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The Courts Government Censorship United States News Your Rights Online

PA Child Porn-Blocking Law Challenged, Suspended 283

An anonymous reader submits: "Pennsylvania's controversial child porn controls have been challenged in court, and in a surprising twist, suspended by the state. If you recall, PA required ISPs within the state to block access to sites hosting child porn. The list (which used IP addresses) is compiled solely by the State Attorney General's Office. The use of IPs resulted in the unnecessary snagging of other sites on the same hosting service. The plaintiffs are the ACLU, CDT, and a Doylestown PA ISP. The State AG, in an odd move, suspended the law and the list indefinitely. [Note: Philly.com appeared to suffer a DDoS earlier today. Please be kind to their admins.]"
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PA Child Porn-Blocking Law Challenged, Suspended

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  • Read the article (Score:5, Informative)

    by setzman ( 541053 ) * <[gro.tievomerdna ... ts] [ta] [namzts> on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @11:25PM (#6917727) Journal

    Fisher suspends tactic in fighting child porn

    By Joseph A. Slobodzian
    Inquirer Staff Writer

    Pennsylvania Attorney General Michael Fisher today agreed to halt his behind-the-scenes effort to get Internet service providers to block child pornography Web sites until a federal judge rules whether Fisher's tactic violates the First Amendment by indiscriminately blocking legitimate sites.

    The decision was announced at a federal court hearing on a request by civil rights groups for a temporary restraining order to stop Fisher's year-old program.

    U.S. District Judge Jan E. DuBois approved the compromise and set a hearing for Nov. 21 on the merits of a lawsuit.

    The suit against Fisher was filed earlier today by the Center for Democracy and Technology, a Washington, D.C.-based Internet policy group; the American Civil Liberties Union in Philadelphia; and PlantageNet Inc., a Doylestown Internet service provider, or ISP, that provides local dial-up numbers for much of the Philadelphia region in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

    John O.J. Shellenberger, chief of the Attorney General's Eastern Regional Office, said his office may still move against child pornography Web sites under state law by seeking a formal court order. He also agreed that his office would contact the ACLU before seeking such an order so that ACLU lawyers could protect the interests of legitimate Web sites that might also be closed.

    Pennsylvania is the first - and only - state to try to tackle the thorny problem of fighting purveyors of illegal child pornography, which has become as pervasive on the Internet as legal sexually explicit sites.

    The problem has confounded Congress and software developers because the technology of the Internet makes it impossible to filter out, or block, offensive Web sites without also blocking some legitimate sites about sexual, medical or social issues.

    Fisher spokesman Sean Connolly defended the law, which went into effect in April 2002, and Fisher's informal policy of contacting ISPs by letter, which advises of a child porn site and threatens legal action if the ISP does not block the site.

    An ISP that receives the warning has five days to block the Web site from view by Internet users in Pennsylvania. Failure to do so could result in fines of up to $30,000 and jail terms of up to seven years.

    "This informal notification process was developed at the request of ISPs," Connolly said. "We are perfectly willing to obtain a court order. We've done it in the past and we're willing to do it again."

    In Doylestown, the president of PlantageNet Internet Limited, James Smallacombe, said that the way the law is written makes it "impossible" for him and others to comply.

    "If we received an order to block access to a particular IP address, since we started outsourcing dial-up networks, we have no physical way to prevent any user from accessing any site, because we don't control the network that the users dial into," Smallacombe said. "But the way the law is written, we can still be ordered to do this and, if we fail to comply, suffer the consequences."

    Stefan Presser, the ACLU's legal director, said Fisher's informal process effectively blocks legitimate Web sites without the owners' knowledge - or the chance for them to challenge the action in court.

    "We do not support child pornography. Regardless of [Fisher's] goal, he is not complying with what the legislature suggested be used," Presser said.

    Fisher's informal policy does "little or nothing to combat the crime of child pornography or the problem of child pornography on the Internet," Presser said, because it does not go after the purveyors but the communications links they and legitimate Web sites use.

    Because of the Internet's technical architecture, in which multiple Web sites share the same numerical Internet address, or IP number, the lawsuit contends that numerous owners of legitimate Web sites have found themselves blocked from custom

    • Re:Read the article (Score:3, Interesting)

      by lelnet ( 702245 )
      >illegal child pornography, which has become as pervasive on the Internet as legal sexually explicit sites

      I have to wonder whether the person who wrote this is wildly exaggerating the amount of child pornography on the internet (or in the UNIVERSE, for that matter) or wildly understating the amount of regular porn. :)
    • All Rights of BOFH belongs to Simon Travaglia (http://theregister.co.uk/content/30/index.html), But I really thought of the BOFH and his PFY here...

