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BT Blocks 10,000 Child-Porn Site Visits A Day 503

Posted by timothy
from the potential-abuse-and-actual-abuse dept.
jb.hl.com writes "The BBC is reporting that British Telecom, the predominant telecommunications company in the UK, is blocking 10,000 attempts to access child pornography a day. In the first three weeks of the system being operational, BT allegedly blocked 250,000 attempts to view such pages. They apparently have no idea how many of these hits were accidental, or caused by malware. The block affects 2.5m of BT's customers. Pierre Danon, chief executive of BT Retail, said with regards to privacy concerns that "we don't know their motives or who does it and honestly we don't want to know"." onion2k reminds us that we first mentioned the block in June.
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BT Blocks 10,000 Child-Porn Site Visits A Day

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  • by Afty0r (263037) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @06:21AM (#9746728) Homepage
    British Telecom, the predominant telecommunications company in the UK, is blocking 10,000 attempts to access child pornography a day. ... They apparently have no idea how many of these hits were accidental, or caused by malware.
    They should be able to work out approximate values for each by watching long-term trends. "Accidental" access is likely to remain fairly constant (assuming number of users does) whereas deliberate access will surely decline as "interested" users either migrate to other ISPs or get frustrated and stop looking.

    The Malware one is harder, but I would have thought some fairly clever traffic analysis would throw up a good guide as to how much of the traffic is from Malware.
    • by DeepDarkSky (111382) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @06:26AM (#9746749)
      It's always possible to monitor and find out what people are doing, and certainly also to prevent them from doing something unsavory or illegal...but look at what it does for civil liberties and privacy. Sure, everyone can agree that child pornography is bad and is rightly illegal, but it a step toward deeming other more innocuous activities illegal.

      It seems like it'd be no big deal to actually find out if these people are doing it intentionally, but looking beyond it, the implications of usage monitoring is just looming ahead.
      • by kfg (145172) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @07:03AM (#9746922)
        . . .everyone can agree that child pornography is bad and is rightly illegal. . .

        Although almost no one can agree precisely on just what child pornography is, since even the concept of "child" is highly amorphous. ("Honey, I'd really like to just take your picture, but that might be a crime, so why don't we just fuck. That's black letter legal.")

        A friend of mine has come up with the only working definition that seems to apply. Child pornography is whatever gives a particular judge in a particular case a hardon.

        In practice that means that one is only convicted of child pornography by someone who could be legally classified as a paedophile.

        KFG
      • by koekepeer (197127) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @07:37AM (#9747057)
        as the article says, they don't keep a log of *who* they are blocking. take off your tinfoil hat. it's pretty straightforward that child abuse is a bad thing. and this is the issue at hand. why extrapolate it to a possible future with 1984 scenarios?

        it's not that i agree with censoring any webpage, but let's not make BT look more "big brother like" than they really are.

        now, my personal view is that *nothing* should be blocked, but people should be educated instead. type in "child porn" or "kiddie porn" in google, and you will find a plethora of sites saying it is a bad thing and how you can fight it (no i didn't use 'safe search' :P).

        information is freedom. but people need to know what to do with freedom... and there lies the challenge IMHO
        • by Shiifty (704247) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @08:40AM (#9747438) Homepage
          now, my personal view is that *nothing* should be blocked, but people should be educated instead.

          In an ideal world this would be the case.

          But ... People know child porn is wrong, and they look anyways. Educating them won't change their habits. Imposing very long term jail sentences won't change them. Pedophiles do not get rehabilitated, and surfing for child porn is something they can do in the safety of their own home (or so they think).

          • by ooze (307871) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @10:20AM (#9748549)
            Some subversive conclusion chain:

            1. What is the base of any culture? Socialisation and education.
            2. What is the root of our western culture? Ancient Greece.
            3. What was the base of socialisation and education in ancient Greece? A pedophile tutoring system.
            4. So isn't anyone condemning pedophilia attacking the very base of our society?

            But seriously now. There are only two general rules to sex in my opinion:

            1. All involved have to be sexually mature.
            2. All involved have to be consent.

            The problem is with the interpretation of those two rules. Sexually mature is to me, who is biologically mature, e.g. a girl with a period and a boy that can ejaculate. Extending this to mental maturity is simply not possible. Then noone should actually have sex.
            Consent is complicated too. What if you are consent at first, but your partner turns out to be a sadistic pig, or just an "insensitive clod", and you don't like it that way? Is every sex you regret afterwards sex without consent, e.g. a rape? Or you are not consent, are somewhat pressed into it and it turns out you like it. Unlikely, but I bet that happens once in a while. Is that still unconsenting sex?

            So, to me the problem with child porn is not primarily the young age. Only to the extent the young age implies not being biologically ready for sex (which is sadly quite often the case, hence the name child porn). The problem is, plainly, that there is no consent, that the children are exploited and used for commercial means. Speak, the problem is the market, and humans are a ressource to exploit and throw away.
            For the major part of history in the vast majority of the world it was the rule that very young girls got married to older men. And I don't want to put myself into the position, to judge the vast majority of mankind that ever existed as mental cripples due to sexual abuse.
            That being said, I think child porn is terrible, but probably not for the reasons most people think. And I'd also like to add, I never had sex with a minor, not even when I was a minor myself (I'm a /.er after all), but I would have no problem with that, if I'd find some minor I'm really interested in and figure she is too.
            • Your general rules are bad. Thanks to hormones in the milk and other diet issues, girls are hitting puberty at a much earlier age now. My daughter got her period at age 9. Technically, she's sexually mature, but if I catch you trying to have sex with her, you're going home with a stump if you don't bleed to death first.

