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Porn Site Gave Federal Agents Free Rein 319

Posted by timothy
from the turn-out-the-lights-when-you're-done dept.
Frosty Piss writes "The operators of a notorious porn site Free6.com granted federal agents administrative access to the site, giving investigators the ability to monitor traffic and public and private chats in an effort to identify users trading 'a significant amount of child pornography.' Though some bloggers have speculated about whether law enforcement officials have secretly been given administrative access to sites where users have been known to post child pornography (like 4chan), the Free6.com arrangement is apparently the first such compact to be disclosed by investigators."
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Porn Site Gave Federal Agents Free Rein

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  • Good excuse (Score:4, Funny)

    by mangu (126918) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @04:02PM (#34505620)

    giving investigators the ability to monitor traffic and public and private chats in an effort to identify users trading 'a significant amount of child pornography.'

    -"I swear, chief, it's all part of an effort to catch a gang of child pornographers, that's why I've been browsing that site so much"

  • by EvilBudMan (588716) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @04:05PM (#34505672) Journal

    It would be my guess that the men in blue like porn and want it for free.

    • by melikamp (631205) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @04:20PM (#34505924) Homepage Journal
      I think it's ridiculous that just possessing an image is illegal. Not only this law utterly fails to curb child abuse and child porn (sans fictional drawings!) production, but it also has the hilarious side effect of my tax money going to pay some dude for perusing 4chan. If you tell me you wouldn't want his job, you must be a girl or something.
      • by jgagnon (1663075) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @04:31PM (#34506060)

        The vast majority of crap on 4Chan is not worth looking at... whether you're a girl, a boy, or something else entirely.

      • by spun (1352)

        Should snuff films also be legal to own, in your view?

        The reason that child pornography is illegal to own is that it does encourage the production of child pornography. I believe that the laws prohibiting possession of child pornography have been shown to reduce the production of same. Hopefully we can agree that abusing children and forcing six year olds into sexual situations is bad, and reducing the occurrence of said abuse is good.

        Also, I don't want to be paid to peruse 4chan.

        • I'd rather have pedophiles get their fix by watching child porn movies than by actually going out and doing something to a real child.

          I think Japan has the right idea on this, with their simulated porn is ok [wikipedia.org] approach.

          • I'd rather have pedophiles get their fix by watching child porn movies than by actually going out and doing something to a real child.

            I'm sure the kids in the video might not give the slightest fuck what you think.
          • by StikyPad (445176)

            Meh.. would you turn down sex because you could go watch some porn? Or would you go out and rape someone if you couldn't look at porn? These are the connections you seem to be implying.

            Firstly, porn doesn't assuage the desire for the real thing except in the very short term; but if anything, it intensifies that desire over the long term. This is why sex addicts, for example, aren't encouraged to watch more porn, but to eliminate it.

            Secondly, any business grows with demand. While drug production is relat

        • There are plenty of videos of people getting killed, there's a series called "Faces of Death" I believe, that was sold commercially.

          • by blair1q (305137)

            Films of poeple dying in accidents aren't snuff films. Films with scripted killings are snuff films.

        • by hoggoth (414195) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @04:50PM (#34506360) Journal

          standard disclaimer, child porn is bad, etc etc

          > I believe that the laws prohibiting possession of child pornography have been shown to reduce the production of same

          Citation needed.

          I find it hard to believe that throwing someone in jail and ruining their life for having a drawing of Bart Simpson having sex has any beneficial effect. (Here's my citation: http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/12/08/bart-simpson-child-pornography-and-free-speech/ [nytimes.com] )

        • by TheFlamingoKing (603674) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @04:54PM (#34506408)
          You're going to have to cite your "belief". Most studies I have seen have shown that an increase in pornography has resulted in a decrease in rape and child sexual assault.

          http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/57169/#ixzz17eM23WmL [the-scientist.com]

          Despite the widespread and increasing availability of sexually explicit materials, according to national FBI Department of Justice statistics, the incidence of rape declined markedly from 1975 to 1995. This was particularly seen in the age categories 20–24 and 25–34, the people most likely to use the Internet. The best known of these national studies are those of Berl Kutchinsky, who studied Denmark, Sweden, West Germany, and the United States in the 1970s and 1980s. He showed that for the years from approximately 1964 to 1984, as the amount of pornography increasingly became available, the rate of rapes in these countries either decreased or remained relatively level. Later research has shown parallel findings in every other country examined, including Japan, Croatia, China, Poland, Finland, and the Czech Republic. In the United States there has been a consistent decline in rape over the last 2 decades, and in those countries that allowed for the possession of child pornography, child sex abuse has declined.

