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Graphics Advances Make Identifying Real Images Difficult

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the click-here-to-convict-your-enemy dept.

The Courts 531

destinyland writes "The FBI's geeks admitted they were nervous over computer-generated images at a recent forensics conference. In court they're now arguing that a jury 'can tell' if an image is real or computer-generated — which marks the current boundary between legal and illegal. But reporter Debbie Nathan argues that that distinction is getting fuzzy, and that geeks will inevitably make it obsolete." Note: some of the linked (computer-generated) images may be disturbing.

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531 comments

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Slashdotted already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23680781)

No comments and already both sites are down? Wow.

with that tagline (5, Funny)

jacquesm (154384) | more than 6 years ago | (#23680789)

I'm assuming 100% clicktrough...

"Note: some of the linked (computer-generated) images may be disturbing."

Re:with that tagline (5, Funny)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 6 years ago | (#23680809)

Not anymore, the site is slashdotted, you insensitive clods! Think of all the (computer generated) children!

Re:with that tagline (5, Informative)

xaxa (988988) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681149)

A computer generated baby (clothed ;-)
http://debbienathan.com.nyud.net:8080/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/display_16329441.jpg [nyud.net]

I couldn't get the rest of the images into the Corel Cache before the server went down completely.

Here's the text from the blog post:

Child porn: real or virtual? A day in the burbs and the forensics conference

        (ALL IMAGES IN THIS POST ARE COMPUTER GENERATED)

To go right to the real or virtual article, skip all the emo in italics. I wont be offended!


A funny thing happened to me this weekend in Huntington, Long Island. Iâ(TM)d taken a commuter train there from Manhattan, to interview someone in a neighborhood thatâ(TM)s walking distance from the local railroad station. (In case youre wondering why I havent posted lately, Im really busy with other work these days. Why else would I go to Huntington?) So I was hoofing it down New York Avenue when a cabbie screeched up and offered me a ride â" for free. âoeThanks,â I said, leaning into his window. âoeBut why?â âoeBecause you have to pass the day-labor site. Thereâ(TM)s lots of men there from Central America. They yell bad words to women going by.â


Iâ(TM)m 57 years old and slowly shrinking, maybe, but people seldom mistake me for a shrinking violet. I can deal with a few catcalls and âoeMamiâ(TM)sâ (assuming my wrinkled old self could evoke them in the first place). I tried to elucidate my philosophy to the driver: Itâ(TM)s always worth a few bad words to learn about stuff â" then communicate the stuff to others.


Well lah-dee-dah, youâ(TM)re probably saying. Nice story, but whatâ(TM)s the point? Especially when the real subject of this post isChild Porn®.


So hereâ(TM)s the point. Lately, when it comes to writing about child pornography issues, I suspect Iâ(TM)ve caught Huntingtonâ(TM)s Taxi Disease from my colleagues in the journalism biz. I notice that whenever I get an urge to report on the subject, I start worrying that if I publish it, Iâ(TM)ll hear âoebad wordsâ from people from âoeCentral-Weirdo Americaâ â" people who actually like child porn. Iâ(TM)ll have to read their emails (some of which make interesting points about free speech, the fourth amendment, government repression, etc.), then decide whether or not to post them. And if I post, the journos of MSM-villeâ"my colleagues! might look askance. After all, some have already told me that they, themselves, will not write about child pornography for precisely this reason: it freaks them out to get follow-up email from the pedos.


Iâ(TM)m also afraid my colleagues will tsk-tsk about why I write about this icky subject in the first place. âoeIs she obsessed or something?â they could be thinking. Perhaps they ask why I donâ(TM)t insert boiler plate into the first paragraphs of my articles. Riffs like, âoeOf course, child porn is the most horrible thing in the world, and the people involved deserve strong punishment.â This is supposed to show everyone the writer is a normal person who does not want to hear from pedos. I try to avoid such verbiage because I think itâ(TM)s knee jerk and stupid. Besides, Iâ(TM)m extremely reluctant to close off communication with anyone. I get some of my best tips about the malfunctioning of our various civic institutions from people close to those institutions â" who are often criminals, both apprehended and as yet uncaught. (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0022100/ [slashdot.org] ">M is still one of my favorite movies.)


I went to a conference a couple months ago where law enforcement officials gave fascinating presentations to other cop types about the state of child pornography on the net. How much of it is real? How much is virtual? How do you tell? This is not stuff the authorities want to talk about openly with the public (or with reporters). On my own dime, I schlepped to Washington, DC to attend. Then I queried a couple of editors about assigning me a piece. No interest. âoeWhatever,â I thought â" âoeIâ(TM)ll put it up on this blog.â But weeks have gone by and I just havenâ(TM)t been able to do it. I finally asked myself why. I realized itâ(TM)s because Iâ(TM)ve come down with Huntingtonâ(TM)s Taxi Disease. Iâ(TM)m afraid. Scared of those emails. Frightened that people I respect will think Iâ(TM)m a nut.


But hey â" Iâ(TM)m not a nut. I am obsessed, though: with finding out things other people donâ(TM)t want me to know, then passing the secrets on, in print. Iâ(TM)ve always been like this. In gradeschool I held drinking glasses against the wall to hear adult talk on the other side. I got sent to the cloak room after telling my first-grade class there was no Santa Claus. I brought John Howard Griffinâ(TM)s âoeBlack Like Meâ [amazon.com] to Girl Scout camp (Texas, early 1960s, where every store still had two water fountains) and was told I couldnâ(TM)t read it because it was too âoecontroversial.â I made a stink, and let other girls read it too.