              Most 11 and 12-year old females are sexually mature. Do you honestly think you'd try to have sex with a 12-year old? Your post indicates you would. If that's the case, you're very twisted. I
              • Is a twelve year old ready for sex with anyone? How about another twelve year old?

                I understand your protectiveness, but wouldn't you be almost as upset at someone older who emotionally screwed with your daughter in a non-sexual context?

                And, just to play devil's advocate, who says a nine-year old isn't ready for sex? Do you give her a backrub? Does she ever give you one? That's physical pleasure with someone much older, and a family member... Sounds pretty kinky if you think about it, but few people would
          • Pedophiles do not get rehabilitated, and surfing for child porn is something they can do in the safety of their own home (or so they think).

            If they really can't be rehabilitated, I suppose I'd rather have them surfing the web for child porn than actually wandering the streets looking for children.

            • That situation does not exist in a vacuum.

              The fact that the child porn exists indicates there are still children being abused to produce the porn. In addition, all that surfing is going to increase the demand for the material, and thus lead to an increase in the abuse itself.

              IMO the surfing is not a safe activity. It is the activity partaken in lack of opportunity. Would you rather surf porn or have sex? The porn is a placeholder until the opportunity for the real thing presents. Why would that be any dif
      • "but it a step toward deeming other more innocuous activities illegal."

        Nope, no, it is not.
        Child pornography is already illegal. Surfing child porn is illegal. It is not making any new rules or laws. What it is doing is preventing people from accidently surfing to child porn sites. Now if they made it illegal to hit the block then it would be something to worry about. Is BT the only ISP in the UK? if not then you still have the choice to go with one that is not blocking.
        • by lga (172042) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @09:57AM (#9748246) Homepage Journal
          Is BT the only ISP in the UK? if not then you still have the choice to go with one that is not blocking.

          BT isn't the only ISP here, but it controls the network used by nearly all ADSL providers, and they are talking about applying the filter to other ADSL sellers "on a non-commercial basis." [bbc.co.uk] There are a few ISPs around that don't use BT, including cable companies NTL [ntlhome.com] and Telewest [telewest.co.uk], and companies that take over the phone lines from BT such as Bulldog [bulldogdsl.com].

          I don't like the fact that blocked pages are replaced with a "Website not found" message rather than a message explaining why the page was blocked.
    • by LostCluster (625375) * on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @06:29AM (#9746764)
      Any such trend analysis would be based upon guessing... and besides, BT doesn't want to do it anyway. If their technology could determine who was intentionally visiting such a site, they'd most likely be expected to tell the cops.

      It's better to say "You can't prosecute the people who we're blocking because we don't know if they really wanted the page or just got tricked into loading it not knowing what it was." because then there's no need for them to bother with a log that they'd have to turn over.
    • bullcrap. 'accidental' visits or 'malware' visits fluctuate depending on the misleading spam campaigns and trojaned activex downloaders run by the sites.

      Whereas 'deliberate' attempts would remain fairly constant as users go from site to site and new users come in, and old ones go out.
    • HTML spam? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by RMH101 (636144)
      ****(cue usual anti outlook rants)****
      if you're using the preview pane on outlook or OE, and someone sends you an HTML spam with dodgy content, you'll get hits to a dodgy site. This could explain a lot of it...
  • by joeykiller (119489) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @06:22AM (#9746735) Journal
    Reading stories like these always makes me wonder how British Telecom (and others) knows what is child porn and not?

    Do they have staff consisting of "smut surfers", that surfs the web and makes note of URL with unwanted content?

    Although I'm of the opinion that free spech doesn't nescessarily secure the rights of spreading child porn, I always get a little suspicious when I read about these things. I always think "what can or will they block next".
    • by Alranor (472986) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @06:26AM (#9746753)
      Reading stories like these .... which you obviously didn't.

      From the article:

      Pierre Danon, chief executive of BT retail, said the company was blocking access to hundreds of sites which had been identified by the Internet Watch Foundation.


      and

      Websites assessed by the IWF as "illegal to view" under the 1978 Child Protection Act were targeted by BT.
    • by doofusclam (528746) <slash@seanyseansean.com> on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @06:28AM (#9746762) Homepage
      Exactly. The blacklist is generated by a childrens charity, and if they're anything like the other censorware groups they'll block the whole of geocities soon because someone has put the word 'cock' on there.

      The fact they're not sharing their blacklist with the public, and that blacklisted sites simply get 404d shows that even they're not convinced as to its quality. If a blacklisted site was marked as such inappropriately, it's be a lot easier to complain about it rather than just assuming the website is down.

