by Mike Masnick

Blaming Child Porn On The Internet

from the passing-the-buck dept

dan winckler writes in with a link to a story about a new report from a children's charity looking at the rise in child porn arrests over the past fifteen years, and basically blaming the internet - and saying we need to create systems that will stop users from accessing child porn. While I don't doubt that many more people are now accessing child porn than they were fifteen years ago (mainly due to the internet), shouldn't the focus be on finding and helping these sick individuals? Blocking access to content online is nearly impossible and would mostly be a wasted effort that will do little to stop the determined person from accessing the content - while probably adding collateral damage. At the same time, it does little to help figure out who these individuals are, and could lead them to find other (even worse) outlets for their problems. Blaming the technology isn't the solution. At the same time, while the report (focused on the UK) talks about how police actions involving child porn rose 1,500% in that time frame, they're starting with a very small base number, and the total number of offenders was still relatively small. While some would have you believe that every other person online is a pedophile, this suggests that it's a small community of sick individuals that are starting to be tracked down through traditional police work. Before we go changing the internet completely (to no avail), shouldn't we let this process continue? Update: Apparently, I'm not the only one to think this study is ridiculous. This article points out that the numbers mean even less because the laws were different in 1988. They also point out that the rise in police actions is a good thing, that shows the police are doing a good job.

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  • identicon
    eeyore, 12 Jan 2004 @ 10:50am

    blame the messenger

    We had a case here several years ago where a retired gentleman was convicted of procuring child pr0n via the mail and he blamed it on the internet, claiming that he just "stumbled across it." At the time he was arrested he was in the process of trying to adopt two preteenage girls even though he was a widower and in his late 50s or early 60s. Somehow I seemed to be the only person who connected these two events.

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

  • identicon
    Graham, 12 Jan 2004 @ 11:02pm

    No Subject Given

    BBC World are running a report about this and that also blames 3G mobiles because they will "make it easier for people to connect to the internet without being traced" (quoting from memory but that was the gist of it). I'm not sure how a mobile phone with a unique phone number + handset serial number is untraceable...

    The report said that 3G operators are designing devices to stop this but there was a sensible quote from one 3G operator (3 UK I assume) who said that they're also encouraging solutions that stop people wanting to find this type of material rather than having to put filters, etc. in the handset.

    May be details about this on but I'm in China now so can't access that.

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

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