I have a healthy mistrust of the status quo, especially when it starts trucking in fears about sex, kids, or Sex & Kids®. I donâ(TM)t like it when the press rolls over and swallows government claims without examining them. Even when theyâ(TM)re about Child Porn®. the one subject that 99.9 percent of supposedly critical journalists wonâ(TM)t touch.


Well, then, who will? Someoneâ(TM)s got to; guess itâ(TM)ll have to be me. Itâ(TM)s my mitzvah, my deber social as they say in Spanish â" my obligation as someone who hates panic, censorship, religion invading civic life, and the crummy feeling of life getting squeezed and shrunk and stupid because of a frightened world and frightened people. Thatâ(TM)s about it for my motives. Theyâ(TM)re simple. I just took an Advil® for the taxi-itis.


So on with the blog and report from that conference.


It was the American Academy of Forensic Sciences annual confab, [aafs.org] held this year, like I already said, in Washington. Over 4,000 people attended: police detectives, coroners, fire investigators, anthropologists who can gather disarticulated skeletons from a crime scene and put them back together, complete with ersatz faces. The panels were a heady mix of low morbidness and high nerdity. âoeIdentification of Incinerated Root Canal Filling Materials After Exposure to High Heat Incineration.â âoeFracture Patterns in Fleshed and De-Fleshed Pig Femora Inflicted with Various Ammunition Types.â âoeA Test of an Age-at-Death Method Using the First Rib.â


Then, there were the child porn presentations. Their purpose was to discuss everything the Department of Justice (and, for some reason, the Department of Defense) know about how to tell sexualized images of real children â" which are illegal to make and possess â" from âoevirtual,â or computer-generated (âoeCGâ) images. The latter are created from scratch and pixels. They donâ(TM)t show actual kids being victimized. Theyâ(TM)re fantasy. So theyâ(TM)re constitutionally protected under the First Amendment. At least for now.


Back in the 1990s, the government outlawed even CG images of sexualized children. But a few years later, ruling in a case called Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition [cornell.edu] , the Supreme Court said CG child porn is legal. That was in 2002, when the general consensus was that the technological state-of-the-art for CG human images wasnâ(TM)t so good anyway. If you concocted a CG image of a child having sex, the thinking went, it wouldnâ(TM)t fool anyone because it was too low-tech to seem real.


Within a couple of years, though, people caught with child porn images were going to court and claiming they didnt have anything real, only CG and that if the government thought otherwise, it would have to prove it.


The government developed several responses. One: find the actual child depicted in the pornography, and bring that real child into court, or bring in the cop who handled her case. This would show beyond a doubt that the defendantâ(TM)s material was not CG. Another strategy is to match the images in evidence to others previously collected by the feds, then show that the whole set dates to pre-Photoshop times, back when anything that looked like a photograph of a real kid really was real. But what if child victims and old photo sets arenâ(TM)t available? A third government technique is to tell courts that the average person (an FBI agent, a jury member) can still distinguish whatâ(TM)s real and whatâ(TM)s CG, just by looking with the naked eye.


Is this true? The government would like us to think so. But in point of fact, the boundary between real and CG is getting fuzzier by the year â" and the feds are nervous.


A couple of years ago, a Dartmouth University computer forensics professor, Haney Farid, did an experiment. [dartmouth.edu] He pulled a bunch of CG images off the Net that had been posted during the past few years on graphic arts hobby sites. He also collected real photos. Then he mixed them up and randomly showed real images and CG to lots of people, without telling them which was which. When viewers saw images depicting non-human themes, like landscapes, they made a lot of mistakes: they couldnâ(TM)t tell real from virtual. They were much better at distinguishing real people from fake people. Up to a point, that is. Their accuracy only held up with CGâ(TM)s produced in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005. But 2006 images were much more sophisticated and real looking. Faridâ(TM)s subjectsâ(TM) accuracy dropped precipitously with this new material. About a third of the time, they got CG and real images mixed up.


So whatâ(TM)s going to happen with 2008 images? 2009 and beyond? Real or fake? Will cops be able tell the difference? What if they canâ(TM)t? And what the hell is on the web right now? Digitized records of real children being victimized? Or slick CG, showing nothing but some digi-nerds fantasies?


Ergo, the Washington, DC forsenics workshops.


First up was FBI agent Amanda Broyles, from Quantico. She reminded her audience of last yearâ(TM)s ruling out of a federal Circuit Court of Appeals [sexcrimedefender.com] : that the government doesnâ(TM)t have to produce an expert â" someone like Dartmouth professor Farid â" if a defendant claims his porn was CG instead of real. âoeThis is good,â Broyles told the audience. She reiterated the mantra [news.com] that laypeople, such as juries, can tell the difference between real and virtual images just by looking.


But Broyle was contradicted by the next speaker, Michael Salyards, who hails from the Department of Defenseâ(TM)s Cyber Crime Center, in Linthicum, Maryland. [dc3.mil] (You may be asking why the DoD is investigating child porn. I donâ(TM)t have the answer. But I suspect itâ(TM)s a political maneuver related in some way to how, immediately after 9/11, the Justice Department started cooking up new ways to suspend peoples privacy rights in the name of fighting terrorism. After that played poorly with a lot of Americans, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and other government bigwigs started justifying mandatory Internet data gathering, and the Patriot Acts use of warrantless internet and and other searches, by saying they are necessary to combat child porn [news.com] . Likewise, the Department of Homeland Security is running Operation Predator, a program to do things like inspect peoples computers at the border for child porn though what this has to do with homeland security is not clear, and the program has led to arrests of Homeland Securitys own bureaucrats [azstarnet.com] on child sex charges.) [news.com]


The first thing Salyards did was PowerPoint a bunch of images that looked like photographs. Only one was genuine, he said. He showed an Asian woman, then another Asian woman. âoeWhich is real?â he gleefully asked the audience, and joked about placing bets. When he revealed which was which, it seemed to me (and many others who were glad we didnt gamble) that the virtual Asian woman looked realer than the real one. The same was true when Salyards showed images of two females clad in bikinis.


