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EU Debates Installing a Black Box On Your Computer 459

Posted by samzenpus
from the all-the-better-to-track-you-with dept.
bs0d3 writes "EU MEP Tiziano Motti (Italy), wants everything you do online to be logged and saved, for the sake of the children. Like a black box installed on every computer. He proposes an early warning system of criminal activity, specifically whenever an image of sexually abused children is detected, an alarm, goes to the authorities to be able to see who uploaded it. Tiziano Motti was a politician who just over a year ago managed to get a majority of European Members of Parliament to support the proposal to expand the data storage directive to Google searches. The purpose was to protect children from pedophiles — the same excuse he is using now. His proposal involves a technology called Logbox. And just as with an aircraft's black box, Logbox is installed on computers, laptops, smartphones, and e-readers because yes, all that can be connected to the internet."
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EU Debates Installing a Black Box On Your Computer

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  • Mr Motti: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zero.kalvin (1231372) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @04:19AM (#37771660)
    Fuck you!
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Stuarticus (1205322)
      Maybe he should clean up his own house before getting started on everyone else's... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silvio_Berlusconi_underage_prostitution_charges [wikipedia.org]
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Shisha (145964)

      Second that!

      You'd think that Italian MEPs would have better things to worry about right now, like not being able to borrow money if it wasn't for ECB and possibly not being able to pay their debts.

      But no, that c.nt wants to have a way to let the government to spy on everyone.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I just mailed this to tiziano.motti@europarl.europa.eu:

      Mr. Motti,

      we have been informed, that you proposed plans to install a system of total surveillance for purposes of creating a totalitarian police state in the spirit of Stalin. As a additional insult, you excuse this behavior with âoeprotecting the childrenâ, despite it being a proven fact that this system will not only not help children, but in fact harm everyone, including children.

      In case you are ignorant of that fact: This is a criminal of

  • by funkatron (912521) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @04:19AM (#37771662)
    Would someone from Italy like to explain why you voted this authoritarian cunt into the EU. Go on! I'd love to hear it!
    • Would someone from Italy like to explain why you voted this authoritarian cunt into the EU. Go on! I'd love to hear it!

      Wouldnt know about the italian angle, but as a dutch guy, one of the reasons to vote for someone to get into the EU stuff is to get him out of local politics, perhaps the italians were just fed up with this idiot so much they decided to "promote him away"

      Also, fuck that guy.

    • by azalin (67640)
      Basically because getting sacking politicians people voted for (probably indirectly, but who knows) from office if they turn out to be idiots is rather difficult. "Promoting" them to EU commissions is a good way to get rid of them and not only done in Italy but also in Germany (Oettinger anybody?).
  • Opposite Effect (Score:4, Insightful)

    by igreaterthanu (1942456) * on Thursday October 20, 2011 @04:20AM (#37771672)

    Studies have shown a negative correlation between the availability of porn and rape cases. IIRC this is also the case specifically with CP and child rape. If anything, this will make it worse for the children.

    Not to mention the problems with a software based solution. The software will, of course, only run on certain operating systems, who is the government to mandate I purchase a particular operating system/or agree to a contract (e.g. the GPL)? Anyone who knows what they are doing can get around this anyway. Even if it calls home, it could be faked by using a VM.

    • by bky1701 (979071)
      Society needs witches to hunt. First case I can think of was the Christians, then the pagans, then Jews, then Muslims, then "witches", then anarchists, then gays, then communists, then terrorists, now pedophiles. Sadly, it probably won't ever end. Humans have a tendency to want to kill the one who is "different" which often leads them to counter-productive activities, which quite often do nothing to harm the group they intend to. And it seems we can always find someone irreconcilably different, no matter ho
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Wait, you are putting pedophiles in the same category as pagans, Jews, witches, anarchists, gays and communists. Terrorists, Christians and Muslims though...