      Bofh - So, you told me you found a job on the side ? And what could that be, seing you spend all your time either here or at home browsing porn ?

      PFY - Well, Actually, I found a job at Pennsylvannia's Attorney General Office....

      ROFL 8p
  • by TLouden ( 677335 ) on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @11:29PM (#6917763)
    Good to see an effort to stop child porn
    Bad implementation is a little dissapointing
    So, who's gunna make the next filter for the ISPs to block the sites without hurting others sharing the IP?

    I think something like this is just waiting for the proper implementation to really get it going and then other states (countries?) might follow suit.
    Keep up the good work.
    • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @11:39PM (#6917855)


      > Good to see an effort to stop child porn
      Bad implementation is a little dissapointing
      So, who's gunna make the next filter for the ISPs to block the sites without hurting others sharing the IP?


      If they know the IPs, why don't they just raid the creeps and cut it off at the source?

      • I'd doubt it very much if any of the creeps are stupid enough to locate in the US, those that were are already in prison.
      • by La Temperanza ( 638530 ) <temperanza@@@softhome...net> on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @11:47PM (#6917936)
        Perhaps because it's difficult to raid a site, and equally difficult to convince local governments to, in Vietnam or Bulgaria or similar countries.
      • If they know the IPs, why don't they just raid the creeps and cut it off at the source?

        1) These sites probably have nothing to do with sources of child porn.
        2) Many people that you think you know, including potentially some of your friends and relatives regularly view child porn. Are they creeps?
        • by Illbay ( 700081 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @05:32AM (#6919379) Journal
          Many people that you think you know, including potentially some of your friends and relatives regularly view child porn. Are they creeps?

          The fact that you feel like you can even pose such a question and have anyone take it seriously is a sad, sad commentary on what we as a society have become.

          If I said to you "my brother-in-law regularly takes truckloads of toxic sludge in the dead of night and dumps it in the local river. Does that mean he's a creep?" I can almost guarantee your reaction.

          Yet you apparently think the "consumers" of child porn--the ultimate reason for its existence, and for the exploitation of helpless innocent children--are blameless to the extent we can't even consider them "creeps" if they are friends or relatives?

          What kind of monster did your parents rear?

          • If I said to you "my sister-in-law regularly goes to the local river and watches and smells the toxic sludge that was dumped there by your relatives. Does that mean she's a creep?" what would be your reaction?

            Consumers of child porn are different. There are apparently many innocent consumers, whose only wrongdoing is that they are sexually aroused by scenes of kids in erotic/sexual situations. These people do not pay for child porn (so no money for the producers) and they do not act on their fantasies (if
            • It realy dosen't matter if people agree or disagree with you beacuse there is such a stigma surounding the child porn that even if you don't truly beleive there is any harm in it, if the subject is brought up and you dont express your disgust along with the group you may be thought a pedophile yourself. There are very few people who would publicly admit that they don't feel there is anything wrong with viewing child porn (even if they dont) and even fewer people who wouldn't shun them for it. But all that
              • All you have to do with such people is discuss Plato's Phaedrus. I can accept that it is our modern culture to feel nothing but abhorance to child pornography. But I cannot accept that is human nature. If one of the greatest minds to ever live can write an entire book about loving boys, surely it is not intrinsically wrong.

                One cannot condemn paedophilia without condemning Plato.

                Most intelligent people have come to this conclusion as well, when I have brought it up. Read the Phaedrus, it is one of the b
            • 2) Many people that you think you know, including potentially some of your friends and relatives regularly view child porn. Are they creeps?

              Consumers of child porn are different. There are apparently many innocent consumers, whose only wrongdoing is that they are sexually aroused by scenes of kids in erotic/sexual situations. These people do not pay for child porn (so no money for the producers) and they do not act on their fantasies (if they even have paedophilic fantasies). What is wrong with having on
              • by danila ( 69889 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @10:27AM (#6920987) Homepage
                Fact: People who are aroused by images of children engaging in sexual acts are a very small minority.