Salyards said that the Ashcroft court ruling, providing First Amendment protection to virtual child porn, has created âoelegal chaos.â He then spent much time describing tests which go far beyond the capabilities of the naked eye. For instance, you can use digital technology to search an image for âoehash marks,â 32-character strings embedded in digital images, including those made by cameras. The feds keep records of hash marks left by cameras that took pictures of real kids being exploited. Meta-data, Salyards said, shows the brand and model of camera used, and even if a flash went off.


Salyards added that you can analyze images down to the pixel level to check for lifelike color ranges. âoeReal skin is not the same as CG skin,â he noted. âoeWe see more red in CG images.â


Someone in the audience asked if a savvy child pornographer could beat the forensic analysts by inserting CG elements into a real, digital photo. How about if he removed pixels to make it look fake to those DoD examiners? Or added extra color? âoeYou could use Adobe and take out details,â Salyards answered. In a forensic analysis, a real photo would then âoepop up as computer-generated.â


After these presentations, it seemed clear that the technology exists to make real child porn look fake. And much more significantly to make CG porn which looks genuine enough to fool ordinary people. An obvious question that comes to mind, then, is: how much of this sophisticated child CG is already on the Internet?


My sense from attending the workshops is: Probably hardly any. But the scarcity has little to do with technology. The digital world is now rife with graphics professionals and hobbyists who spend lots of time creating reasonably real-looking virtual people as still images â" adults and kids. CG adults (especially women) often look âoesexy.â Sometimes theyâ(TM)re even having sex. But virtual kids are not portrayed sexually (though teen girls often look âoecome hitherâ). CG kids remain chaste, probably, because thereâ(TM)s no commercial market for child porn and thus no significant money to be made by doing virtual renditions of the stuff. Hobbyists, of course, dont need money to pursue their passions. But even they are probably reluctant to do CG child porn. Itâ(TM)s not like they can post it on graphic arts websites and get props from fellow artists. Plus, virtual child porn is legal in the US, but itâ(TM)s outlawed in many other countries. If an Americanâ(TM)s CG smut got emailed overseas, he could get in big trouble.


Given the above, I bet most defendants and their attorneys who raise the CG defense are bullshitting. Theyve probably been caught with the real thing.


But for how long will almost everything on the net be real? One thing is certain: if something becomes possible for human beings to do, someone will do it. Salyard, the DoD guy, said that over the past several years, heâ(TM)s already seen three CG child porn images that were good enough to need analysis by an expert like him. And all the conference speakers expressed trepidations about the next big thing: child porn video. We heard a lot about Tom Hanks animated feature film, âoePolar Express,â and about âoeFinal Fantasy: the Spirits Within.â We also were instructed to check out www.virtualeve.com, [virtualeve.com] to peruse naked (adult) avatars having sex. But avatar sex is still about âoedead eyesâ and plastic-looking ears, according to the speakers. Nevertheless, asked one, âoeIn ten years are we going to be able to tellâ if videos with kids having sex are real or CG? We have to wait and see.â


In a recent âoeSavage Loveâ column, [ocweekly.com] sex advisor Dan Savage discussed David Levyâ(TM)s book Love and Sex With Robots [amazon.com] . Levy predicts that in a couple of generations, people will be having romances and copulating with humanoid robots â" including, as Savage said with a verbal wince: âoekid robots.â Sex robots, he added, will eventually âoemake fantasies that are currently unrealizable for reasons of biology, logistics, or morality suddenly very, very realizable.â


Well, if 2-D fantasies are just as potent as 3-D for many people, then the time has already come. If the pedo-weirdies that most of us donâ(TM)t understand can cathect onto visual, CG child porn thus leaving real kids alone â" maybe CG isnâ(TM)t such a horrible thing. Itâ(TM)s kind of like Henry Darger [folkartmuseum.org] . He was a reclusive Chicago janitor who, in the 1950s and 1960s, secretly made brilliant, deeply disturbing outsider art depicting children with transgender genitals, in scenes of bloody violence, including sexual violence. Darger didnt have a computer back then. He had only scissors, paper, crayons, and lots of Searâ(TM)s kiddie clothing ads. (Ive mounted one of his tamer productions, above.) His were DG (Darger-generated) works, and as far as anyone knows, he never touched a real child. Was he so different from the pedophiles of today?


Who knows if CG would be enough for these people? The government doesnâ(TM)t even want to think about it. Most of the feds would rather ape other countries and just ban virtual child porn. To do that, however, theyâ(TM)ll have to prove it has proximate anti-social effects â" that it pushes pedophile viewers to act out on real children. So far, claims to this effect have been junk science. But who knows? Maybe real research will turn up. Or maybe not.


If Free Speech were the solar system, everything Iâ(TM)m writing about here would be Pluto â" or that unseen eleventh planet thatâ(TM)s even farther out. Questions about child pornography push us to the far, cold reaches of outer space. To Huntington, Long Island, as Woody Allen might say. Where that nice cabbie wanted to whisk me past the unpleasantries, but being just me, with little choice in my me-ness, I had to tell him Iâ(TM)d rather walk through whatever this Central/Middle America thing was, up ahead.


Re:with that tagline (5, Insightful)

xaxa (988988) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681229)

And could someone please convert Slashdot to Unicode now? Sorry for all the stupid characters in that.

