How Cuomo's Anti-Child Porn Efforts Will Make The Child Porn Problem Worse

from the driving-it-underground dept

In discussing NY Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's success in getting ISPs to block a list of child porn sites and newsgroups, we noted that it wouldn't do a damn thing to stop child porn. The reality is that it may actually make the problem worse. It turns out that these efforts to make it harder to access child porn have serious unintended consequences: basically, those involved with child porn still have plenty of ways to access it, but it's much more underground than before. It makes it that much harder for law enforcement officials to track down those actually responsible and to stop child porn at its source. Again, it's a noble goal to try to stop child porn, but making ISPs block access to sites isn't the answer. And, the fact that those ISPs are admitting that they're blocking more than just the list makes those unintended consequences even worse. What Cuomo has done is make it harder to stop child pornography while also opening the door to others censoring the internet.

Filed Under: andrew cuomo, isp blocking, porn

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  1. identicon
    Claes, 11 Jun 2008 @ 1:25pm

    The Swedish list of blocked sites, with the sole purpose of blocking child porn, was leaked and those who analysed it could find almost no signs of illegal material. Now internet is of course very dynamic, but this still gives some indication of the problem of having the police acting as a kind of judge without any accountability. Obviously there's a lot of tasteless material on the internet, but most of it is not illegal.

    Here is an example (perfectly safe to visit I assure you) of a swedish site hosting images that can be used to indicate that you want a certain material to be freely copied:

    It was temporarily blocked (until the police received too many complaints) due to it's frontpage (perfectly safe to visit too).

    Another interesting example is when the Swedish police accused The Pirate Bay for hosting child porn. It didn't try to inform the responsible persons of which files were illegal but instead announced that they planned to put the whole site on the blocking list. The really interesting part here is that they didn't start any investigation. This clearly shows that blocking can be misused as a seemingly easy solution when the real solution would be to track down the source.

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