                Yep. So what? People who are aroused by images of pregnant chicks or by wearing diapers are a minority as well. Does that mean these practices should also be prohibited?

                Fact: The vast majority of people are sickened by such images.

                False. Reality is that the majority of people have never seen such images. And just like everyone and his dog in the USSR was against Boris Pasternak when party started the famous defamation campaign without even reading any of his poems. There are some sick child porn images, but then there are many normal ones that would probably make a normal person aroused, not sick. As for the sick porn, the sickest I ever saw was some sadistic anime with some pretty girls cut into slices alive. :) Now that was sick. Compared with that any child porn would look mainstream.

                Fact: Viewing of such images is very strongly correlated with acting on the fantasies represented there, in other words having sex with children.
                First, any data is skewed, because as you are well aware, people do not normally reveal the fact that they enjoy child porn. The only ones that we know about are those that were busted by the police. Not a very representative sample. Second, correlation does not equal causation. Obviously, child abusers would be interested in child porn, but that doesn't mean that child porn viewers are likely to become child abusers.

                Do straight guys seek out gay porn?
                Do straight guys seek out lesbian porn? Again, there is some correlation between your tastes in porn and your sexual preferences, but trust me, not every hentai fan wants to be raped by a giant squid. :) And as I said elsewhere, rape porn is legal and it doesn't turn people into rapists. Why should child porn be different. Most people are capable of self-control and know the difference between fantasy and reality.

                Coercing children to have sex--raping children--causes profound psychological damage which takes at minimum years for them to get over.
                1) You can have sex without coercing anyone. You ignore the fact that some kids might be ok with having sex with adults. Consensual sex with kids is illegal in the US, but there is nothing unethical about it.
                2) Raping kids is not much different from raping adults. And nobody is advocating raping humans of any age (of course, I mean real rape, statutory rape is ok in many cases). But there is no proof that child porn viewers will turn to raping kids in reality.
                3) There are some indications that psychological damage is caused by joint efforts of police, family and psychologists. Many kids are just fine after having sex with adult, but are royally screwed by people who care more about jailing a paedophile than about the well-being of the child.

                some never manage to live normal lives.
                Fact: Consensual sex with other kids before 18 doesn't not lead to any harm and is perfectly ok in most cases.
                Please tell me how it is so much different in case of an adult? Physically sexual contact with adult is possible as early as in 5 years or so. Psychologically some kids are ready as early and many are ready around 12 years or so.

                I don't believe you are a monster; I just believe you are an ignorant fool. :)
            • First of all...we're talking about children here. NO child under the age of 18 can consent to committing sexual acts...period.

              The so-called "innocents" that you describe are not quite so innocent. They continue to feed an industry which has real victims, which is the problem.

              Your twisted rationality is that these children are so much better off...but are they? Do you really think that the children are the true beneficiaries of any of that money?

              If you were in the U.S. and dirt poor with a couple of ki
              • by Stiletto ( 12066 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @10:07AM (#6920792)
                First of all...we're talking about children here. NO child under the age of 18 can consent to committing sexual acts...period.

                So, you obviously agree that there is nothing wrong with prosecuting these folks:

                http://www.debaser.us/content/news/000307.shtml

                Summary: Two 14 year-olds are charged with raping each other. The ridiculous claim is that they are both rapists AND victims simultaneously because they were having sex with one another, both incapable of consent.

                Your Black-And-White-World mentality is why we paint so many people as criminals these days.
              • NO child under the age of 18 can consent to committing sexual acts...period.
                That's hilarious. :) I know some people who have been able to consent to sex before 18 just fine. I probably would consent myself if anyone offered. :) And whole countries like Holland somehow manage with this "problem". :))))

                The so-called "innocents" that you describe are not quite so innocent. They continue to feed an industry
                Tell me please, how downloading a child porn image from a free anonymous website feeds any industry? I
          • by vDave420 ( 649776 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @11:11AM (#6921403)
            Yet you apparently think the "consumers" of child porn--the ultimate reason for its existence, and for the exploitation of helpless innocent children--are blameless to the extent we can't even consider them "creeps" if they are friends or relatives?
            Har har har.
            Be careful, your reasoning cuts both ways:

            Automobile accidents cause more than 40,000 deaths each year in the US alone (far more than child pornography and terrorism combined!!), and yet you, the consumer, are the ultimate reason for the existance of these horribly deadly "Automobiles!", and ultimately, the death and destruction of millions of dollars of property and loss of countless lives.

