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FTC Takes Out Porn- and Botnet-Spewing ISP 263

Posted by timothy
from the ayn-rand-would-approve dept.
coondoggie writes "The Federal Trade Commission today got a judge to effectively kill off the Internet service provider 3FN, which the agency said specialized in spam, porn, botnets, phishing, and all manner of malicious web content. The ISP's computer servers and other assets have been seized and will be sold by a court and the operation has been ordered give back $1.08 million to the FTC."
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FTC Takes Out Porn- and Botnet-Spewing ISP

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  • Hey hey hey! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @02:15PM (#32268606)

    which the agency said specialized in spam, porn, botnets, phishing and all manner of malicious Web content

    One of these things is not like the other

  • by daveime (1253762) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @02:18PM (#32268640)

    Because it gets the religious types in a frenzy, and all those anonymous letters and leaflet campaigns carry a lot of weight around the FTC.

    Botnets, spams and malware aren't good headlines, PORN (36 point Verdana Bold Italic) is !

    Because Americans are a bunch of sexually-repressed prudes in public, but just as perverted and fucked up behind closed doors as the rest of us ?

    Take your pick.

  • by gyrogeerloose (849181) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @02:21PM (#32268674) Journal

    Supporting/controlling botnets I can understand, but where does serving up porn figure in the shutdown? I can't see how it did.

    RTFA--they were hosting child pornography sites. That's a whole different animal from the usual porn.

  • by Locke2005 (849178) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @02:25PM (#32268738)
    Free porn: good. Porn spam: very bad (my daughter has an email address too.)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @02:26PM (#32268746)

    And why counldn't that have been mentioned in the news snippet? 'c' 'h' 'i' 'l' 'd' a whopping 5 bytes more, and the aura of trolling for comments would have been blown away.

  • by by (1706743) (1706744) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @02:26PM (#32268754)
    From TFA:

    ...harmful electronic content including...pornography featuring children, violence, bestiality, and incest.

    The "children" part seems relevant...

  • by Tanuki64 (989726) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @02:30PM (#32268802)
    One word: Americans.
  • by Shakrai (717556) * on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @02:32PM (#32268834) Journal

    If CP was not so regulated and forbidden, there would be a lot less children harmed in the making of it.

    Huh? That argument flies with the War on Drugs because most drug addicts are consenting adults. How does it fly with something that requires sexual behavior on the part of those too young to consent to such activities?

  • by Pharmboy (216950) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @02:46PM (#32269030) Journal

    Of course. You know that 1 complaint = 1 billion people, right?

    I hear they got 20 calls about that incident, which means that 20 billion people were offended by this. [allenhuntshow.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @02:54PM (#32269150)

    If it was free and unregulated it would fill the internet making it hard for people to turn a profit producing it on their own which would lead to any economic benefit being reduced or eliminated.

    Right. Just like how "regular" porn is unprofitable because the internet is already full of it.

    because it is illegal and actively destroyed

    Right. Because CP doesn't exist in digital form with multiple copies floating around the world, and is therefore easily destroyed when it's found.

    if there is so much free CP floating around because it isn't actively destroyed the few people with that fetish go to that and don't even bother to purchase CP destroying the economy of it.

    Right. Which is why nobody is producing "regular" porn anymore, since there's more than enough of it available to satisfy everyone already.

  • by clone53421 (1310749) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @02:56PM (#32269172) Journal

    The freedom of the person who’s looking at a picture and thinking something naughty.

    The people who actually produced the stuff... the adults who abused kids to make porn... well, you apparently didn’t read his comment very well, because he already said you should go after them.

  • Re:Hey hey hey! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Cowpat (788193) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @02:57PM (#32269186) Journal

    How long did your career producing segments for Sesame Street last?

  • by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @02:58PM (#32269208)

    Maybe so, but their uptime graph really sucks.

  • by Akido37 (1473009) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @02:58PM (#32269212)

    You think child porn is protected by freedom of expression?

    Tell me, whose freedom are you thinking should be protected? The adult or the child? Is it OK if the adult's freedoms infringe on those of the child?

    You're protecting the freedom of the poor bastard who downloaded it by mistake and didn't nuke his hard drive from orbit.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @03:06PM (#32269328)

    Could someone who's not blocked from reading the article tell me - Was this *real* child porn? Or was it "under-18 in skimpy clothes" sites? Lots of politicians like to throw around an "entry-level child porn" label when they really mean "about as much skin as you can see at the beach". I'm just wondering what the FTC definition is.