Re:with that tagline (1)

Sigmon (323109) | more than 6 years ago | (#23680875)

....Guaranteeing that their server is /.ed after only 2 comments.

Re:with that tagline (1)

Sigg3.net (886486) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681039)

No problem!

Error establishing a database connection

So SFW, or NSFW? (5, Insightful)

celery stalk (617764) | more than 6 years ago | (#23680817)

Disturbing doesn't really give us much to go on, and I don't feel like being the guinea pig.

Re:So SFW, or NSFW? (3, Funny)

KGIII (973947) | more than 6 years ago | (#23680837)

The one at 10 Zen Monkeys is safe for work - the other's already slashdotted...

Re:So SFW, or NSFW? (1)

Sporkinum (655143) | more than 6 years ago | (#23680979)

Depends on where you work..

The requested page is currently unavailable Access to this site (http://www.10zenmonkeys.com/2008/06/05/is-it-legal-porn...) has been limited due to the rating of its content (pornography,nudity).

Re:So SFW, or NSFW? (1)

TheRedSeven (1234758) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681087)

Seems that all the other sites I found that link to the /.'ed article say either "Rated G" or SFW.

I'm not going to be the first to try though, the VP's office is right behind my cube.

Re:So SFW, or NSFW? (1)

KGIII (973947) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681161)

The other one is safe for work too - just a picture of a baby (clothed even). And, well, I don't *see* any reason why a site like either would be blocked from work other than controversial content and time wasting.

Re:So SFW, or NSFW? (2, Insightful)

bickerdyke (670000) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681347)

it has the words "illegal" and "porn" even in its URL. So guess what the Firewall think what you might be browsing....

Re:So SFW, or NSFW? (1)

KGIII (973947) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681377)

Firewalls shouldn't think or should think better I suppose. Then again, whitelisting would be so much overhead on the IT dept. that I'm gonna go with, "Yeah, they probably should block that."

503 as of now. (0, Redundant)

Hankapobe (1290722) | more than 6 years ago | (#23680865)

The first just times out.

Re:So SFW, or NSFW? (1)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 6 years ago | (#23680869)

I'm going to assume that it's NSFW.

Re:So SFW, or NSFW? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23680943)

I'm pretty sure this is in reference to the various digitally-generated child pornography cases going around, but I won't click it to find out :P

Re:So SFW, or NSFW? (3, Informative)

mdmkolbe (944892) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681127)

The 10 Zen Monkeys is SFW. The only thing that could be objected to is the headline "Is It Legal Porn or Illegal Porn?" which is to say not very objectionable at all.

The other one contains "G-rated" images according to the link to it from the 10 Zen Monkeys article.

Should be criminal anyway (1, Interesting)

Intron (870560) | more than 6 years ago | (#23680827)

The justification for child porn laws is that real children are harmed in making it. The justification for arresting purchasers is that they create the market for it. It doesn't matter whether they buy CG or real porn, they still encourage the crimes against children.

Re:Should be criminal anyway (4, Insightful)

neomage86 (690331) | more than 6 years ago | (#23680881)

Do you have any evidence to suggest that viewing child porn (or, more specifically, cg child porn) increases crimes against children?

That reminds me of Ken Thompson's argument that video game violence increases real-world violence.

Re:Should be criminal anyway (1, Troll)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681017)

There does seem to be a link between viewing child porn and abusing children. Now that leaves open the question is do child molesters like child porn or does porn encourage it.
There have been many studies that show that all pron can have a very bad effect. Of course you will have any number of people on Slashdot jump up and say that they look at porn and haven't committed any sex crimes.
But then I also know people that are 80 and smoked a pack of cigs a day since they where 12 and I know a few people that survived combat without a scratch.
I doubt that anybody would say those where both harmless.

Re:Should be criminal anyway (4, Insightful)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681093)

There does seem to be a link between viewing child porn and abusing children. Now that leaves open the question is do child molesters like child porn or does porn encourage it.


Ok, if there seems to be a link, support that assertion with something besides what comes out of your ass.

But then I also know people that are 80 and smoked a pack of cigs a day since they where 12 and I know a few people that survived combat without a scratch.
I doubt that anybody would say those where both harmless.


I agree, I wouldn't say those are harmless. However, I also wouldn't say that those examples are comparable to the kiddie porn/child molestation link.

Re:Should be criminal anyway (4, Informative)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681449)

If I supply a link, will you change your mind? I doubt it, but here [sagepub.com] it is anyway. Of course, it is one of many. You know, it took me about 2 minutes to find this on Google. Rather than speaking from your ass, you could do a little research on your own.

The present study examined exposure to and use of pornography in the familial, developmental and criminal histories of 38 rapists and 26 child molesters incarcerated at the Massachusetts Treatment Center. While both groups reported similar exposure to pornography in the home and during development, child molesters indicated significantly more exposure than rapists in adulthood and were significantly more likely both to use such materials prior to and during their offenses and to employ pornography to relieve an impulse to act out. The findings are discussed with regards to the "catharsis hypothesis" and the role of pornography in the commission of sexual offenses for certain types of rapists and child molesters.
Of course, there is a causation/correlation argument that could be made here, but to someone with tendencies already, this may push them over the edge whereas they may have lived a normal life without it.

Re:Should be criminal anyway (0, Redundant)

neomage86 (690331) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681111)

Correlation != Causation.

There does seem to be a link between viewing child porn and abusing children.

At best, there may be a correlation there, and even that I'm not sure about.

There have been many studies that show that all pron can have a very bad effect.