        • Re:Salem (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Dunbal (464142) * on Thursday October 20, 2011 @07:59AM (#37772732)
          Sure. It's only recently that pedophilia has been demonized. It was actually a custom in ancient Greece and Rome. Having been a victim of rape myself at age 5, I can't say I stand up for pedophilia. However when I see people accusing each other for non sexual images of children (like the old Coppertone ad [wikimedia.org], for example), cartoon images (like say, Lisa Simpson), or for statutory rape when say an 18 year old goes out with a 17 year old, I just have to shake my head and conclude that people are over-reacting and not sane. There's a difference between feeling sexual attraction for a 16 year old girl in a tight bikini and raping a 4 year old child. If people can't see this then they are not much better.
    • Re:Opposite Effect (Score:5, Insightful)

      by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @04:44AM (#37771814)
      Never mind that, here's some statistics!

      a) Most of the computers in the world are not involved in distribution of indecent images of minors.
      b) Most of the incidents of sexual indecency with a minor are by members of the family, or close family friends.

      Therefore, to have a greater chance of saving more children from sexual predators, we should ignore computers and break up all families. (Liberal use of the "~" marker here, folks).

      Child exploitation, of all sorts, is very serious. However, this kind of outright idiocy on the part of policy makers is starting to make me physically ill. There are so many reason why this is an awful, awful idea, and I know I don't need to spell them out.

      Why can't we have politicians who can think rationally?
      • Re:Opposite Effect (Score:5, Insightful)

        by AmonTheMetalhead (1277044) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @04:58AM (#37771894)
        It's not about kids, it's about control (and media rights)
        • by adisakp (705706)
          Passing laws for the good of the children is like telling a man he can’t have a steak because a baby can’t chew it. (borrowed from Mark Twain on Censorship).
      • Re:Opposite Effect (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Kjella (173770) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @05:34AM (#37772064) Homepage

        Why can't we have politicians who can think rationally?

        They rationally play on people's irrational fears. Don't assume all politicians are drooling idiots, being a successful politician and a successful manipulator share many of the same traits.

      • by Chrisq (894406)

        Never mind that, here's some statistics! a) Most of the computers in the world are not involved in distribution of indecent images of minors. b) Most of the incidents of sexual indecency with a minor are by members of the family, or close family friends.

        Shhhhh. This guy will want a black box in every house if you tell him that

      • by x2A (858210)

        I doubt anyone can code an algorithm sophisticated enough to tell whether is person is legally a child or not, let alone whether that person is being abused or not... even if these people decide it would be good to go ahead with such an idea, when they discover that what they want to do is actually impossible, the whole thing will disappear back into the void from whence it came anyway, just like every other time somebody who doesn't understand computers thinks they can be simply made to do things that are

      • "Therefore, to have a greater chance of saving more children from sexual predators, we should ignore computers and break up all families"

        i.e., we should build a shitty wall, and hope no mongowians show up.

      • by DarkOx (621550)

        Why can't we have politicians who can think rationally?

        Because most of us don't enjoy arguing all day long which is pretty much what politicians do. Unlike the court room where they may be jurist or jury who is somewhat interested in facts to convince, these people win or lose principally on whether they can last longer than the other guys.
        You must have strong opinions to prevail in that system. The type of person attracted to that job is fundamentally not the type let facts get in the way of their opinions.
        BTW I am not a psychologist, sociologi

    • Re:Opposite Effect (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Yvanhoe (564877) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @05:03AM (#37771928) Journal
      Stop thinking that this has anything to do with porn. Stop thinking that the promoters of such laws care at all about pedophilia and fighting it. If they really cared, they would listen to the policemen and non-profits fighting it that censorship would be counter-productive.

      They just hate internet. It is the #2 media behind TV and is still gaining importance. They want to be able to control it. They want to be able to shut down websites. They need to tackle protests.

      The plan is simple : first, put a mechanism to fight against pedophilia. Then extend it to fight terrorism. Then, using the vague definitions of terrorism, use these tools to squash any kind of protest, because disturbing traffic is akin to terrorism.
      • Stop thinking that the promoters of such laws care at all about pedophilia and fighting it. If they really cared, they would listen to the policemen and non-profits fighting it that censorship would be counter-productive.