            Does that mean you are a creep because you use said product? NO!

            In fact, the (by far) most likely scenario (that I can see) is that you are a nice, "normal" person who doesn't use his car for bank robbery, vehicular homicide, etc.

            However, since those creeps cause deaths and destruction, and you use the same end product, by your logic YOU ARE THE CREEP WHO SHOULD BE LOCKED UP!

            What kind of creep did your parents raise? How can you (the consumer, and ultimate reason for the existence of these automobile tools-of-death) live with yourself?

            Right?
            Of course not.

            Please, PLEASE don't fall for (or propegate) the "save the children" rant. They are plenty safe, and people who view said pictures are NOT hurting them or causing them pain, anymore than you are responsible for other people's automobile deaths because you use a car.

            Do you see the problem with your reasoning?
            I doubt that you will, because it involves children, and (as politicians know) that is the way to influence anyone to agree with anything.

            -dave-

    • Yeah, it's great. It's sort of like creating a blacklist for addresses and telephone numbers then sending random S.W.A.T. teams out and blanket wire-taps. The guy moves out, you move in. Suddenly, you'r ass-up to a full body-cavity search and your front door is a pile of matchsticks. Hey, why not make the worthless domain registrars actually verify who the hell you are so they can identify the actual people behind the sites? Then the police/fbi/kaos/control could just do an nslookup and drive over. No, t
      • You're confusing the subject a bit. You're right but we aren't talking about harassing people. Where talking about an affective way of keeping child pornography out of the US.
        • No, I'm not confusing it. Yes, we're talking about an effective way of keeping child pornography out of the U.S. I'm pointing out the patently obvious fact that using IP addresses is directly comparable to using telephone numbers. They're essentially arbitrary and of no informational value.

          When such arbitrary information is used to identify people for crimes (think of the truncated passenger name lists in CAPPS), people get harassed. It may not be the intention, but it is the effect. It is also inexcusabl

        • Where [sic] talking about an affective [sic] way of keeping child pornography out of the US.

          Freudian slip, may be? Because this really is an affective, not effective, way to keep child porn out of the US.

          The fact is that there is already child porn in the US and some of it originates there. But may be, just may be, you should pay more attention to fighting parental abuse, not child porn. Much more kids are screwed by bad (as in horrific) parenting than by being forced into kiddie porn.
  • Well (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SargeZT ( 609463 ) <pshanahan@mn.rr.com> on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @11:31PM (#6917780) Homepage
    As much as I hate Child Pornography, and the people who distribute it, if you block a million child porn sites, and only 1 non porn site is blocked, they shouldn't be blocked. Olestra chips are yummy in the tummy
    • Re:Well (Score:3, Insightful)

      I disagree. People can always write to the Attorney General and appeal that they are not a child porn site. I would say even if 10% of the sites which are blokced are not child porn, then that is acceptable. What is not acceptable is doing nothing.

      I also think states must work together to track down the providers of child porn and arrest and jail these scumbags. They should be forced to go to jail.

      • >People can always write to the Attorney General and appeal that they are not a child porn site. I would say even if 10% of the sites which are blokced are not child porn, then that is acceptable. What is not acceptable is doing nothing.

        I also agree with you.

        But I think we need to implement curfews to prevent night crimes like robbery, outlaw smoking to prevent deaths, and ban drinking because too many people drink and drive. What isn't acceptable is doing nothing about those issues.

        I also think stat
        • What is wrong with having a process where people can appeal to the Attorney General of their state to have their lawfull site unbanned. I think the state has to combat child porn. If you are worried that the state will overstep its right and abuse those powers, then the media will tell us and we will vote them out of power.
          • Re:Well (Score:3, Insightful)

            by jlaxson ( 580785 ) *
            Now that's all well and good, but the way it stood, such a site could be blocked quitely and instantly without any sort of appeals process nor warning.

            If you're a business doing, say, $1000 of sales a day on the web to customers in PA, and they accidentally block you, what do you do when sales all of the sudden drop by that amount. You wouldn't know anything about your server's IP address being blocked by ISP's, nobody would have told you. Then it takes 2-3 days to find out. Goodbye $3000. A few more d
      • Re:Well (Score:2, Insightful)

        by MrLizardo ( 264289 )
        Great. Guilty until proven innocent. Let's just round up people who we think might be car theifs and hold them indefinitely. What's not acceptable is punishing the innocent along with the guilty. Yes, we need to do something about child pornography, but this is not what we need to do and the judge who suspended this law realized that.