      And lets be honest: This is going to save no kids from child pervs. Cleanfeed gives the impression of a safe internet, when it does nothing about usenet or p2p (which i'd assume have far more kiddie porn than the web), and simply serves to put kids in more danger by letting parents think they don't need to supervise their kids use of the internet. It's simply a warm fuzzy feeling for lazy parents. Great.
      • by Xrikcus (207545) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @06:41AM (#9746826)
        I didn't notice they were only 404ing. If that's all they do then the statistics are going to be heavily skewed in favour of continually retrying from the same few people anyway. "Oh, this site worked yesterday damnit! I'll try again... oh... well I'll have another go tomorrow, see if anything's changed"
      • by 16K Ram Pack (690082) <tim.almondNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @06:51AM (#9746866) Homepage
        Actually, the IWF are pretty good. They were setup IIRC by someone at Demon, and it's a bit like the ELSPA is for games.

        The idea is that if you create a good self-regulating industry body, you prevent govt. interference.

        Knowing British censorship laws, and the attitude of UK governments to consenting porn in the past, if the IWF hadn't been set up, they'd have passed laws to get ISPs to block ALL porn including consenting and non-consenting.

      • You are applying reason to an issue which the general public has been trained to attack with a purely emotional knee-jerk response.

        KFG
      • Web doesn't have as much porn, kiddie or otherwise, as P2P.

        It would be trivial for a kid to download eMule, install it. They then instantly have access to porn of every kind, ever.

        Do parents care? No, since they're convinced their happy little filter is working. Do the (insanely small number of compared to column inches devoted to) paedophiles care? Yup, they have a new source of smut.
      • by vidarh (309115) <vidar@hokstad.com> on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @07:49AM (#9747116) Homepage Journal
        It's parents and family friends that are the primary risks for children in any case, not stumbling onto child porn or pervs on the net. The NSPCC (UK organisation - the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) published a study a few years back that showed that more than 75% of all sexual abuse of children was done by close relatives or family friends, not strangers.
    • RTFA. this time they actually explain this important point somewhat:

      Websites assessed by the IWF [iwf.org.uk] as "illegal to view" under the 1978 Child Protection Act were targeted by BT.

      The IWF keeps a real-time live database which is updated every time an illegal site is found.

      i haven't checked out how the IWF work, or ever heard of them before now, but on the face of this this has some credibility. anyone know otherwise? notice also they would appear to be blocking racist material also. interesting.. what we

      • I read the article, but I think I asked the question wrong. I really was wondering about their methodology.

        If it is what it seems to be -- people surfing the web hunting smut -- I can't help to think that it's a little like hunting a moving target. New sites appear regularily, others are shut down, so this has to be a job that's never completed? In other words, BT can't guarantee that they've covered everything?
        • BT can't guarantee that they've covered everything?

          well of course not, but it lets them quote nice statistics. also philosophicaly, is not being able to do something good, perfectly, a reason not to do it at all? i'm anti censorship but can't make my mind up in this case, because, well, i would like to do something nasty to some pedophiles.
          sorry for the awful spelling in this post.

        • In other words, BT can't guarantee that they've covered everything?

          Granted, but is that necessarily a valid reason for not trying?
        • Absolutely, this is just a very small token effort. However it's more than many ISPs are doing and I suppose does help produce some sort of statistics.
  • Think of... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by laejoh (648921) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @06:22AM (#9746736)
    usenet, p2p, ftp, irc...

    Why do the newspapers and others think of the internet as only www?

    All the fools who think that 'disturbing' pictures are blocked now, amazing!
    • It, however, is much harder for malware to cause an unsuspecting user to download something they want over usenet, p2p, ftp, irc, etc.

      This technology doesn't catch the bad guys, but it takes away an ability for the bad guys to try to lose themselves in a croud.
    • Re:Think of... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 1u3hr (530656) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @06:51AM (#9746868)
      usenet, p2p, ftp, irc... Why do the newspapers and others think of the internet as only www?

      Funnily enough, the article has a screenshot showing "...ictures.erotica.teen...", clearly a Usnet binaries group; but I doubt these are blocked -- no mention of NNTP.

      Also was flabbergasted by the statement:
      Home Office minister Paul Goggins ... told the Today programme: "Every image of a child that appears on the internet is an image of a child that's abused." -- WTF??? I really hope that he was misquoted, or is this the same mentality that bans parents taking photos at school pantomimes because it might excite paedophiles?

      And it's rather disturbing that "anyone trying to access such a site would be presented with a message reading 'Website not found'." Why not be honest about it -- "this website blocked as illegal to view under blah blah blah. If you believe this is in error, please fill out this form anonymously if you wish it to be reviewed."

      • Re:Think of... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jb.hl.com (782137) <joe@joe-b[ ]win.net ['ald' in gap]> on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @06:59AM (#9746905) Homepage Journal
        WTF??? I really hope that he was misquoted, or is this the same mentality that bans parents taking photos at school pantomimes because it might excite paedophiles?

        Welcome to the perpetual moral panic that is Britain. On your left, you'll find the latest bullshit paedophile scare which has no grounding in reality. On your right, you'll find out how nobody wants sexually active kids to have safe(r) sex because they shouldn't be active in the first place, leading to an increase in teen pregnancy rates which forms the other moral panic just ahead of you.