        You are making a fundamental mistake of logic here. Not all of the promoters of such laws are self serving, corrupt liars, a few of them are just stupid.

    • by bjourne (1034822)

      Studies have shown a negative correlation between the availability of porn and rape cases. IIRC this is also the case specifically with CP and child rape. If anything, this will make it worse for the children.

      You need to provide more specific sources than "studies have shown" for that statement. It is true that the availability of porn has exploded since the 90's when internet became widely available to the public. The number of sex abuse cases has not increased anywhere near as much as it would have if t

    • by mooingyak (720677)

      Studies have shown a negative correlation between the availability of porn and rape cases.

      Citation please. And not because I doubt you. I've heard about this before, even remember reading it somewhere once. But googling "rape" and "porn" mysteriously doesn't seem to get me to any of those studies...

  • They'll try to get it in "for the children", but would rather use it to preempt people that want to release unsavory information about a politician.

    It'd be a black box that precedes a black-out or disappearance.

  • LOLWTFBBQ ???
  • Don't Worry (Score:5, Informative)

    by HopefulIntern (1759406) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @04:24AM (#37771694)
    Nothing will ever come of this. One crackpot idea from an idiot who knows nothing about technology does not constitute a reasonable proposal.

    FTFA:

    If it were China, North Korea or Saudi Arabia who had proposed this, what would we say then? It's scary in a democratic Europe to even hear a politician suggest such a thing. It is so absurd that I really hope we never have to discuss it seriously in Parliament.

    -MEP Lars Christian Engstrom (Sweden)

    The proposal claims to be based on users' rights and claims they are protected, that they should feel safe. He writes at the beginning that he did not want to create a new Big Brother Society. But then the whole document is about just that.

    -Former Piratbyran founder and current telecomix hactivist Marcin de Kaminski

    • by mwvdlee (775178)

      Nothing will ever come of this. One crackpot idea from an idiot who knows nothing about technology does not constitute a reasonable proposal.

      ...Unless the people responsible for voting the proposal in or out are equally ignorant of technology.

  • Not Gonna Happen (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stereoroid (234317) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @04:26AM (#37771702) Homepage Journal
    Like Members of Congress in the USA, EU MEPs come in all shapes, sizes, and states of sanity. This guy's just flying a kite, but any such law would apply the the MEPs too, and you can assume some of them have skeletons in their hard drives. Fuhgeddabouttit.
    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      The fact that someone at that level can fly a kite like that, and get away with it, is worrisome enough to me.

      • by Joce640k (829181)

        Yep. Why isn't he instantly being replaced with somebody who's got useful things on their mind?

      • The fact that someone at that level can fly a kite like that, and get away with it, is worrisome enough to me.

        You imply that he should be punished for his opinions? I fundamentally disagree. Parliament, of all places, should be a forum for any and all views, whether or not they're popular. The proper way to deal with people who put forward views you do not agree with is to vote them down, not to use fear to silence them.

    • by andi75 (84413)

      > some of them have skeletons in their hard drives

      Not if they play the Chinese Version of World of Warcraft...

    • by am 2k (217885)

      Like Members of Congress in the USA, EU MEPs come in all shapes, sizes, and states of sanity. This guy's just flying a kite, but any such law would apply the the MEPs too, and you can assume some of them have skeletons in their hard drives. Fuhgeddabouttit.

      You can be sure that politicians would be exempt from a law like this. Just because they can.

    • by Chrisq (894406)

      Like Members of Congress in the USA, EU MEPs come in all shapes, sizes, and states of sanity.

      You mean that there are some normal sane ones??!!

  • I bet.. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mvar (1386987) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @04:27AM (#37771706)
    ... EU MEP Tiziano Motti (Italy) can't tell the difference between desktop PCs, laptops, smartphones and e-readers. Like most of the politicians anyway. Six or seven years ago in Greece some morons (a.k.a. the parliament majority) voted for a law to prohibit electronic gambling - On their way, they made Internet Cafés illegal as well as coin-up arcade games. It was fun to watch the police bust into Internet Cafés and arrest their owners just because they had 5-6 desktops PCs connected to the Internet.
    • Re:I bet.. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by DZign (200479) <averheNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday October 20, 2011 @04:35AM (#37771768) Homepage

      Very true - half of the stupid proposals are just because mp's want to get their name out in the press and say 'look I did something this year'..
      Sometimes they either hardly know anything about the technology, or they are just so narrow minded that they don't consider it can apply to much more than they think of.