        -AX
        • So you must think that no one should ever be arested then. After all, at that point they have not been proven to be guilty.
      • Re:Well (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ergo98 ( 9391 )
        I would say even if 10% of the sites which are blokced are not child porn, then that is acceptable.

        Brilliant! As the region's Office of DoubleTruth Information, I would like to thank you for your clever idea. We will now being the campaign to populate the 10% misinformation buffer. "Oh, I'm sorry, we heard that that Democratic Party page was child porn.". Or even better "accept it or imply that you support child porn".

        I also think states must work together to track down the providers of child porn and
        • [I would say even if 10% of the sites which are blokced are not child porn, then that is acceptable.]

          Brilliant! As the region's Office of DoubleTruth Information, I would like to thank you for your clever idea. We will now being the campaign to populate the 10% misinformation buffer. "Oh, I'm sorry, we heard that that Democratic Party page was child porn.". Or even better "accept it or imply that you support child porn".


          If we aimed for absolute accuracy, no innocent people would've been killed in the war
      • Re:Well (Score:5, Funny)

        by gfody ( 514448 ) * on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @11:58PM (#6918020)
        Then they should just block the range 255.255.255.255.. that of course blocks all child porn sites (and all spam sites too).

        the people who are not kitty porn or spam sites can just call and have their ip's removed from the list. the ACTUAL kitty porn peddlers wouldn't have the audacity to call and lie about it
        • the people who are not kitty porn

          So... you get off on seeing young cats engaging in sexual congress??

      • Re:Well (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Quothz ( 683368 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:45AM (#6918352) Journal

        People can always write to the Attorney General and appeal that they are not a child porn site. I would say even if 10% of the sites which are blokced are not child porn, then that is acceptable. What is not acceptable is doing nothing.

        This is, in formal logic, what's known as a false dichotomy. You can do _something_ without blocking legitimate sites. For example, you can attempt to identify and prosecute the creators and distributors of child pornography. "Deputizing" ISPs without their consent is just silly. If they're aware of any kiddie porn, they should act, but forcing them to monitor everything that passes through their network is just silly. Anybody seriously suggest that telecomm companies be liable for stopping drug deals that occur over the phone?

        I also think states must work together to track down the providers of child porn and arrest and jail these scumbags. They should be forced to go to jail.

        I agree. But we, as a society, pay people to round up these scumbags (the kiddie pornographers, not the ISPs). Foisting off the responsibility onto someone who isn't employed to do so is just passing the buck.

        Yes, there's shades of grey here. Hotel proprietors are often required to run off any known prostitutes, but you don't see laws requiring them to monitor all rooms at all times to prevent it, nor would such laws be feasable.

        Similarly, requiring that ISPs report known child pornographers is reasonable (and is currently the law, AFAIK). Requiring ISPs to monitor and make a judgement on everything that passes through their servier is not reasonable.

    • Re:Well (Score:3, Informative)

      "As much as I hate Child Pornography, and the people who distribute it, if you block a million child porn sites, and only 1 non porn site is blocked, they shouldn't be blocked."

      That logic works when you're talking about death sentences, but in this case it just plain doesn't work. If 1 in a million sites are getting blocked, then it seems like it'd be easier just to work with that site to get its block removed. Move to a new ISP? Use different terminology? Use a whitelist?

      If you had said 1 in 10, the
      • So is your site blocked? How do you know? Are you going to call the attourney general's office (who is the sole group responsible for this probably very private list) and ask them if you are running a pedo porn site?

        And if you are being blocked, what are you going to do about it? Quietly change ISPs and hope that the damages of having your addresses, DNS hosts, mailservers, etc. change are minimal? Call up the AG office and demand they unblock your site?

        And if the AG blocked your site because it was y
    • Re:Well (Score:2, Redundant)

      by nocomment ( 239368 )
      How about this, since they know the ISP's, and since they know the domain name (if blocking by IP blocks other sites then obviously they are using virtual hosting by domain name), why don't they

      A> Contact the ISP and have the site shutdown, as well as supbeona all logs of the people accessing the site.