    It's not generally advisable to try to find out more about what is classed as child porn -- you could become collateral damage to your own curiosity.

  • by RobertLTux (260313) <robert AT laurencemartin DOT org> on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @03:18PM (#32269488)

    i would hope that the actual drives themselves are locked in some evidence warehouse in crates labeled with a case number since they will needed as evidence for when they hang^imprison these folks post trial.

    so in short if they still have the files on them a number of somebodies need to lose their jobs (or you wont be getting the drives at all).

  • by LWATCDR (28044) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @03:19PM (#32269502) Homepage Journal

    It is called freedom of speech not freedom of expression.
    So you can talk about all you want. But no your wrong it should be and is illegal. The Supreme Court is okay it being illegal as is most of society.

  • by RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) <taiki&cox,net> on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @03:21PM (#32269522)

    From what I understand about group dynamics, shouting, "FIRE" in a crowded theater even if there is a fire will result in similar outcomes.

    (People telling you "SSSSH this is the scene where Cody Rhodes gets the WarMachine armor!" in hushed tones.)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @03:23PM (#32269552)

    Yes, we should sanitize the world because you want to give your daughter unsupervised access to it.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @03:27PM (#32269618) Homepage

    I see your intent here, but what happened is precisely what needed to happen... maybe FASTER than it happened, but still it happened.

    Here's why I would have issue with your extended prosecution logic:

    1. Such a move does not place limitations of responsibility. For example, you prosecute the upstream provider of the "criminal organization." Great. But what about the upstream provider of that provider?
    2. Such a move would serve to stifle admittance onto the internet in general. It would cause upstream providers to "police" those downstream. It would also cause upstream providers to be more exclusive about who they provide access to which leads to OTHER problems like denying someone the ability to make a legitimate living based on "who knows" what information but would likely lead to some pretty unfair business practices.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @03:28PM (#32269646)

    See, this is a place where the "slippery slope" argument doesn't hold much sway (well, for me at least).

    Child Porn has been (almost) universally condemned. Doesn't matter which side of which fence you are on, it's wrong to do those kinds of things to someone that does not consent, and a child cannot consent.

    Oh, there's a grey area with older teens or younger-looking adults - Personally, I think the age of consent (for sex and for video/pictures) should be lowered to 14/16 or so (you know - the historical "move out and start your own life" age), but (for example) a video or picture of an adult having sex with an 8 year old is evidence of a rape, period, end of story. It cannot be tolerated, it will not be tolerated - in production, absolutely.

    What people don't fully understand is that using something creates more of it. It's true about P2P music and movies, it's true about child porn, it's true about normal porn.

    Let's take three scenarios of varying severity.

    -CP is produced. Someone purchases it, thereby supporting the person they got it from directly.

    -CP is produced. Someone purchases it and shares it online via file sharing. Other people download it from them, making the person that produced it happier as others find out to come to "jasonXXX8yrold" for more files. All people that downloaded it are supporting the production, because they are encouraging the distribution of the file.

    -CP is produced. The producer places it online in a cloud-style system, and then monitors to see how many times it's been downloaded. Nobody pays for it, ever. But the producer gets a "good feeling" from being popular, so he continues to produce it.

    Basically, CP is an abomination that should be hunted down and destroyed with every legal and just method - with one caveat.

    That caveat? Someone real has to get hurt. Sketches of people don't hurt other people.

  • by clone53421 (1310749) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @03:46PM (#32269850) Journal

    -CP is produced. Someone purchases it and shares it online via file sharing. Other people download it from them, making the person that produced it happier as others find out to come to "jasonXXX8yrold" for more files. All people that downloaded it are supporting the production, because they are encouraging the distribution of the file.

    You obviously do not know how this sort of thing works. The people who produce it do not want it widely distributed... as soon as it’s found by law enforcement, it’s a piece of potential evidence to find them and catch them. Hell, anonymous people on the internet tracked down a woman who stomped on a kitten with spike heels... do not underestimate the power of benign things.

    -CP is produced. Someone purchases it, thereby supporting the person they got it from directly.

    Those sort of things are carefully designed trades. They don’t deal with people they don’t trust, and they don’t trust people unless those people also abuse kids. There’s too much risk of being caught in a sting... and the imprudent ones who do stupid stuff like you described do get caught... which is why you think that they’re all like that, I suppose. It’s only the really clever ones who get away with it... and you don’t even know most of them exist.

