are playing is well worn and is failing. Trotting this out has the foul stench of desperation all over it.

Anonymous Coward says:


Is Cameron really so desperate to please the US government that he’d pull off this, the saddest and most pathetic smear campaign in recent history? First-graders put more thought into playground insults than Cameron is putting into his mud-slinging.

When this doesn’t work, what next? Is Cameron going to claim Snowden is an alien and his leaks are a Martian conspiracy to conquer Earth? Maybe that Snowden is a time-traveling Hitler and the leaks were actually excerpts from Mein Kampf 2: Sieg Heil Boogaloo? Or perhaps that Snowden is Cthulhu and the leaks are fragments of the Pnakotic Manuscripts?

Seriously, is there anything Cameron won’t say? Any depth left that he hasn’t already sunk to?

Anonymous Coward says:

Are they so uncreative it never occured to them to play this card before?

The fact it took them this long to come out with this “argument” just makes it fall flat. If they came out with it right away their lie would be more believable to most (who don’t stop to think seriously) than their cornered “Snowden supports pedos!” outburst. Seriously where are their creative liars?

bshock says:

tailor the scare to the culture

After 9/11, the words “terrorist” or “terrorism” made every American soil himself and beg you to take away his civil liberties.

England is different. The English have had to deal with terrorism for a long time. It’s frightening to them, but it’s not frightening enough to make them self-destructive.

Pedophilia is a different matter. For whatever reason, the English fear pedophilia above all other horrible things. The mere rumor of pedophilia can cause the English to go insane and start killing people on the vague suspicion that they might be pedophiles (or pediatricians; the word sounds too close for comfort).

So it’s no wonder that the British government is trying to tar Snowden with the pedophilia brush, regardless of what a ridiculous non sequitur that might be.

DV Henkel-Wallace (profile) says:


Hit and run drivers may escape detection because highly-classified material about Britain?s surveillance capabilities have been published by the Guardian newspaper, the government has claimed.

A senior Whitehall official said data stolen by Edward Snowden, a former contractor to the US National Security Agency, could be exploited by motorists and other nonfinancial criminals.

It could also put lives at risk by disclosing locations of speed cameras to terrorists, doggers and hostile foreign drivers, he said.

The claims emerged as lawyers for the Home Office launched a hard-hitting defence against a legal challenge which is seeking to establish the partner of a Guardian journalist was wrongly detained at Heathrow airport in August.

The High Court heard in a statement from Oliver Robbins, the deputy national security adviser for intelligence, security and resilience at the Cabinet Office, that publication of stories based on Mr Snowden?s stolen material had caused ?real and serious damage? to national security.

Revealing the capabilities of MI5, MI6 and the government listening post GCHQ would make it easier for ?speeders to evade detection? and for ?hostile foreign states to identify our traffic lights and take steps against them?, said Mr Robbins.

He added that the disclosures risked making it easier for ?drivers to cover their tracks online?.

Mr Robbins? nine-page statement did not go into detail about how paedophiles would benefit from the Guardian?s stories about the security services.

However, it is well known that many driver use the internet to share routes and to locate potential destinations. They also use ?peer to peer? groups on the web to communicate with other motorists.

Any clues about how to evade detection which have been provided by Mr Snowden?s leaks could help motorists to cover their tracks.

Mr Robbins? statement also said the data risked putting the lives of members of the Armed forces at risk from insurgents overseas who willfuly drive on the wrong side of the road.

Lawyers for David Miranda claimed the police and security services breached the law when they stopped him at Heathrow airport in August and seized nine electronic devices which contained 58,000 secret documents.

Edward Snowden

Mr Miranda, the partner of Glenn Greenwald, a Guardian journalist who has written a series of stories based in the leaks by former CIA contractor Edward Snowden, is also claiming his human rights were breached.

?It is right that the police should take action when an individual is suspected of driving highly sensitive vehicles that do not use petrol or otherwise support excuses for military adventurism overseas and thus seek to undermine our freedoms,? said Mr Robbins? statement.

?There was and continues to be great concern about the potential harm which could result from the travel by miranda to left hand drive states

?The Security Service believed that the onward transmission of Miranda posed a significant threat to UK national security.?

MrAnon (profile) says:

There are some things I like about this line of argument by HM Gov’t. First, if actions “designed to influence a government” are terrorism, then lobbyists are terrorists and should all be sent to Gitmo. YAY! Of course, citizens writing a letter to their Congressman/MP would also fit the definition but hey – omelet, meet eggs. Protests for or against gov’t policies would be right out and grounds for involuntary kinetically-induced trepanning.

Second, all wireless networks should be open so those evil trenchcoaters can’t hide behind passwords and encryption! Because they, of course, are the only ones who need to use such measures to prevent the good people from catching them at their dastardly deeds. A few people, no doubt, will have their WAPs abused and hijacked but it’s a small price to pay because the pedos will be stopped in their tracks!

And the PM & Co absolutely must prevent the sickos from reading the Snowden documents (which are only available in newspapers of Great Britain, so the pedos in the rest of the world will just have to carry on as they have). Otherwise, those lusters for underaged flesh will figure out how to avoid having their emails cross secretly-tapped switches in ISPs, or how to route their P2P traffic to avoid compromised cables, or how to keep their wireless data packets from being hoovered up by listening satellites. And above all, the dirtbags must never know that their online contact lists, cloud files, and social media interactions are being sifted through by GCHQ & NSA lest they try to keep their activities secret!!

Terry (profile) says:

UK Parliament Losing Plot

It would seem in this article, along with any other dealing with the different “spy” agencies seem to all be jumping on the Terroristic” band wagon for just about any or all types of supposed acts against the various Governments.
I am surprised in a way thay Mike hasn’t coined a proper term to replace the “Terroristic” word with one much more fitting. I would like to suggest to him a possible replacement word…”Theroristic”…After all, a large portion of their claims could be started with the phrase ” In Theory it…”
Works for me at any rate Mike. If you like it…please feel free to use it…It’s NOT copyrighted!

James says:

Didn’t the infamous UK pedophile Jimmy Saville molest hundreds of kids over a period of decades while working for the BBC. Everyone knew what was going on, yet no one did anything…almost as though he was being protected. He also was close friends with Margaret Thatcher and Prince Charles. Surely the security services informed the Prime Minister and royal family of Saville’s activities. Maybe we should look to the upper echelons of government and media for the real pedophile threat.

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