      -AND-

      B> Arrest the mutherfucker
  • by deadmongrel ( 621467 ) <karthik@poobal.net> on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @11:31PM (#6917781) Homepage
    I don't understand how the law works. You suspend Kiddi porn law and you go after them for sharing music. way to go. again I repeat. America - Land of the Free* ________________________________________ * Free but conditions apply
    • by ogre2112 ( 134836 ) on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @11:38PM (#6917843)
      Trying to reduce kiddie porn by blocking IPs is like trying to reduce the sale of beer by bulldozing the road that leads to the grocery store. It's not gonna work.

      Did you read the article? Legitimate businesses, and other sites are being blocked by these filters. If they want to remove these sites, they need to do it by prosecution, not by technical workarounds.

  • Porn and spam (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sbszine ( 633428 ) on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @11:34PM (#6917810) Homepage Journal
    It's interesting to see that the same collateral damage problems occuring with this government porn blocklist that were affecting spam blocklists like SPEWS. Like spammers, porn site operators presumably changed accounts enough that the list operators had to block whole ISPs to guarantee filtering them.

    Of course, unlike receiving spam, surfing a porn site is a personal choice (excepting porn viruses etc).
    • Re:Porn and spam (Score:3, Interesting)

      by moosesocks ( 264553 )
      While it's only my personal opinion, I believe that any ISP which hosts this sort of site almost DESERVES to be blocked.

      Of course, if they were blocking SPECIFIC sites which weren't related to the law, I would have cause for alarm.
      • I'd say make the *subnets* public and then I'd blackhole them at my gateway. Same with spammers, just blackhole the whole goddamn ISP. Eventually, ISP's would get the point.
      • I believe that any ISP which hosts this sort of site almost DESERVES to be blocked.

        Hello, thiis is your friendly ISP. We notice that you are hosting a website on our network. Be advised that you must provide us with advance copies of any and all material that you intend to post on your website (including material submitted by your users, if any) and give us at least 2 months to review it (due to the fact that there is a lot of material to review ahead of your stuff) before posting it on your site. Any
    • Re:Porn and spam (Score:4, Insightful)

      by arvindn ( 542080 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:41AM (#6918323) Homepage Journal
      I see the similarity, but there is also a difference: in the case of the SPEWS blocklist the decision of an admin to use it is voluntary, and not mandated by the government. Therefore it can be argued that blocking a whole ISP that hosts spammers is not a bad thing -- if all the customers of that ISP are affected, they will move away, and it will hit the ISP where it counts -- money. As long as they aren't made to suffer financially, there will always be ISPs willing to host spammers. I'm only saying that this sounds like a reasonable argument, not that it is unequivocally right. Tricky questions, certainly. A recent controversy [kuro5hin.org] about this aspect of the SPEWS blocklist produced some interesting arguments for both sides. When the blocking is required by law, of course, we must be far more circumspect, since the possibility of abuse is great.
      • if all the customers of that ISP are affected, they will move away

        This is not different depending on whether the list is voluntary or mandatory. In fact the impact will be greater if the list is mandatory.

    • list operators had to block whole ISPs to guarantee filtering them.

      I don't think so. It is because name-based virtual hosting is used to save IP addresses. Name-based virtual hosting means that many web sites can be hosted on the same single IP address.
  • by ralian ( 127441 ) on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @11:35PM (#6917816) Homepage
    When I saw this post I could only think to myself: "Pennsylvania has employed a child to block pornography?"
  • by dolo666 ( 195584 ) on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @11:36PM (#6917824) Journal
    ... is get the address info of all the child porn hosts and do police raids on them nonstop until it's shut down for good. Then we can tell the RIAA that there are illegal mp3s on those machines! Man watch the child porn disappear!!!!

    But the tricky thing is separating the baby from the bathwater, if you catch my meaning. Some sites are hosted on IP blocks that share with kiddie-pron sites. I for one, would like to be aware if my ISP was allowing this kind of hosting going on and I would want to stop it.