        Any wonder why I want to move to Canada? :)
  • Medical sites...? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Beast in Black (781819) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @06:24AM (#9746744)
    I wonder if this would affect medical sites that have displays of unclothed underage patients...assuming there are any such...which i guess would immediately lead to a public outcry about denial of necessary information yada yada yada
    • by madprof (4723) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @06:28AM (#9746759)
      No....the sites blocked are specifically child porn sites.
      They've been seen by the Internet Watch Foundation and classified.
      • "They've been seen by the Internet Watch Foundation and classified."

        Their definition of child pornography is...? And I trust this organization because...?

        Unless 1/5 internet users on BT are attracted to children, I think Internet Watch Foundation is using overly broad definition of child pornography.
        • That or it's malware and, not counting any of those unintentional visits, depending on how it reports that the page is blocked people who do WANT to visit the sites are likely to keep retrying. If it just reports "Page not found" on a site you wanted to visit, would you not try every so often to see if it's been fixed?
        • by madprof (4723) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @06:50AM (#9746863)
          Duuuuh. They classified them as child porn because they were illegal to look at under UK Law. It is legal in the UK to look at medical sites obviously. The sites looked at are definitly illegal to look at. The IWF know child porn because it's their job to stop it.
        • One big problem with blocking a list of illegal sites is that "they" can't release the list. I can easily see the IFW being pressured into blocking legitimate sites and/or people uploading pictures that would get a server blacklisted. Can you imagine Altavista/Google getting banned because they have a some of thumbnails cached in their engine(they probably do).
    • Re:Medical sites...? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by iapetus (24050) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @06:32AM (#9746780) Homepage
      There are such - I worked for a company that developed one. Access to the site was carefully vetted and not available to the general public.
    • You see, people want things both ways. They want no crime on the streets, and they want cannabis to remain illegal. They want rid of drunken behaviour, but still want the right to walk into any shop and walk out with some Guinness (mmm, Guinness).

      Same thing here. They want rid of child porn, but would be very pissed as soon as undertrained medical patients injure one of their kids.

      I love the public's double standards. I suppose it would be funny if it wasn't so deep-rooted and had so much grip on the nati
  • Marketing stunt (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sh0dan (762382) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @06:25AM (#9746746) Homepage
    Statistics like this are basicly useless. Any major telecompany could throw up a filter, and blow out their numbers to promote themselves as the big saint in defeating child pornography.

    Putting up filters are just a smokescreen. If people want child pornography they WILL be able to find it - through closed communities, IRC, doing tunneling, p2p, etc.

    I don't believe for a second that even half of the blocked accesses were illegal material. Even though media is blowing the child pornography thing up , there is (thank god) a very small minority of people actually into this stuff. So my guess is that BT is probably just annoying a big amount of legitimate customers.
    • Re:Marketing stunt (Score:2, Informative)

      by madprof (4723)
      ALL of the blocked accesses were illegal material.
      RTFA!
    • well yes and no. probably there are plenty of people with an interest in child porn who are not technically competent enough to find it if their websites are blocked. so it could save some people. i still want to know if that "Website not found" message is a custom page saying child porn is blocked or a generic error msg made to look as if the site doesn't exist or there's a technical problem... this is a very important detail i think.
    • Small Minority? (Score:2, Informative)

      by KrisHolland (660643)

      "...a very small minority of people actually into this stuff..."

      Is that why: "one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before the age of sixteen" here [darkness2light.org] and here [coolnurse.com].

      25% of all children had a sexual encounter with an adult, either PeeWee Herman has been really busy or there are *a lot* of people very sexually attracted to children, not a 'small minority'.

      Where are the studies and discussions on this issue? Oh I forgot they are being condemned by the United States Congress [conservativenews.org] and state le [state.or.us]

      • Re:Small Minority? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by sh0dan (762382) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @07:23AM (#9746987) Homepage
        I'm not trying to dimish the problem. ANY assult is a problem. However statistics and definisions make the issue hard to understand. I take your example - and even though it doesn't have much to do with the news-item I think it nicely shows the problems in doing statistics.

        What you said: Is that why: "one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before the age of sixteen"

        The reference [coolnurse.com] you quote, lists the definition of abuse, as:
        • sexual touching and fondling
        • exposing children to adult sexual activity, including pornographic movies and photographs
        • having children pose, undress or perform in a sexual fashion on film or in person
        • "peeping" into bathrooms or bedrooms to spy on a child
        • rape or attempted rape

        ...and continues: (My highlights) "Of course, this list goes on. Sexual abuse involves forcing, tricking, threatening, or pressuring a child into sexual awareness or activity. Sexual abuse occurs when an older or more knowledgeable child or an adult uses a child for sexual pleasure.

        The problems with statistics like this is definition of the sexual abuse. There is a huge difference in the listed items (rape vs. "peeping into bedrooms") - especially to the child. I personally don't consider peeping into the bedroom of my child a sexual offence, but rather that I care about my child.
        In the "offender"-part, there is also a big difference if it is an adult, or an equally aged child that does it. Childen below 15 ARE interested in sexual affairs, and often explore these things with their friends - primarily verbally or through imagery. Stating that this is sexual abuse is IMO problematic.