Now you're just lying. I challenge you to find one serious study that shows anything of the sort.

Re:Should be criminal anyway (1)

Aranykai (1053846) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681155)

Hey now...

Re:Should be criminal anyway (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681279)

"Correlation != Causation. "
Gee I think I said that.
"Now that leaves open the question is do child molesters like child porn or does porn encourage it."

Re:Should be criminal anyway (0, Redundant)

MadMartigan2001 (766552) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681217)

There does seem to be a link between viewing child porn and abusing children.
Um, got any proof? Like maybe citing your references?

There have been many studies that show that all pron can have a very bad effect.
And BTW, masturbating (or self abuse as many porno-phobics call it) can cause blindness. OMG, I'm doomed! American beauty got it right..."Never underestimate the power of denial".

Re:Should be criminal anyway (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681245)

There have been many studies that show that all pron can have a very bad effect. Of course you will have any number of people on Slashdot jump up and say that they look at porn and haven't committed any sex crimes.

There is still the "correlation does not equate to causation". As well as it being easy to produce a "study" which shows a correlation between something common and something uncommon. To open another can of worms "sex crimes" can include both very common sex acts and even things which have nothing to do with sex.

Re:Should be criminal anyway (1)

computational super (740265) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681331)

But then I also know people that are 80 and smoked a pack of cigs a day since they where 12 and I know a few people that survived combat without a scratch. I doubt that anybody would say those where both harmless.

I heard somebody died in a car accident driving to work. Ban cars!

Re:Should be criminal anyway (2, Funny)

bestiarosa (938309) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681427)

Still better, ban work!

Re:Should be criminal anyway (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681163)

Ken Thompson? Of Unix and C fame?

Or do you mean Jack Thompson?

Re:Should be criminal anyway (2, Informative)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681191)

Sure do.
On video games:
From here [apa.org] :

WASHINGTON - Playing violent video games like Doom, Wolfenstein 3D or Mortal Kombat can increase a person's aggressive thoughts, feelings and behavior both in laboratory settings and in actual life, according to two studies appearing in the April issue of the American Psychological Association's (APA) Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Furthermore, violent video games may be more harmful than violent television and movies because they are interactive, very engrossing and require the player to identify with the aggressor, say the researchers.
Of course, these are psychologists, so take it with a grain of salt. I'm sure that /dotters know more about the human psyche than these guys.

I'm afraid you'll have to do your own googling for pornography and rape or whatever as I'm at work and don't want "Porno" showing up on my google search list on the our proxy servers.

Of course, you will find many articles showing both sides, so take with a grain of salt.

Disclaimer: I like porn and violent video games as much as the next guy, but there is research that shows that it does have negative consequences to the weak minded.

Re:Should be criminal anyway (3, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681321)

"Disclaimer: I like porn and violent video games as much as the next guy, but there is research that shows that it does have negative consequences to the weak minded."

But you see....a weak or weak minded individual can be susceptible to most anything....but, is that reason to remove the choice to view pr0n or play vi0lent video games? Some people are going to get addicted to any number of things, and abuse any number of things...some of those acts are criminal. But for the majority of us that are 'normal'...why should our freedom to indulge in pleasurable things, as long as they don't physically harm REAL people (ok, a little leeway on the S&M people who enjoy being hurt, but, that's a side topic) be infringed upon. If someone gets off on watching rape videos, why not let them...if the act (which is illegal in real life) is simulated by actors or CGI...what's the harm?

Re:Should be criminal anyway (1)

computational super (740265) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681365)

Of course, these are psychologists with a hidden agenda to push, so take it with a grain of salt.

Fixed that for you.

Re:Should be criminal anyway (1)

RedWizzard (192002) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681195)

Do you have any evidence to suggest that viewing child porn (or, more specifically, cg child porn) increases crimes against children?
There does seem to be some evidence that it does, though nothing totally convincing. Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] is a good starting point.

Re:Should be criminal anyway (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23681295)

That's clearly not the argument. The connection is that, in order to view child porn, you have to acquire child porn, which means you are on the demand side of a trade, raising the price for child porn and thereby increasing the incentive for producing child porn. The only remaining question is: Does demand for CG child porn cause more actual child porn to be produced because the consumers are indifferent about the source of the pictures or does it not because real child porn and CG child porn are consumed by different people?

There may be an argument for legalizing and strictly controlling CG child porn, so that people who are aware of their sexual disorder and do not want children to get hurt have the option to stay legal, but I think this is not like computer games: The barrier between games and the real world does not need to hold up against one of the most basic drives. Also, the often-touted assumption with computer games is that people might transfer their game behavior to the real world, whereas with child porn there would only be the hope that a suppressed real world behavior stays suppressed as long as a surrogate is available. That is a very slim hope.

Re:Should be criminal anyway (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681379)

Do you have any evidence to suggest that viewing child porn (or, more specifically, cg child porn) increases crimes against children?

That reminds me of Ken Thompson's argument that video game violence increases real-world violence.
Screw it, I did the search anyway. You know, you can find this stuff in about 5 minutes using Google.

From HERE [sagepub.com] :

The present study examined exposure to and use of pornography in the familial, developmental and criminal histories of 38 rapists and 26 child molesters incarcerated at the Massachusetts Treatment Center. While both groups reported similar exposure to pornography in the home and during development, child molesters indicated significantly more exposure than rapists in adulthood and were significantly more likely both to use such materials prior to and during their offenses and to employ pornography to relieve an impulse to act out. The findings are discussed with regards to the "catharsis hypothesis" and the role of pornography in the commission of sexual offenses for certain types of rapists and child molesters.
Again, you will find articles on both sides. For example, I saw one compelling article that pointed out that in the past 10 years, with the spread of the Internet, porn is readily available with little or no increase in the numbers of violent sexual acts. However, there is more evidence that supports that porn and violence does lead to some people to violent sexual assaults that may have been able to control themselves otherwise.