          • by geekoid (135745)

            The country that allow it are not the country the make it. So it's a poor conclusion regard CP.

            CP isn't about consenting adults, it's about kidnapped children who are abused.

          • by bjourne (1034822)
            This is almost correlationisnotcausation worthy. All kinds of violent crime in those countries also decreased during the periods mentioned. There was also a huge number of other societal changes that took place during that period. The studies show that increased availability of porn does not lead to more rapes. They do not show that increased availability of porn leads to fewer rapes.
            • My Social Psychology textbook (David Myer's "Social Psychology") spends a chapter arguing that the evidence shows that pornography leads to more rape, with fairly credible citations, in particular natural experiments where introduction has rapidly led to increase in rape, and as far as I remember one example (Hawaii?) where it had been introduced, rape had increased, and then removed, and rape had decreased, and it had been re-introduced and rape had increased again.

              I'll also say that american textbooks are

        • Should snuff films also be legal to own, in your view?

          (not the OP)
          Absolutely.

          The reason that child pornography is illegal to own is that it does encourage the production of child pornography.

          "I wouldn't normally rape that kid, but I would if I could legally upload it and get mad props from random people on the cp-ftw.com forums."
          Now buying (or worse yet, commissioning) it is a whole other thing.

          I believe that the laws prohibiting possession of child pornography have been shown to reduce the production of same.

          You "believe that it has been shown"?
          Do you have any actual statistics, or are you just making stuff up?

        • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 09, 2010 @04:57PM (#34506462)
          Snuff films don't exist. Yes, videos of people dying have been found/made - and collections of accidental death footage have been sold to the public, but nothing like the deliberate filming of a murder for sexual gratification. Videos with amazingly realistic special effects have been found (ask Charlie Sheen) but nothing like what is popularly defined as a "snuff" film has ever been found. http://www.snopes.com/horrors/madmen/snuff.asp [snopes.com]

          Also "I believe that the laws prohibiting possession of child pornography have been shown to reduce the production of same." - citation needed. Don't get me wrong, I report all that shit to https://secure.missingkids.com/missingkids/servlet/CybertipServlet?LanguageCountry=en_US [missingkids.com] when I see it, but what you suggest is, AFAIK, unproven - as well as the equivalent to arresting citizens for reading classified material on wikileaks.
        • by Locke2005 (849178)

          The reason that child pornography is illegal to own is that it does encourage the production of child pornography.

          Uh, no. Allowing the SALE of kitty porn does encourage the production of more. How does giving it away for free provide incentive to exploit more children? The way to remove the profit motive for the production of porn is to make it easily available everywhere for free. Prohibition only drives up profits for (unlawful) producers, just as it does for alcohol and drugs.

        • by melikamp (631205)

          Hahaha after reading replies I cannot believe I got modded up, there are so many things wrong with my post just above.

          Should snuff films also be legal to own, in your view?

          Absolutely. If we learned one thing from Hollywood, it's that kids who grow up watching shit like Lethal Weapon and Rambo do NOT tend to develop into crazy, suicidal, masochistic, ego-maniacal, trigger-happy killing machines. They just have fun watching the movies. I think that commercial distribution of snuff (and child porn, for that matter) should still be illegal, but that's an entirely

      • by geekoid (135745)

        Yes, it does help curb CP and CA. I'm not sure where you get your data from.

        There are vast amount of studies showing how wrong you are. Please look it up.

  • Slashdotted (Score:5, Funny)

    by GiveBenADollar (1722738) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @04:09PM (#34505744)
    Now we are slashdotting porn sites. I'm ok with paypal or amazon going down, but loss of porn on the internet could cause serious consequences. If the world goes to war over this, don't say I didn't warn you.
  • by G3ckoG33k (647276) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @04:18PM (#34505892)

    What do we, users, know?!