        So getting an overview over the amount of offences isn't easy, as it is very hard to get good information about it. I think the information provided in the article, as well as your reference is bad statistics, because the definitions are way too broad to be of any use.
      • either PeeWee Herman has been really busy or there are *a lot* of people very sexually attracted to children
        Since when is PeeWee a pedophile? I thought he got caught cranking it to some normal porn. Did something happen after that?
    • 'Child' Pr0n (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Becquerel (645675) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @08:28AM (#9747333) Journal

      I know this is a lot of people are hysteric about this issue, but i think it is about time it was broken down a bit.


      I think there are two groups lumped together in the peado label, that are entirely seperate psychologically. There are those that favour sexually imature children upto the age of say 12ish. And those that are interested in sexually mature 'children' age 14-16/18 (pending on country).


      The former group i believe are sexually devient no doubt due to some psychological trauma (or potentially some genetic inability to distinguish appropriate age of female partners), and should be identified and recieve psychotherapy of some sort. The later group i believe to some degree encompasses most adult males. From evidence of taste in other pornography, more general media and through cultural experiance, it is plain that girls of this 'jail bait' age are found attractive. Approaching the issue from an evolutionary standpoint it would also seem quite natural for a sexually mature male of any age to be interested in sexually mature females, no matter what age the pertaining law says is legal.


      I believe at present that these two groups (and of course the grey area inbetween) are all lumped in to the same group. If society acknowledge openly the fact that sexually mature girls are attractive, then i believe less confusion would ensue and a large number of men who feal criminalised for finding girls under 18 (but over say 14) attractive would be a great deal releaved.And back to the point in hand how many of the 10k child porn blocks a day are for site containing images of sexual mature,underage,'children'


      Caveat: I know i haven't mentioned the issue of child abuse to obtain the images and the rights and wrongs of such. This is deliberate in an attempt to try and cut through the hysteria.

  • Shenanigans (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sane? (179855) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @06:27AM (#9746755)
    I call shenanigans.

    250,000 attempts is one attempt for every ten subscribers. Does that sound realistic? Hell, if you're a BT broadband paedo are you going to continually hammer on the sites, or consider that a firewall is in place and either give up or go elsewhere?

    Who thinks that the BT marketing arm is inflating those figures? After all, what sites are they counting? How are they counting? Are they looking for malware? I somehow doubt even 10% of those numbers are really from the sex offender types.

    This type of reporting is dangerous. People think that these type of people are more prevalant than they are, they react by denying kids a normal childhood in the name of safety. Meanwhile 'child porn' becomes a convenient black brush to daub all over anything, or anyone, someone wants to attack.

    If child porn really is this prevalant, why is no one asking why?

    • Re:Shenanigans (Score:5, Insightful)

      by LostCluster (625375) * on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @06:35AM (#9746792)
      What, do you think child pron malware just makes one attempt to connect? Part of the purpose of such software is to create hundreds or thousands of unwanted connections to the site so that the heaviest users are unaware malware victims... a dead end for cops looking for the real criminals.

      It's not that every 10th BT user is making one attempt. It's that the 1/10000th or so customers who are malware victims are making hundreds...
      • Alternatively: malware causes paedo web-sites to be flooded with non-paying traffic, increasing their bandwidth bills and hopefully driving them out of business. (A new use for the Slashdot effect?)

        I suspect - and I have no evidence for this - the nastiest stuff is distributed on IRC and in closed groups. I can only hope the government succesfully arrests and prosecutes those responsible.
  • Motivation? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @06:27AM (#9746756)
    " Pierre Danon, chief executive of BT Retail, said with regards to privacy concerns that 'we don't know their motives or who does it and honestly we don't want to know' "

    What if 25% of people had a sexual urge for children (not an exclusive urge, that would then be pedophilia). Would that explain why 1/6 boys and 1/4 girls have some sort of sexual enounter with an adult by the time they reach 18?

    Instead of pretending that people or children are not very sexual perhaps its time to actually discuss this issue and what it means to society.
    • Re:Motivation? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Peter Cooper (660482)
      The issue isn't actually one of sex, as far as I see it.

      I know there are lots of parents in the UK who have no big problem with their 14 year old kid having sex with some other kid. The problem comes in when it's a 30 year old man having sex with their 14 year old. Why? Control. It's assumed that two kids having sex is just 'mucking around', whereas an older person could goad or cajole someone underage into doing something they don't want to do. Other than that, people view big age gaps as being obscene.

      S
      • Re:Motivation? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by JosKarith (757063) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @06:50AM (#9746864)
        It's an issue of control - control of somebody's sexuality is one of the basic ways to have power over them.
        Parents have an extremely hard time coming to terms with the fact that their little boy/girl/hermaphrodite is growing up and becoming a sexual creature, and so there's all sorts of FUD about the subject.
        16 is an arbitrary limit set by the Victorians when there was an outcry about the number of child prostitutes working in London at the time.
        People mature at different rates - some people aren't ready for sexual experiences till they're 18-20. Some a lot longer before. Until society has a way of looking at the situation on a case-by-case basis we have to work with an arbitrary number which means that 90-95% of those over it are "ready".
        And instead of villifying those labelled as paedophiles, we should be trying to work out what has gone so badly wrong in their sexuality that they are attracted to a person who hasn't developed sexual characteristics yet, and see if they could be cured.
        "Kids messing about"...I know somebody who was told that was all that happened to her. She still wakes up crying sometimes, 10 years later. No simple rule will suffice to adjudicate all cases.
    • Re:Motivation? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jb.hl.com (782137) <joe@joe-b[ ]win.net ['ald' in gap]> on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @06:56AM (#9746895) Homepage Journal
      It's been done, there was a book about it and there was, as always, a moral panic. "OMG, SHE ENDORSES PEDOPHILIA!!!!!!111". That was, quite literally, what the reaction was to any suggestion that child sexuality [wikipedia.org] (note: not kids being fucked by adults, there is a difference) is a perfectly normal part of growing up, and that any restriction of it would lead to puritanical, morally warped adults.

