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Germany Searches Credit Cards For Child Porn Payments 283

Posted by kdawson
from the variable-pricing-coming-soon dept.
narramissic writes "According to an ITworld article, police in the German state of Sachsen-Anhalt have teamed with credit card companies to sift through the transactions of over 22 million customers looking for those who may have purchased child pornography online. To date they have identified 322 suspects." From the article: "German data privacy laws allow police to ask financial institutions to provide data about individuals but only if the investigators meet certain conditions, including a concrete suspicion of illegal behavior and narrowly defined search criteria, according to Johann Bizer, deputy director of the Independent Center for Privacy Protection... In the case under investigation, police were aware of a child pornography Web site outside of Germany that was attracting users inside the country. And they asked the credit-card companies to conduct a database search narrowed to three criteria: a specific amount of money, a specific time period and a specific receiver account."
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Germany Searches Credit Cards For Child Porn Payments

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  • Re:Darwin (Score:5, Informative)

    by arevos (659374) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @04:20PM (#17527578) Homepage

    You clearly have no idea what "natural selection" means.

    No, I think the OP is broadly correct in his use of the term. Being jailed and presumably being put on some German equivalent of the sex offenders list does not improve one's reproductive chances.

  • by fmobus (831767) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @04:41PM (#17528072)
    Y'know, there are already free (as in free beer) pr0n search engines [askjolene.com].
  • by AlexCV (261412) on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @04:49PM (#17528322)
    Funnily enough, the AT&T Daytona RDBMS is basically implemented at gzipped (or similar) compressed text files searched with grep. Of course there's some differences with normal grep: queries are compiled to regexp and then compiled to an optimized C program representing the optimal grep-like tool for the specific query. It is then parallelized on an HP superdome.

    Also, most RDBMS implement linear search which is grep like. The use of the LIKE statement is even closer to grep and let's not forget that many RDBMS like PostgreSQL support using regexp in lieu of LIKE statements...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 09, 2007 @05:38PM (#17529514)
    No, it proves that someone paid this company something using a credit card with the suspect's name on it. Could be a stolen credit card, or possibly just a stolen number. Could even be a stolen identity used to obtain a credit card.


    Indeed. About two years ago, I had two transactions on my credit card which I could not identify, and called VISA to find out what they were about. They told me that one was to a company somewhere in Europe named littlegirls.com or something similar, and the other for the registration of a web site with Yahoo. I had been the victim of identity theft.

    As it was impossible to get in touch with the pr0n site, I contested the charge and told the credit card company to revert it, which they did.
    For the Yahoo charge, Yahoo grumbling reversed it after spending hours on the phone with them, and them finally verifying that the request came from an IP address in Yugoslavia from a fake Hotmail accout, and not in the US where the card was held (shouldn't they have checked at least one of the two before accepting the order?). Yahoo still was unable (too stupid) to take my name and address off the web site registration, where it still resides two years later, despite my contacting them no less than half a dozen times over this, so I still get spam snail mail for a domain I never registered.
    Needless to say, as soon as Yahoo had reversed the charges, I closed that CC account.

    However, a search like the OP posts about will still show me as having paid money to a child porn site, as the reversal of charges doesn't null out the original transaction. I do not think this constitutes enough evidence for a search and seizure order. I'm a victim, not a criminal, and victimising me again in the name of "think of the children!" does nobody any good.

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