    Given A55ange's background this is the place he might have visited.

  • I'm torn... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by erroneus (253617) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @04:20PM (#34505926) Homepage

    On one hand, I like porn. On the other, I only like porn where the women are sexy... which means a woman should look like a woman, not a little girl. (I don't care about the guys, but I find the "Jurrasic cock" series to be inspirational... hey, I'm getting older too!) Anyway, I also happen to love children "in the good way" and don't like the thought of them being exploited. So on one hand, I want people exploiting children to get stopped. (punished is another thing... "helped" might be better) On the other hand, the means and method of doing what they do needs to be carefully administrated and managed. I also recognize that the ends do not always justify the means and that once they do it for one purpose, they will find it easier to do it again for another purpose.... and another and another... getting easier each time.

    So... damn... I'm just torn.

    • by sakasune (772886) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @04:32PM (#34506068)

      On one hand, I like porn. On the other

      ...well, the other hand is busy :P

    • by TheL0ser (1955440)
      The way I choose to view it, so long as $porn_site decided to, of their own free will, say "Hey feds, have a look at these things and start busting the child porn pervs", that's fine. If the access was requested by the enforcers.... That, I see as going a lot closer to the slippery slope you mention.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I'm not.

      The FBI overstepped.

      When we start saying to ourselves, "Well it is to protect children, then it's OK." or "We're under attack and we need to prevent another 9/11" or "We need to take everyone's name down in order to stop this meth crisis!" or whatever, we start a slippery slope.

      Think the "slippery slope" is an overused argument? Remember that when you are being felt up by a TSA guy because you were randomly selected for more screening - even though you did absolutely nothing to warrant such extra

      • by blair1q (305137)

        The FBI overstepped.

        How?

        If the FBI had set up the site as a sting operation, would that be overstepping? No.

        If the FBI walked in on the server room, cuffed the sysadmin, and started installing logging software on the server, would that be overstepping? Yes, if they didn't have a warrant.

        In this case, they asked for assistance, the operators decided they liked the idea, and the FBI and the operators joined forces in a sting operation.

        There's nothing wrong with that at all. Except the part where the child pornographers thought

    • by houghi (78078)

      I am not torn at all. The feds having access to everybodies data means that everybody is guilty until proven innocent. You see child porn? You notify the feds. They should get a court order for that specific part of the site that is relevant, not for everything.

      The fact that it is a (legal) pornsite or /. is irrelevant. What if I post child porn on this site or a link to child porn? Would you be happy that the feds get root access and are able to see your login AND password?

      So absolutely not torn at all.

      • by blair1q (305137)

        The feds having access to everybodies data means that everybody is guilty until proven innocent.

        1. They don't have access to everybody's data. They have access to data posted by individuals on a third-party's server, granted by the owner of that server. They have access, in otherwords, to data freely handed to them.

        2. They don't need a warrant to get your neighbors or employer to spy on you, they just need their cooperation. They need a warrant to search you or your home.

        3. There is no pornographer-website privilege. Any protection your website promises you is something it takes upon itself.

        4.

  • 4chan (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    You're confusing 4chan with /b/ again. Please don't.

    • Because /gif/ has never, and never will, post a single immoral or illegal animated gif, by anyones standards.

  • First an AC rant, then freaking MichaelKristopeitNNN makes an appearance...
  • by clyde_cadiddlehopper (1052112) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @04:32PM (#34506082)
    oh never mind.
  • Nothing to see here (Score:5, Informative)

    by diskofish (1037768) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @04:34PM (#34506102)

    While Free6.com included a notice warning that the posting of “child pornography or other illegal material” would be reported to “local authorities,” Burdick had site administrators add a line noting that, “Free6.com may disclose these communications to the authorities at its discretion.”

    Site says to stop posting inappropriate, illegal material. Site warns that it will report such content to authorities. Site acts on threat.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      saying and implying to will report illegal activity is different then letting authorities have unfetter access to everything.

    • by aztektum (170569)

      My question: Did they have access to people that were obviously peddling in illegal content or access to everyone?