      The law was good for dealers in arcade machines/pinball machines who could suddenly get some good deals in Greece.. (you still can btw, just got a mail with someone from Greece offering me pinball machines for sale :-)

  • Someone really has to tell these guys about live CDs and Tor. It's impossible to monitor absolutely everything on the internet.

    • Yes, yes, yes. But you neglect to consider whether or not the MP has shares in the software provider company.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 20, 2011 @04:31AM (#37771738)

    Even if this were not grossly misused(which would surely happen), with this in place the child molesters will figure out that actually molesting children is less likely to get them caught than child porn. Making an incentive to do it for real instead of looking at it...

  • by Zoxed (676559) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @04:32AM (#37771744) Homepage

    OK, this is Slashdot but 1 MEP suggests something, and it becomes "EU Debates Installing a Black Box On Your Computer". No one is debating anything !! (Unless TFA says more: it is currently Slashdotted.)

  • Along with installing cameras in every home and spying on phone calls, we need to let the government log everyone's online activity, too. That'll stop those factually evil terrorists!

  • So if someone wants to research on the subject of child porn (not search for it, but search for information about it), and therefore enters that term into Google, he will cause an alarm at the police. Yeah, that makes perfectly sense. And of course they have the perfect algorithm to detect whether a photo shows an abused child. So it will never trigger if you e.g. send a holiday photo of your child at the beach to a friend.

    And of course, that box will never be used for any other purpose. Well, OK, they'll p

  • Italy will solve it's unemployment problem. The governmnent decided to pay half the population to spy on the other half.
    "It's totaly not like the Stasi, we value freedom and privacy." commented one Italian MEP.
  • He surely must be taking back-handers from Murdoch. The only half-sane reason to suggest these "black boxes" would be so The Sun can run the headline "Barmy Brussels Big Brother Bill".

  • isn't this a feature of Metro already? I'm sure Apple is up for it.
  • ...but clearly this isn't possible. Assuming this is software based, they'd have to prevent anyone installing 'unapproved' O/Ss, Also, live boots would be out. Also, all devices without said software would have to be 'dealt with'.

    Also - the LogBox linked to in the article appears to be for a ColdFusion logging library - I suspect this is either lazy journalism or politician luditism.
  • by mykos (1627575) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @04:45AM (#37771820)
    Children are sure going to hate life when they become adults and these black boxes were installed "for their protection" during a brief phase of their lives.
  • that Berlusconi's men are worrying about pedophiles.

  • The title is BS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ardor (673957) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @04:46AM (#37771830)

    Both this Slashdot story and TFA have a very misleading title. ONE MEP is thinking about this insane idea. It is not even in Parliament for discussion. Another MEP already vehemently spoke against it.

    Come on, ideas like these pop up and fizz out all the time. I bet there are other MEPs thinking about imprisoning gay people, reinstating a theocracy, establishing re-education centers, idolizing Hitler and Stalin, and so on and so forth. That doesn't mean any of these wacky ideas come through. There are no indications that this one will.

    Plus, it is not technically feasible, even with deep packet inspection. To connect the dots, to know who uploaded what where, is far from trivial, especially if the bad scary pedophile uses non-standard ways of transmitting this data. For example, what if he uses zip files? Also, there is encryption, which totally defeats this "logbox".

    • by am 2k (217885)

      Plus, it is not technically feasible, even with deep packet inspection. To connect the dots, to know who uploaded what where, is far from trivial, especially if the bad scary pedophile uses non-standard ways of transmitting this data. For example, what if he uses zip files? Also, there is encryption, which totally defeats this "logbox".

      The same can be said about data retention, but that didn't deter them from making it a directive.