    -CP is produced. The producer places it online in a cloud-style system, and then monitors to see how many times it's been downloaded. Nobody pays for it, ever. But the producer gets a "good feeling" from being popular, so he continues to produce it.

    They do not do it for the notoriety. That is absurd. They do it because they like abusing kids. The ones who do film it do so mostly just to share amongst themselves. If anything, when their materials do leak it just means they should be even more careful in the future because they don’t want law enforcement getting wind of them.

    http://www.google.com/search?q=wikileaks+my+life+in [google.com]

  • by theaveng (1243528) on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @03:50PM (#32269916)

    You think child porn is protected by freedom of expression?

    Yes. Just as I think looking at photos of a grisly murder is ALSO protected by freedom of expression. I didn't commit the crime - I'm only looking at light captured on paper, so I've done nothing wrong. (BUT the person who committed the crime should be arrested and jailed for a long, long time.)

    This is also why I don't think possession of marijuana should be a crime. If you are driving while smoking, then yes you should be arrested, but if you're just sitting at home enjoying the psychedelic colors of Star Trek 1, then you've done nothing wrong. Mere possession is not a crime.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @04:02PM (#32270058)

    5 naked pics of a child PORN

    So you're okay with the woman who went to jail for trying to get a picture of her kids first bath developed?

    Do you assume all nudity is sexual elsewhere too?

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @04:09PM (#32270118) Homepage Journal

    Such a move would serve to stifle admittance onto the internet in general.

    Ultimately, that's probably the aim of the FTC, which is little more than a pro-industry group. This has definitely been the aim of the largest telecoms for at least a decade now.

    They let the internet get away from them. They're still mad that the wild, wooly Internet ever came to exist without their guiding hand from day one.

    The Internet was basically an accident. If it had been started by the "Free Market" it would never have looked anything like the way it looks today, with anybody who gets connectivity having the ability to become a content provider with global reach. Job #1 now is to get it completely under corporate control where (they believe) it should be. They're not going to stop until they are once again the gatekeepers for what people see and do, and every single Internet activity is metered and monetized.

    This is why people like me are so anxious to keep the Internet public, using Net Neutrality laws. We remember how it started, what it was like before there was any corporate presence, and how desperately the largest corporations want to turn it into cable television.

  • by HiThere (15173) <charleshixsn@ear ... net minus author> on Wednesday May 19, 2010 @04:56PM (#32270614)

    Sort of depends on the definitions used. I'm against cruelty, unless the target is a masochist, but...

    Child porn has been used to imprison a 15 year old who sent pictures of self to their 16 year old partner. (I'm vague, because of uncertainty, but I think the 15 year old was a boy. And it's possible that he was arrested for possessing nude pictures of his 16 year old girl-friend [that she sent from her cellphone].)

    Since then I've been a bit skeptical of child-porn stories.

    Also, a man having sex with a small dog is clearly wrong. But with a horse...if it objected, the man would never walk again. And women appear to have been "making it" with animals since the stone ages without anyone suffering. (Well, bar a few who didn't choose to do so, but there the wrong is in the coercion.)

    And incest? Do you *believe* everything you read? How do you know whether they are related or not?

    P.S.: Child porn has been stretched to cover cartoons. Explain to me why I should disapprove of those cartoons? I remember seeing similar comic books when I was in high school around 1960, so I'm certain it's nothing new.

  • by moeinvt (851793) on Thursday May 20, 2010 @07:28AM (#32277298)

    "This is why people like me are so anxious to keep the Internet public, using Net Neutrality laws."

    If you put your faith in government, your doomed to be disappointed. I like net neutrality "in principle", and I reconcile(d) that with my libertarian world view mostly because I believe that the availability of information is critical to a free market and a free society. I was even something of a "crusader" for the cause a couple of years ago. I then came to the realization that we cannot trust the federal government to do ANYTHING for the benefit of the average citizens if it might be somehow detrimental to the wealthy politically-connected elites. If we ever get something like a "Net Neutrality" law, it will be just like "Health Care Reform" and "Financial Reform". A nice sounding cover page on top of 1000+ pages of provisions that benefit wealthy campaign contributors, citizenry be damned.

    Check out "opensecrets.org" to see who's greasing the wheels in DC. The telecom and cable companies are near the top in campaign contributions and rather high up in lobbying expenditures.

    We can't expect the government to serve the people. We should just assume that the battle lines have been drawn, and it's the citizens on one side vs. the government and their corporate allies on the other.

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell

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