    I'm all for the blue ribbon campaign, but I'm certain it doesn't protect kiddie porn dealers (scum).
    • by Anonymous Coward
      is get the address info of all the child porn hosts and do police raids on them nonstop until it's shut down for good

      Sorry, but being involved with a hosting company and being in charge of finding it and deleting, I will tell you this: There is so much of it, in so many places, that it will be impossible to stop. A US customs agent once told me that the internet has made things next to impossible for them. He had been in it for thirty years. He used to hunt them down in person and arrest the people who
      • So you're saying that working for an ISP is a good way to find child porn? Thanks.
      • At the host I worked at, this shit popped up daily. I could go weeks at a time deleting shit every single day. And I am talking stuff that lived on our servers for less than 24 hours. Often, by the time we had found it, it had consumed 1 or more Gigabytes of bandwidth (We had 2 100 megabit circuits, most of the time they were running at 80-90%.)

        Is that just the child porn that was in the clear, or does that also include such things as renamed/encrypted/password protected files, where the passwords are pos
    • Question: do you think you are a free-thinking individual or do you realise that you've been programmed by the media to think that kiddie porn dealers are scum? Also have you considered the fact that some child porn sites feature free child porn?
      • Child porn is like drugs in that if the demand withered up, or all the suppliers went away, then it would cease to be produced (in quantity, in a commercial fashion.) However unlike drugs, someone is necessarily being exploited, and in the case of kiddie porn which is not just children romping nude solo, a child is being abused. You could argue that happy children playing naked being filmed are not being harmed, though the problem of where to draw the line makes that a difficult call, legally.

        The media

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @11:37PM (#6917835)
    When we found child porn (or cp as we called it), we just deleted it. We didn't tell anyone. When we tried to cooperate, local police would tell us one thing, US Customs another, and the FBI would tell us something else. And they all acted like they were minutes away from arresting you. The laws vary so much and the agents were such dick heads, that we just quitely deleted it. By the way, it was easy to find. Just watched the logs, any new user that immediately sky rocketed in bandwidth usage was almost 100% cp. Hehe, I still have a plastic file box that we would keep the records in (when we were cooperating.) It had a label on it that read 'The PedoFile'.
  • by Dukeofshadows ( 607689 ) on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @11:44PM (#6917910) Journal
    One of the few things that most nations around the world agree on is that kidddie porn is a vile abomination of deviant human sexuality. No one blames the state of Pennsylvania for doing everything they can to craft a law deflecting it. What they need are technical advisors from the computer world and the legal community to write it in such a way that it becomes realistically feasible. Legitimate sites will be blocked in the process and that represents a serious contention with the first amendment. I applaud their intentions and hope they turn to the Linux or Unix communities to try and create the most efficient filter possible (maybe with a cash prize as incentive?). Mandating the presence of such a barrier is troubling because of the precedence that this sets. Remeber that Rick Santorum, a Senator whose religious views are readily expressed on key occasions, is from this state. The possibility exists that establishing a law based on "public morality" or whatever excuse could be used a s precedent to enforce a more narrow interpretation of morality later on down the road. In the future I hope that Pennsylvania will allow ISPs to try this out on a voluntary basis first to make sure it works more effectively and to give parents a notice of which ISPs are doing the most in that area. But as long as the average user remains glaringly ignorant about how the internet works, child porn will remain disturbingly accessible regardless of the barrier in place. This is especially true about legal pron sites which usually disguise themselves as something more legitimate.

    As a side note, the RIAA should also not be allowed to infiltrate the Pennsylvania legislature as the vast majority of P2P distributors are not facilitators of kiddie porn distribution despite the current propaganda.
  • by cloudless.net ( 629916 ) on Tuesday September 09, 2003 @11:51PM (#6917972) Homepage
    Put Goatse as the search result for "child porn". It should give some permanent eye damage to the readers.
  • by Fr33z0r ( 621949 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:04AM (#6918075)
    Nothing quite like slashdotting someone as they're scrambling around trying to recover from a DDoS. I thought it was deliciously sadistic that the second link (explaining the DDoS) doesn't link directly to the info on the DDoS and instead needs another click, and another pageview.
  • Quite obviously this guy [kansascity.com].
    The disturbance, during which the site was bombarded with more requests for information than it could handle, lasted for nearly six hours and affected more than 30 Knight Ridder Digital sites.
    His hatred of David Hasslehoff rages on. 2 mysteries solved in one.

