Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Privacy Government The Courts News Your Rights Online

Major UK Child Porn Investigation Flawed 372

Posted by kdawson
from the ruining-innocent-lives dept.
Oxygen99 writes "The Guardian (UK) is carrying a story on Operation Ore, a major police investigation aimed at catching online pedophiles. This has resulted in several high-profile arrests, such as those of Pete Townshend and Robert Del Naja (both falsely accused), while attracting significant press attention. Yet, the reality of the investigation is one of stolen credit cards, wrongful accusations, and ignorance leading to a significant number of the 7,292 people on the list being wrongfully accused of a very emotionally charged crime. There have been 39 suicides and a number of other people on the list will probably never be investigated. It seems to me this case highlights flaws inherent in the way law enforcement agencies handle evidence that only a small minority of front-line officers fully understand."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Major UK Child Porn Investigation Flawed

Comments Filter:
  • Related Cases (Score:5, Informative)

    by giafly (926567) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @11:51AM (#18799107)
    No evidence against man in child porn inquiry who 'killed himself' [independent.co.uk]
    The inquest into his death heard that computer equipment and a camera memory chip belonging to Commodore White had yielded no evidence that he downloaded child pornography, and a letter was written by Ministry of Defence police to Naval Command on 5 January this year indicating that there were "no substantive criminal offences" to warrant pressing charges. But the Second Sea Lord, Sir James Burnell-Nugent, feared that the media would report the case and on 7 January removed him from his post anyway ... the commodore was dead the next day.

    In one case at Hull Crown Court last year, a distinguished hospital consultant was acquitted after it emerged that hackers had used his credit card on Landslide. The judge dismissed some police evidence as "utter nonsense".
  • the events of this case means that law enforcement must take due diligence when hunting child pornographers

    it doesn't mean that law enforcement should stop hunting child pornographers

    you would think this is an obvious difference, but you watch the kinds of comments these sad events conjure here

    the problem, of course, is shoddy law enforcement. but whenever something like this happens- the police bungle it big time, people come out with comments pointed against the very concept of law enforcement itself
  • IIRC... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Otter (3800) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @11:59AM (#18799247) Journal
    This has resulted in several high-profile arrests, such as those of Pete Townshend and Robert Del Naja (both falsely accused)...

    There could certainly have been developments in this since however many years ago that it happened, but didn't Pete Townshend acknowledge having sought out and downloaded child pornography, claiming it was "research"? Whether or not you believe that, he certainly wasn't "falsely accused" in the sense used in the story.

  • by orclevegam (940336) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @12:01PM (#18799297) Journal
    And this relates to the story how? The article was about false accusations, and that most of the so called child porn sites being used as evidences in these cases were just dummy sites without much of anything on them being used for credit card fraud. Kind of a novel approach to credit card fraud at that, a bit closer to pay per click fraud than traditional credit card fraud as it was the hosts committing the fraud and relying on the re-seller to take the hit for the charge-backs.
  • Typical of Britain (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, 2007 @12:04PM (#18799363)
    Coming from Britain I can say this is typical of our government. They are of the impression all it takes to solve a problem is to assign someone (typically totally unsuited) to the task of assigning money to agencies or companies (with the greatest kick back) with absolutely no insight into how to handle things and then sitting back thinking how to BS there way out of the mess that inevitably ensues (just watch them on the news, they are experts at dodging the questions they get asked about how they fucked up again).

    The way they try to fix this is to create new agencies in between agencies.. all this creates is more paper work that never finds its way into the correct hands and causes more problems and tax pounds which could be better put elsewhere.

    Britain is essentially becoming a broken beurocractic piss hole.
  • by earnest murderer (888716) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @12:54PM (#18800231)
    It's not about "police" so much as there are particular personalities that do not make good officers. Unfortunately law enforcement is particularly attractive to these kinds of people and at least in America there are few if any processes to keep these kinds of situations in check.

    You have to give us (Americans) credit though. We don't even bother with spurious or weak evidence, our officers just make shit up wholesale and abuse/intimidate 4 year old girls into saying whatever their sick psyche's want to hear...

    ----------
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Day_care_sexual_abuse _hysteria [wikipedia.org]

    The Wenatchee sex ring in Wenatchee, Washington in 1994 and 1995 where police and state social workers undertook what was then called the nation's most extensive child sex-abuse investigation. Forty-three adults were arrested on 29,726 charges of child sex abuse involving 60 children. Parents, Sunday school teachers and a pastor were charged and many were convicted of abusing their own children or the children of others in the community. Courts ultimately determined the charges were entirely untrue. Police coerced children into giving false statements, and false testimony in court. Dr. Phillip Esplin, a forensic psychologist for the National Institutes of Health's Child Witness Project commented that "Wenatchee may be the worst example ever of mental health services being abused by a state ... to control and manage children who have been frightened and coerced into falsely accusing their parents and neighbors of the most heinous of crimes."
    ----------
  • Re:Credit card? (Score:4, Informative)

    by MindStalker (22827) <mindstalker.gmail@com> on Thursday April 19, 2007 @12:56PM (#18800257) Journal
    Technically by definition pedophiles are interested in pre-pubescent. Simply under 18 (ie 16-17) doesn't fall under this category, and in general won't get you sent to prison, though some prosecutors are malicious.
  • by robably (1044462) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @02:18PM (#18801699) Journal

    Why yes... "Research"... That's it...
    A perfect example of why these charges are so damaging. Once you've been named that's it, you're a demon, doesn't matter whether you're guilty or not.

    Anyway, Pete (who has a parallel career as a writer) posted an article on child pornography on his web site before the charges arose [wikipedia.org].
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, 2007 @02:20PM (#18801749)
    "
            The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people.
            As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children,
            the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation.
    "
            -- Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler, Publ. Houghton Miflin, 1943, Page 403

    captcha: are you swayed by these arguments yet?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, 2007 @02:39PM (#18802097)
    I did use my own credit card though. But I signed up to a completely legal all-over-18 site through the "KeyZ" system.

    I was of course found innocent, but not until I'd been arrested, my house turned over completely, my possessions destroyed, then jailed, interogated and put on bail for 3 months while they went through all my hard drives, CDs, DVDs etc. I, like many others, never got most of this equipment back.

    I never got an apology. All I got was a note on my intelligence file that I was a potential child abuser and a note on my criminal record that I was once arrested for downloading child pornography.

    The police on the day of my arrest were basically insinuating that it would be better if I would just commit suicide to save everyone a lot of trouble.

    I later, with the use of sites such as archive.org, helped bring a stop to several other cases where the people in question had quite obviously only accessed legal sites.

    Thanks British Government, you bunch of faschist cunts.

    If you want any questions answered, ask below. I'm posting this in Coward mode, as I don't particularly want everyone in the world to know, even though I'm innocent.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 19, 2007 @04:02PM (#18803297)
    Oh, and the 39 suicides is the official number which the police were willing to 100% link to Ore. The actual number, from 3rd party investigations, is from memory closer to 110 people.
  • by QCompson (675963) on Thursday April 19, 2007 @06:10PM (#18805151)

    Interesting... but does the law work the other way? Is it illegal to build a daycare, school, playground, mall, etc. near the home of a sex offender?

    Not sure about Florida, but in many states, if a daycare, school, bus-stop, playground, mall, etc. is built near the home of a sex offender, then the sex offender has to move.

Every nonzero finite dimensional inner product space has an orthonormal basis. It makes sense, when you don't think about it.

Working...