      Oh wait, that's what people want most of the time. Silly me.
    • Re:Motivation? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by madprof (4723)
      Depends...a 17 year old girl and her 19 year old boyfriend is covered by your definition.
      You'd need to be more careful with stats here I think.
      However there is no possibility here of the child being an equal participant. This is specifically adults looking at kids.
    • Perceptions (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @07:45AM (#9747098)
      It depends on how you define children.

      People don't understand what paedophillia is. Paedophillia is the specific and sole (or overwhelmingly primary) attraction to children who have _not_ entered puberty. Puberlescent physical features as much of a turn off to them as females having beards and bald spots are to the average teenage male.

      Many are so misguided that they cry "paedophile" if a 20 year old so much as holds hands with a 15 year old. Paedophiles largely don't care for teenagers. People like that famous Belgian sociopath who raped those teenage girls aren't paedophiles, they just treat young people like this because they're easier to abuse.

      One little fact is that males are attracted to females at much younger ages than society accepts. Back in 19th century England, it was socially recognised that no morallistic female could want sex. We now know this isn't true, but there were strong social taboos on the matter and females wouldn't speak up about it, and males dominated public debate. Today, any adult male is terrified to admit he may find an under 18 year old attractive. Yet most do. The social taboos on the issue are made very strong by hysterical media stories. Another factor is that females are so influential now, and as they are usually unable to find males younger than themselves attractive, they're far less understanding that males do, and become more ridged on the subject.

      According to scientific studies performed by psychologists, the ages females are at their _peak_ of physically attractivenss to adult males is 14 to 24. This is a severe contradiction with social perceptions. It also doesn't take a genius to figure out that 12 is alot closer to 14 than 45 is to 24. Historically puberty happened later (and we still don't know why), while children were psychologically very grown up by age 13 because of the lack of modern society's failings. We have today the double negative of children entering puberty too early (and confusing males' attractions) on the one hand, while young people mentally grow up far too late on the other. We also seperate different age groups from social contact because of schools and workplaces. If these three factors didn't exist, then we'd think nothing of a 30 year old dating a 16 year old, which is exactly how it used to be since the dawn of time. Girls regularly got married in their mid teens. This was almost the case where I live only a generation ago.

      Also, paedophillia is a rare thing. Mathematically, there aren't many of them. Statistically, most child abuse is committed by hetrosexual parents and other close family figures. Sexual abuse by paedophiles only makes up a very small percentage of sexual abuse. One recent survey of prisons where I live found that only a very small minority of prisoners convicted of sexual offenses against children were paedophiles, and most committed these crimes on impulse and because the children were accessable.

      Some European countries have such a different attitude about children and sexuality from English speakers that 12 year old girls may literally take their clothes off in a public park on a hot day while playing, and nobody thinks anything of it.

      Ultimately, sexual abuse happens because people don't care for others. You have to either lack empathy or be delusional to treat a child in this way. If you want to save the children from these horrible things, have a more caring and open society. Knee-jeck social taboos don't help, no matter how certain you are of the subject.
  • FUD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PsiPsiStar (95676) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @06:30AM (#9746767)
    The article is a lot of FUD, and doesn't even directly address the notion of malware, popups, etc. What it does say it seems to gloss over in an unpersuasive manner while giving quotes from seeming authorities on how bad this problem has suddenly be revealed to be. It seems to be aimed at convincing its audience that pedophiles are far more common than they really are and that the adoption of this new product is very badly needed.

    No doubt this will lead to actions taken by people who don't even understand what the internet is or what's going on here.

    From an earlier slashdot article, a comedian got a member of parliment to say, in all seriousness, "Using an area of the Internet the size of Ireland, pedophiles can make your keyboard release toxic vapors that can make you more suggestible." [slashdot.org]
    • Re:FUD (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jb.hl.com (782137) <joe@joe-b[ ]win.net ['ald' in gap]> on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @06:49AM (#9746859) Homepage Journal
      First off, I submitted the article :)

      Second, you're on the money about the "pedophiles are more common than they really are" thing. The UK media, BBC included, is locked in a perpetual state of moral panic, in which paedophiles lurk in every chat room, on every street corner and in every cereal box. A TV programme [wikipedia.org] caused major (and I mean MAJOR-questions were asked in Parliament, tabloid newspapers went berserk-anybody who knows the Daily Mail knows what that means) outrage after it questioned the seemingly unfounded moral panic. I personally thought it was one of the funniest things ever made, but people were very offended, despite never having actually watched it.

      So there you have it. We have a media which is currently in the middle of a massive deviancy amplification spiral [wikipedia.org], and this frankly fucking stupid move by BT is just an upshot of that.