Re:Should be criminal anyway (5, Insightful)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 6 years ago | (#23680937)

The justification for child porn laws is that real children are harmed in making it. The justification for arresting purchasers is that they create the market for it. It doesn't matter whether they buy CG or real porn, they still encourage the crimes against children


What? That conclusion doesn't follow from the premises you gave.

The justification for making the production of child porn illegal is that it harms children. The justification for making owning child porn illegal is that it encourages producing child porn (and thus encouraging more harming of children).

CG child porn doesn't harm children in its production, because its production doesn't actually involve children. And following the analogy, consumption of CG child porn would encourage the production of more child porn, but given the fact that you can produce it without running afoul of the law, you'd get more CG than real child porn produced.

How does producing images that look like child porn without actually abusing children encourage crimes against children?

Re:Should be criminal anyway (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681203)

He's asserting that the consumption of cg child porn increases the market for child porn as a whole, which includes both cg and non-cg. If the cg and non-cg child porn markets were independent, sales of cg child porn would have no effect on the harming of children.

Even if they're not independent (which is probably true), that's a fairly indirect link. You don't see the makers of snack foods lobbying for and end on the war on drugs because it hurts their business.

Swords have two edges... (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681239)

"How does producing images that look like child porn without actually abusing children encourage crimes against children?"

I don't know the answer to that but I think the 'target demographic' for life-like cartoon kiddie porn should not be provided with masturbation material that 'normalizes' their behaviour. I would also argue GC assists in obfuscating the real thing, if by no other means than volume.

OTOH I agree "CG child porn doesn't harm children in its production....given the fact that you can produce it without running afoul of the law, you'd get more CG than real child porn produced".

Re:Should be criminal anyway (1)

abbamouse (469716) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681265)

I suspect there are several good answers here. I don't have a problem with creating CG kiddie porn from one's own personal use. However, once commerce becomes involved (or possibly even trading) there are secondary effects to consider:
1. Existing CG porn uses real faces and Photoshop. This creates real privacy problems, since people have some minimal right to control their image (i.e. to prevent others from thinking they really are sexually active)
2. When it comes to entirely CG kiddie porn, the average Joe can't make it. He doesn't have the skills, the modeling tools, the time, etc. So if there is a market for kiddie porn (or if it can be acquired through trading one's own kiddie porn to others) then there are incentives to make the real thing (especially given the premium that porn viewers place on having new images).
3. Allowing the CG stuff makes it extremely difficult to enforce a ban on the real stuff. The more realistic the CG stuff becomes, the more difficult it will be to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant has real kiddie porn. Note that even videos showing the DEFENDANT HIMSELF molesting kids may be challenged as simulations, if CG tech really makes fantasy indistinguishable from reality. This undermines the "but real kiddie porn is still illegal" argument, even if you don't agree with #1 and #2 above.

Re:Should be criminal anyway (1)

abbamouse (469716) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681297)

Ack, that should be FOR one's personal use rather than FROM one's personal use. Quite a shift in meaning from that typo....

Re:Should be criminal anyway (1)

mpe (36238) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681305)

CG child porn doesn't harm children in its production, because its production doesn't actually involve children. And following the analogy, consumption of CG child porn would encourage the production of more child porn, but given the fact that you can produce it without running afoul of the law, you'd get more CG than real child porn produced.

The argument for banning CG "child porn" (and presumably that produced entirely by a human artist) tends to be either that it is difficult to distinguish from actual photographs or that photographs can me modified in such a way which is difficult to tell from CGI.

Re:Should be criminal anyway (1)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681131)

However, if you wrote and published an essay 'Why Child Abuse Is A Good Idea', you would also be encouraging crimes against children. Yet few argue you should be arrested for doing so. It's hard to see why computer graphics 'encourage abuse' any more than talking about it or writing books about it.

Re:Should be criminal anyway (1)

linhares (1241614) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681261)

I'm sure the boys in MANBLA are all excited about this.

Re:Should be criminal anyway (1)

computational super (740265) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681389)

Yet few argue you should be arrested for doing so.

You haven't been paying attention to the comments on this thread very closely, have you?

Re:Should be criminal anyway (4, Interesting)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681227)

Tofo encourages the slaughter of chickens?

Re:Should be criminal anyway (1)

harry666t (1062422) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681477)

So playing GTA should be considered car theft, murder, participating in organized crime... Wow, I'm kind of a serious criminal now.

You know what? I'd rather want 'em to outlaw games where you kill people than CG pr0n.

Why does it matter? (5, Insightful)

neomage86 (690331) | more than 6 years ago | (#23680835)

I thought the purpose of child-porn laws were to ensure that no children were hurt (a fairly noble goal).

As long as no children are hurt in the production of these images, why does it matter how real they look?

Re:Why does it matter? (3, Interesting)

mdmkolbe (944892) | more than 6 years ago | (#23680941)

The problem is when it's impossible to tell the real from the fake. At that point you couldn't prosecute any of the real ones because they'll just say it's a really good fake.

Re:Why does it matter? (5, Insightful)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 6 years ago | (#23680955)

If you couldn't find the actual victims or any other evidence that the producer had abused a child in making the images, maybe you shouldn't be prosecuting them.

Re:Why does it matter? (5, Insightful)

Aranykai (1053846) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681169)

Its almost like the burden of proof is on the prosecution and you are presumed innocent until proven otherwise.
Wow, how novel.