    • by sam0737 (648914)

      Plus, it is not technically feasible, even with deep packet inspection...

      That's not the point. You do think the whole point is about the abused children issue?

    • I don't believe that's the case. According to this report [googleusercontent.com], "So far, 324 MPs have signed the proposal, or the written declaration that it called on European languages". It also mentions that "When more than half, ie 369 members signed up, it can be adopted and thus becomes its official position, but are not legislative in themselves."

      So, although it isn't quite the same thing as signing a law, it is in fact a bit more than "one MEP thinking about this insane idea", even when including the fact hat Writte

  • TFA links to "a technology called LogBox [riaforge.org]", a logging library for ColdFusion. That doesn't make sense. IMHO log4j would be much better.
  • One MP having a crazy idea does not mean the law will get changed over the whole of the EU. There are many examples of MPs who have changed one law but failed to change other laws. Every country has their radical MPs who make grand statements to capture media attention, it doesn't mean that their ideas will become law (we have to be thankful that the craziest ideas of the craziest US representatives haven't become law in the USA over the last 50 years).

  • I'm more than happy to let them have this, just as long as we also have a black box on our politicians. All addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, financial information and physical location for all the politicians, publically available, all the time.

    If they've nothing to hide, they've nothing to worry about.

  • by dbet (1607261) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @05:10AM (#37771970)
    The people who actually molest kids are those with easy access to them. most cases of abuse are from moms, dads, stepmoms, aunts and uncles, sometimes even a teacher. They don't care if you monitor their computer because they don't need one to get what they're after. No amount of computer monitoring or demonizing things that are even tangentially related to kiddie porn will prevent or even slow down actual cases of actual abuse.

    These laws are about removing people from society who don't have a "healthy" sexual attitude. That's why drawings are illegal in many places. Because it's not about reducing abuse, it's about people making themselves feel less uncomfortable about their own sexuality. In my own country, the people here are absolutely bat shit crazy when it comes to sexuality. They fear it, and they hate people who have a different attitude about it than they do. My generation is the first where simply being gay is not a crime. Hell at this point I can see things at the beach that would be illegal on my computer. There have even been people investigated for looking at porn of adults who are young looking. And if you let yourself get wrapped up in this paranoia you are helping no one and hurting everyone, including yourself.

    And this needs to be said:

    I would rather live in a world where occasional child abuse happens, than one where it never happens because we're all under constant surveillance.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Lockyy (2486084)
      Hey, don't forget. Porn of small breasted women is illegal in Australia because it's counted as child pornography...
  • or is the DC of Italy not trustworthy for Wintel?NSA to tell them that this comes already with every computer running a majority Operating System 7?
  • Where is mafia when one needs it? Wait, this guy must be one of them.

  • That Tiziano Motti is an idiot and his suggestion will be laughed out of parliament.
  • The last 3 accepted stories have had clearly misleading titles or summaries. I don't normally complain about editing on /. but christ guys, get it together.
  • by Gideon Wells (1412675) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @05:40AM (#37772100)

    Forgive me for being a bit rude, but I woke up to this article. Mr. Motti, considering the reputation your PM has been gathering I must say screw you.

    I am at the point I am no longer phased by the phrase "think of the children". All of this to protect kids? Dear god, at this point you might as well just take all the kids away from their parents in the hospital and raise them completely isolated from adults. Maybe even other kids so they don't even know what kids look like to be turned on by them.

    An image of a child being abused? I mean, obviously this guy has no clue about technology. Still, he did not research prior censorship attempts first? The whole Green Dam (or was it River) of China's blocking a website for showing too much skin was horribly broken. Should Europeans expect their equivalent of SWAT Teams to start charging in if they look up pig farming?

    And... and... *double face palms and sighs* Why the hell are politicians so apt to look at 1984 and like books as guides rather than warnings?

  • Unfortunately clueless politicians proposing illegal and amoral things are just as present in the EU everywhere else.

  • Shove it up their ass.

    Suddenly old computers will become valuable, and if that is illegal, I'll gladly be a part of the criminal world.

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