      I'm sure other Brits will back me up on this: it's all a load of crap.
  • Anyone trying to access such a site would be presented with a message reading "Website not found"

    If BT has gone to the extend to block access, why can't they put in a message to warn of such illegal activities? Or is BT blocking access 'secretly' and hopes the 'problems' will go away?
    • it can be more sinister. blocking access secretely reduces the pressure on them to vet what's on the blocklist properly. this should get the civil rights people all worked up. i wish the article had clarified this point. i guess it's "too technical" for their readers :/
  • 1984 (Score:4, Informative)

    by Skiron (735617) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @06:35AM (#9746795) Homepage

    Big problem here is 'child pornography' is being used as a stepping stone to censorship on the Internet (as was 9/11 a stepping stone to the Big Brother approach to tagging/wathcing/montoring everybody in the name of terror we have now), and although BT is _not_ a Government owned Company, it is to a certain extent controlled by Billyliars Government.

    This to me, although maybe done in good faith, is not the way to go.

    What is needed is the sites/ISPs running this stuff shut down - and I cannot see how the FBI/CIA/Scotland cannot find them!

  • stats (Score:4, Interesting)

    by t_allardyce (48447) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @06:36AM (#9746799) Journal
    If they want to find out how many of these are real hits then why not take a look at the reported child rape/abuse statistics, they're probably a little higher this month..
  • Sheesh. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Xargle (165143) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @06:39AM (#9746814)
    Home Office minister Paul Goggins said the figures revealed by BT were "deeply shocking" and he said he hoped other service providers would take up the offer of using BT's blocking technology.

    He told the Today programme: "Every image of a child that appears on the internet is an image of a child that's abused."


    See? It's not just America that's governed by idiots.
    • Re:Sheesh. (Score:4, Funny)

      by teamhasnoi (554944) <teamhasnoi&yahoo,com> on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @09:18AM (#9747772) Homepage Journal
      He told the Today programme: "Every image of a child that appears on the internet is an image of a child that's abused."

      It's True [microsoft.com]!

      Microsoft abuses children! Think of the Children! Switch to Linux!

  • Tracy Lords (Score:2, Informative)

    by mirko (198274)
    Tracy Lords faked her age and performed in many movies and magazine before she was 18.
    All of these have been forbidden and, should you get her Playboy issue (even now), you wouldn't get her naked pictures because she was below the legal age.

    Now, how many access to Tracy's pictures (or pictures/movies banned for similar reasons despite the model's past and present willingness to be featured) were part of these 10000 pages ?
  • by iritant (156271) <lear@ofcourseimr ... inus threevowels> on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @06:56AM (#9746889) Homepage
    ... whatever yore means, there was one service provider based in Texas whose management were quite offended by dirty pictures on USENET. So they hired a consultant to see just how much money that would save on... disk space, yes disk space.

    The contractor came back and said that they could save 60% of their disk space, but since he also analyzed their NNTP logs he told them that porn was also their major source of revenue.

    They're still around. Guess which path they chose.
  • by yuud (690436) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @07:02AM (#9746919) Journal
    Despite the russian proverb, the only concern I have about these kinds of initiatives is the line is only made in the sand (ie, it can be changed):

    2004/ child pornogaphy is blocked
    2005/ pornography is blocked
    2006/ anti-bush websites are blocked
    2007/ all weblogs are taken offline
    1984/ freedom is slavery

    this may be a little bit extreme, sure, but it's axiomatic that freedoms are lost in tiny increments.

  • Don't believe it (Score:4, Interesting)

    by KombuchaGuy (752406) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @07:07AM (#9746935)
    I can't accept these results as fact. Be interesting to see in what way the IWF blacklist works. I think the likely scenario here is that it is blocking a server if it has been found to contain dubious material. So if it is hosting 99% legal porn and 1% kiddie porn that's going to throw your figures out somewhat. When regular adults wanting to look at regular porn attempt to access a site stored on the server through one of many links sites BT are flagging them as paedophiles.
  • by femto (459605) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @07:07AM (#9746936) Homepage
    Perhaps some of the sites blocked aren't child porn?
  • by pandrijeczko (588093) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @07:10AM (#9746945)
    Let me say from the outset that I have no interest in this material and that the perpetrators of it should be given the toughest jail sentences possible.

    However, I find it equally disturbing that a corporation has taken it upon themselves to act as a censor for this material because, as far as I am concerned, these mechanisms are only ever put in place by private companies with shareholders if there is money to be made from it. In this instance, it has been done by BT to portray themselves as a "family-friendly" ISP in order to get more subscribers - therefore, by logical deduction, BT are making money from child pr0n.

    Like 99.999% of Internet users, I am a responsible adult and I have known what is "right" and "wrong" since about the age of 7. I do not need some money-making corporation censoring me, thanks very much, I'm capable of doing that myself.

    Also, why do we never hear about litigation against credit card companies? I understand that the majority of these sites require credit card access and that the providers of that material have registered with those credit cards in the first place. So what are Amex, Visa, Mastercard, etc doing about allowing their services to be used to purchase this material? What self-regulation do the credit card companies apply to themselves?