Re:Why does it matter? (5, Funny)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681199)

You sound like a terrorist, you know. A child molesting terrorist.

Re:Why does it matter? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23681255)

I am posting as a AC since I modded the parent. You both are right. The situation is a catch-22. The advance of computer generated graphics allows both people who are turned on to images of children having sex to view these images without any actual abuse of children happening, AND to people that do abuse children in order with an alibi - they can just say the image isn't real.

Possibly many people would just say that looking at child porn is wrong and immoral, whether any actual abuse took place or not. So I'd say that the day CGI is indistinguishable from real imagery, CGI will be as unlawful as the real thing. There are already a lot of proposals in this sense, sadly. Unfortunately I don't think this will actually help real abusers getting caught.

Re:Why does it matter? (3, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23680973)

As long as no children are hurt in the production of these images, why does it matter how real they look?
Because put a virtual image that looks real in front of a jury, and if they can't tell the difference, they may put an innocent person in prison. Imagine if the virtual child-pr0n showed a guy that had nothing to do with it's creation molesting a child? Talk about your witch hunts!

Also, think about this. If you look at pr0n, doesn't it make you horny?

Now, let's talk about child pr0n. Doesn't matter whether it's virtual or not -- if you're a pedophile, it will still make you want to go out and act on that, just as 'normal' pr0n does for the non-sexual-deviant.

Do you really think that stimulating child predators with pr0n -- even virtual pr0n -- is a good idea?

Re:Why does it matter? (5, Insightful)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681071)

There's a big gap between "not a good idea" and "illegal."

Re:Why does it matter? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681211)

That's why we have legislatures.

Re:Why does it matter? (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681441)

That's why we have legislatures.
Given their track record, it seems more like they are for making "not a good idea" into "required by law."

Re:Why does it matter? (1)

zblack_eagle (971870) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681073)

...put a virtual image that looks real in front of a jury, and if they can't tell the difference, they may put an innocent person in prison.
So they cut out the possibility of an innocent person and make virtual images mean the same thing in the eyes of the law as the real deal. So much for thinking of victims.

Re:Why does it matter? (5, Informative)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681193)

So they cut out the possibility of an innocent person and make virtual images mean the same thing in the eyes of the law as the real deal.


Read what I wrote. Then go back and RTFA.

Let's say I take a picture of you. Then, I work some magic on the picture and combine it with a naked child.

Then I use a trojan or other malware to put the photo on your laptop.

Then I suggest to the police that you may be carrying child pr0n on your laptop, that's why you fly to China every month.

At the airport, DHS searches your laptop and finds the picture.

That clear enough for you?

Re:Why does it matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23681129)

SHHHHH!!!!! Don't say that too loud or the Cult of Scientology will start using it to frame their tormentors..

Re:Why does it matter? (1, Insightful)

ArikTheRed (865776) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681147)

Sweet Jesus, you made your point. Now please stop saying "pr0n".

Re:Why does it matter? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681243)

Why? What's wrong with saying "pr0n"? Pr0n, pr0n, pr0n! See, the world didn't collapse, right?

Re:Why does it matter? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23681329)

Also, think about this. If you look at pr0n, doesn't it make you horny?

Now, let's talk about child pr0n. Doesn't matter whether it's virtual or not -- if you're a pedophile, it will still make you want to go out and act on that, just as 'normal' pr0n does for the non-sexual-deviant.

Do you really think that stimulating child predators with pr0n -- even virtual pr0n -- is a good idea?


This is slashdot. People here don't have girlfriends, which makes it easy to compare with child porn (no, wait, just read on).

Watching porn makes us horny. So, does that mean we rape women? No, we jack off.

How about a paedophile? Watching child porn makes him horny. Does that mean he rapes children? No, he jacks off.

Sure, there are rapists both among normal(tm) people and among paedophiles. Why would they need porn? To jack off? But they can't rape someone at the same time. No matter what, if they jack off, that "wet spot" is not going inside a victim (child or otherwise).

So, watching porn and jacking off reduces the number of rapes (statistically proven for years when it comes to adult porn). But *producing* child porn increases it. (Legal adult porn is made with willing actresses, and thus not rape). That's why we outlaw child porn.

CGI offers to remove the "increases it" part.

Re:Why does it matter? (1)

computational super (740265) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681435)

if they can't tell the difference, they may put an innocent person in prison.

Damnit, man, we're talking about protecting children here! Who cares about the so-called "innocent"? A child's "innocence" was stolen from them! What are you, some kind of terrorist sympathizer?

Re:Why does it matter? (5, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681271)

I thought the purpose of child-porn laws were to ensure that no children were hurt (a fairly noble goal).
Pfft.

The purpose of child-porn laws is to create fear in parents and then tell them your party will take care of their children and they needn't worry - if only the vote for you. In other words: The purpose of child-porn laws is to generate votes.

I've yet to see the slightest bit of evidence that any of these laws had any meaningful effect on actual child abuse at all. It's probably because the aim of those laws is the dangerous foreign stranger who abducts and abuses your child (a nightmare for all parents) instead of father/mother/uncle who abuses a kid (the by far most common case in real life).

I think I see why the FBI would be nervous. (5, Insightful)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 6 years ago | (#23680841)

As CG graphics improve and more photography is done digitally instead of on film, what's to stop a savvy defense lawyer from convincing a jury to dismiss photographic evidence -- including video from surveillance cameras -- on the grounds that it's computer-generated and therefore fake?