      • by Qzukk (229616)

        Everyone, duh. They'll need the obscenity prosecutions to meet whatever quota they couldn't get out of the pedos.

    • by Renraku (518261)

      Alright, imagine this.

      You walk into an adult store and a member of the FBI is there, who follows you around the store and records what you looked at, what you bought, what you said, etc. They're there to make sure you aren't buying any child pornography. Would this make you feel uncomfortable? It would make me feel uncomfortable, simply because they're recording and storing the data. When is it going to come up again? What if I apply to some type of sensitive position or run for government, only to hav

      • Every time you visit a website, there is the potential to track what you looked at and how long you stayed there. From this data, all sorts of extrapolations can be made.

        This is happening to all of us every day, it's just not as obviously creepy as a fed following you around in an adult bookstore.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 09, 2010 @04:35PM (#34506124)

    So. They found a lot of evidence. Did they actually solve any crimes? I'm being a bit facetious here.

    Child porn is regarded as a crime. IMHO, it ought to be regarded as evidence. If it were legal to posess the evidence, as long as you reported it to law enforcement, then it seems like it would be easier to catch the people that actually shoot the vids/pictures.

    As it stands, if I'm taping and happen to catch a shooting in progress, there can be all kinds of blood and gore and stuff; but I'm not guilty of anything simply by being in posession of the tape. Everybody knows that, and most will willingly shares the tape with enforcement so they can convict the bad guys.

    OTOH, if I found a tape by the side of the road, stuck it in my VCR and it turned out to be kiddie porn I'd be immediately guilty of posessing kiddie porn. Knowing that, simply destroying it is a likely reaction. It could be that the tape is the only clue they have that would lead them to save the lives of the subjects involved; but because the EVIDENCE is illegal to posess, that won't happen.

    • by Locke2005 (849178)
      If you find a bag of drugs on the side of the road and get stopped on your way to the police station to turn it in, you're also guilty of possession... illegal stuff is illegal. I agree that mere possession should not be illegal, only production and sales. However, the treatment of unlawful images should be and is treated just like the possession of any type of contraband.
    • by Jenming (37265)

      If there was an industry based upon killing people, video taping it and then selling those tapes do you think the tapes would be "evidence"?

      A closer analogy would be you stumbling upon someone raping a child, if you took a picture of it and sent it to the police it would almost certainly be regarded as evidence.
      If you filmed it, went home, drank a couple of beers and watched it then it would no longer be evidence and you would be committing a crime.

      • So what, you’re just supposed to make sure the police know about the crime?

        What if you filmed it and promptly sent it to the police, and then went home, drank a couple of beers and watched it? Would that be okay?

  • This porn site seems rather... submissive.

  • by a2wflc (705508) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @04:45PM (#34506274)

    some people consider an ad for underwear 'a significant amount of child pornography' and our government is more than happy to use that term as an excuse anywhere they can to limit privacy. In this case it probably is accurate. But they also use it to shut down the Christmas Island data sanctuary, snoop on generic internet traffic, argue against apps like TrueCrypt, and on and on. So, I'm against using this argument unless they've done the police work to get a proper court order on a specific target.

  • by elucido (870205) * on Thursday December 09, 2010 @05:01PM (#34506522)

    This is much better than that idea where they'd send you a URL and have you click it and get raided.

  • Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zedrick (764028) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @05:27PM (#34506896)
    free6.com is/was a Swedish site, why would they give any federationalists from Mexico, USA, Argentina or some other foreign country anything at all? If they like to keep their site free of child porn, fine, that's a good thing. But isn't that something that should be done by a) their abuse administrator and/or b) the police in their own country?
    • by Lehk228 (705449)
      if US users were posting and viewing child porn despite the effors of admins, i can see why they might want to have news of a big CP bust to chase away all the pervs, just like a shop keeper would want to have police drive by and arrest taggers.
  • by aBaldrich (1692238) on Thursday December 09, 2010 @05:33PM (#34506994)
    I'd be more worried if the feds hadn't access to 4chan.
    I sicerely hope that all those "dump CP here" threads are started by the police, in order to find pedophiles.

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