    I would finally add that the whole child pr0n issue is overblown anyway (to "Keep us living in fear" as Michael Moore would say). The stigma attached to being labelled as a user of this material is so great (in the UK we have a "Sex Offenders List" now) that anybody who is seriously into this material (therefore requiring psychological help) surely knows how to distribute it in far more secure ways than a public web site!

  • FUD Retardant (Score:5, Interesting)

    You can hear it now.
    "The internet is CRAWLING with pedophiles!!!!!"
    "OUR CHILDREN!!!!!"
    "Pedophiles fund terrorists!!"
    "Please BT!! Censor MORE!!!"
    "Ladies and gentlemen. I am assumming absolute power over...."

    Some FUD dowsing is needed.

    The article states.
    BT said in its first three weeks its new system, which bars access to particular sites, registered nearly 250,000 attempts to view web pages containing images of child pornography

    OK 250,000 hits in 3 weeks/21 days
    That's about 11905 hits per day or 496 hits per hour. Let us assume, as most will, that every hit was from someone out looking for that paticular site.

    Lets assume the average kiddie porn junkie will check 30 sites for one hour every two days. Sound unreasonable. I'll get back to this.
    This means that there are about 17 seperate pedophiles checking porn every hour or 816 pedophiles every two days. Which rotated leaves only 816 pedophile on the BT network

    Unrealistic? Maybe? But let's assume every KP junkie checks 30 sites every week
    That means 90 sites in three weeks
    And with 250,000 hits thats gives us approx 2778 pedophiles on the whole BT net.

    Wow. 2778. That a little over 0.000046% of the population. I guess it's time for rallys, restrictions and roundups.

    Ain't maths great?
  • by mm0mm (687212) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @07:19AM (#9746975)
    Even though this may look like a bad example of a private company violating the freedom of expression, this program should have started much earlier in the history of the Internet in UK. This is a shame. I mean, how many children are still being exploited everyday? Only if I could turn back the time.

    It doesn't matter to me even if this would make it difficult for me to finish my research on child abuse. Has this program started, say, only a few years ago, I wouldn't have become a registered pedophile. Dammit.

    Pete Townsend

    p.s. I've been using news groups lately. They are awesome!!

  • by smchris (464899) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @07:21AM (#9746980)
    How many of those contacts log as starting out with "C:/windows/cmd.exe" by some script kiddy? They don't seem to have done any breakdown of what sort of hit the IP got. Therefore, their figures of actual pr0n cruisers is probably exaggerated 10/1.

    Which would be typical of pop media sociological reporting. One of my old soc profs wrote a book called Damned Lies and Statistics: Untangling numbers from the Media, Politicians, and Activists. His favorite quote was "Every year since 1950, the number of American children gunned down has doubled". Which, of course, meant that if a kid did, in fact, get gunned down in 1950, we must have hit a billion child gun deaths by 1980.
  • by GuyFawkes (729054) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @08:22AM (#9747288) Homepage Journal
    than simply quoting the story as though it were fact.....

    1/ the BBC article in question uses a graphic which shows an NNTP client displaying the group alt.binaries.pictures.erotica.teen
    http://newsimg .bbc.co.uk/media/images/39893000/jpg /_39893508_operationore_203.jpg

    2/ the article CLAIMS the filters are blocking 10,000 attempted accesses to kiddie porn per day, without some specifics on these filters there numbers are LESS than worthless

    3/ There is an english seaside town names scunthorpe, because it contains the word CUNT in the name it is routinely blocked by world + dog using cheap filters, again we need to know what these filters consist of, if it is merely "teen" then it's bullshit, 19 years old porn queens abound...

    4/ if it is usenet then it isn't a case of filters, just BT having totally shit NNTP service which all by itself blocks 99.9% of usenet just because they are too cheap to provide the bandwidth and server spools for a decent usenet feed.

    5/ The BBC website HABITUALLY has many stories per day that permit and encourace user feedback.. ok, this feedback is just as corrupt as slashdot editors, and just as invisible, neverthless it is notable that THESE types of "headlines" NEVER ask for feedback / comments from readers....

    6/ since this sort of article is increasingly forming the staple output of slashdot editors, QED slashdot editors are by far the greatest trolls on slashdot and therefore the greatest contributors to slashdots ever decreasing relevance as it dissapears up its own UART
  • Vagueness (Score:3, Interesting)

    by danila (69889) on Tuesday July 20, 2004 @04:12PM (#9752574) Homepage
    In related news, the ISP I work for has blocked access to websites that offer snuff films. Although no details about which sites are included in the blacklist, why we don't report them to the police, what kind of materials are there and basically any other kind of detail, will be ever disclosed, I am free to inform you that on average day we block 24,719 (or any other arbitrary figure) attempts to access snuff films. The public reaction so far has been extremely supportive. The press is pretty happy to reprint our press releases without questioning our claims, various retarded watch groups declared unconditional support for the idea of blocking snuff films, police, parliament, presidents, Roman Pope and the general public are all very supportive too. Fortunately, all kids were blocked from the Internet by BT and so noone is here to make us feel awkward by noting that the Emperor has no clothes (hope that doesn't constitute pornography), there are no snuff films and there are no child porn websites either (unless you are an insane christian fanatic pedophile in denial, such as Paul Goggins, who thinks that every photo of a child is kiddie porn).

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