  • http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid= 52 8&ncid=528&e=6&u=/ap/20030909/ap_on_hi_te/internet _blocking
  • "Sherman responded that most people don't shoplift because they fear they'll be arrested. "

    I think the RIAA's going to learn that most corps don't pull this kind of shit because they fear they'll be boycotted.
  • Block the ISP (Score:4, Interesting)

    by FullCircle ( 643323 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:29AM (#6918256)
    After sending a notice to the ISP that their servers are hosting kiddie porn, the ISP should disable the site and report them to the police along with the files stored on the server as proof.

    If the ISP doesn't comply, block ALL their IP's if they reside in another country. Lock them up as an accessory to the crime if they are located in a semi-moral country.

    If I was a legit business owner who lost access to my site because of this, I doubt I would have a problem with relocating my site. It isn't like there aren't plenty of other hosting services that have a bit of decency.

  • by Maskirovka ( 255712 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:31AM (#6918263)
    How the hell would you hire people to evaluate potential sites for the ban list?
    Finding reliable people who are emotionally capable of such a job must be an HR nightmare. I can just see the job description:

    Researchers needed to evaluate questionable online material of an extremely graphic nature. Must have a professional outlook, neat appearance, and an ironclad stomach. Must also be able to pass a polygraph, and extensive background check. Computer literacy a plus, but willing to train candidates with the right enthusiasm. Benifits include full medical, dental, and a comprehensive psyciatric plan.

    Actually this sounds like a shoe-in for de-frocked clergyman. I guess I answered my own question. Carry on.

  • Child porn? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by be-fan ( 61476 ) on Wednesday September 10, 2003 @12:46AM (#6918358)
    Anybody have any statistics on how many children are hurt by the making of child porn? How does it compare to the number of children hurt by child abuse. If the number hurt by child porn is relatively small, mightn't it be more useful to spend that effort preventing child abuse in general?
    • Re:Child porn? (Score:2, Interesting)

      There are 8 organizations in my city for preventing "stranger abduction", yet only four such abductions have occurred in the last 2 years.

      There are a dozen groups out there working to prevent sexual abuse, but Social Services itself is badly badly underfunded and can't handle the cases of *simple* abuse.

      Simple as it is called, it's no walk in the garden and I think resources from other areas should be re-directed in that direction. So in essence, I'm just saying...

      "I agree"

      Stewey
  • I find it really interesting to do a general "poll" of the number of people in this thread who seem OK with the far-reaching pre-emptive blanket banning of IP addresses in this topic.

    In another topic, the entirety of the board would be up in arms, but on this subject it is stirring up hot debate with the pro-block and anti-block camps looking to be about equal in numbers (at least in numbers of posts).

    What does this say? That a good number of us really don't care *as much* about those freedoms that we pr
    • The thing is that if you're a half-decent parent, it won't be your kid. If you let your kid be alone with someone who could be capable of posting something like that ON THE INTERNET, you are making a mistake in your parenting somewhere.

      Are you unfamiliar with the statistics that say ninety-odd percent of child abuse is perpetrated by family members and/or close family friends ?

      It will take the cooperation of ALL the world's governments to take down these sites, which I can't see happening soon. Then the

    • "Then the content will migrate to a service like FREENET, where the information is decentralized and fully anonymous and guess what... you won't be able to take it down anymore."

      I hate to break it to people, but Freenet already has kiddie porn on it, and snuff, and other stuff which is not socially acceptable to the wider community. However, as the premise of Freenet clearly states, if you are going to truly believe in the value of anonymity then you must accept that with the good comes the bad.

      That means
  • Well duh (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jazman ( 9111 )
    > impossible to filter out, or block, offensive Web sites without also blocking some legitimate sites

    Remember how easy it was to block alt.sex.pedophilia? "Don't like it? Then don't go there." But the existence of this group was deemed "wrong", so a.s.p no longer exists, and as predicted this hasn't actually stopped the CPs who are now inhabiting alt.grannies.knitting instead, thus leading to the dual problem of people wanting knitting patterns getting a nasty shock and CP blocking now being impossibl
  • FIrst off, a site that isn't kiddie porn being blocked is not the only thing. How in the WORLD are they supposed to keep up with Kiddie Poron perveyors. They are as bad as spammers. Every trick in the spammers book is also in the kiddie porn web master's book. Move ISP's.....multiple ISP's....multiple domains....domains in other countries.....spoofing....

    Trying to block anything is near impossible. I wonder...how does Saudi Arabia do this? They have a severely choked inernet pipe thanks to the laws th
  • CDT? Does Keith Laumer know about this? :-)

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