Re:I think I see why the FBI would be nervous. (4, Interesting)

bugg (65930) | more than 6 years ago | (#23680921)

Photos don't testify at trials, people do. Generally if you have photographic evidence you need to have the cameraperson testify, and they will need to testify that they took the picture and establish (sometimes by establishing chain of custody/development procedures) that the picture reflects what they saw and how someone edited or added things.

Re:I think I see why the FBI would be nervous. (2, Interesting)

RobBebop (947356) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681241)

you need to have the cameraperson testify

I think that's the point that nobody is watching the footage of these Big Brother cameras all the time. A "wired" criminal could have the resources to doctor the surveillance tapes before anybody notices the crime has been committed. At that point, the defense attorney is left with the hard task of demonstrating that it isn't his client in the videos.

Just like lie detector tests... surveillance videos are not infallible.

Re:I think I see why the FBI would be nervous. (4, Interesting)

mdmkolbe (944892) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681007)

... convincing a jury to dismiss photographic evidence -- including video from surveillance camera ...

IANAL, but I think video from surveillance cameras will be alright because all you have to do is have the person in charge of the surveillance swear the films haven't been altered. This would force the defense to posit that someone is trying to frame the defendant and is lying about the films being genuine. That would usually be considered unreasonable doubt (unless of course you've got some actual evicence and not just the accusation that the video is fake).

Re:I think I see why the FBI would be nervous. (3, Interesting)

MrNemesis (587188) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681063)

M'lud, I present exhibit A - a 1024-node renderfarm accompanied by a small army of animators and artists that we believe was used to fabricate exhibit B ;)

At the moment (as far as I'm aware - I have a friend who works in forensic IT who has a colleague that specialises in detecting doctored images and video), even the top-end CGI is relatively easy to distinguish from the real thing, especially where humans are involved (even more so for video). Whilst I agree there's a possibility that tech and skills capable of making realistic human animations and the like may only be a few years away, I still think it'll be a long time before such fare becomes indistinguishable from the real thing, and even if it was there'd be an inevitable paper trail (or lack of it) concerning the origin of the pics/vids.

Re:I think I see why the FBI would be nervous. (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681369)

It's getting close though. Skin isn't quite perfect, and hair looks not quite right.

Something I've noticed is that photoshop filters make real things less realistic. Compare a photo of Marilyn Monroe with any star today and you'll probably see a big difference. Since they're targetting a less realistic image, it should probably be easier.

That and we're not just talking about computer generated. Computers can modify images as well. Not sure if they could make an 18 year old model look 12, but it will be a lot harder to tell.

Re:I think I see why the FBI would be nervous. (1, Interesting)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681383)

I still think it'll be a long time before such fare becomes indistinguishable from the real thing

I am against child abuse just as much as anyone, but the more I hear about this issue the more it makes me think that the laws are asking society to perfect hypocrisy. On the one hand we have music videos which are basically soft-porn, magazines on supermarket shelves at child's-eye level which are no less sexually explicit, but now we have artists charged and art exhibitions canceled because they have photographs of naked children.

Ok, I personally have no inclination of visiting such an exhibition - I don't agree with the idea, but to make that illegal is ridiculous.

My point is, so what if someone can render a CG image of a child or adult so cleverly so that it is 'real'? We are missing the point. Laws are meant to protect people from harm, not electrons. There has to be proof that there is a causative link between such an image and an abuse of a child. Nobody is going around arresting paintings of people being slaughtered or whatever. The Louvre, for example, contains numerous, magnificent works of art which depict terrible deeds - but they are not regarded as obscene.

There is a difference between child molestation and paedophilia [ucdavis.edu] . One is a criminal act, the other is a psychiatric illness. Why are we criminalizing a medical condition?

Re:I think I see why the FBI would be nervous. (1)

NotBornYesterday (1093817) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681231)

I think that video surveillance systems providers will evolve to meet the problem. It is essentially a problem with demonstrating data immutability, like with the data preservation requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley. Digital surveillance hardware and software vendors (the ones who plan on surviving, anyway) will improve their systems to include audit trails, chain of control on evidence, etc., if they haven't already. I'm not saying that they will necessarily be able to fend off the most determined attackers, but they should be able to produce a system that mostly eliminates the chance for digital video fraud, and offers the ability to counter a defense attorney's FUD.

Re:I think I see why the FBI would be nervous. (1)

Rydia (556444) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681325)

As others have said, people have to authenticate photographs. Video from surveillance cameras would go something like: was in proper working condition, data was retrieved and stored in safe place, inscribed using proper techniques.

As for what the defense attorney could do, he could of course attempt to attack the authentication or chain of custody, but that isn't any different from photographs for the past 50 years. It's much easier to explain away photos rather than lose capital with the jury by fighting them tooth and nail (and almost assuredly losing).

The other option, put something about the possibility of fabrication in your close, but that is objectionable. It will be overruled, true, but the judge would almost certainly (in my experience) give the jury a speech about how closings are just argument and they have to rely on what they heard in the evidence to reach their decision.

PeDOSed! (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 6 years ago | (#23680849)

Every pedo in the world is having a field day over the free CG kiddie porn :P I was wondering why they put that stuff online, when the US is trying to make CG kiddie porn illegal.

Re:PeDOSed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23680957)

And this is exactly why even CG kiddie porn is being banned: because it will soon be, if it isn't already, impossible to distinguish it from the real thing. If geeks weren't so good at their jobs, we could still sit in our basements making our cartoons...

Service Temporarily Unavailable (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23680855)

Service Temporarily Unavailable

He's right, images are disturbing!

Protection (1)

voislav98 (1004117) | more than 6 years ago | (#23680867)

Maybe some sort of a watermark or protection is in order... Oh, wait

They can tell it's a 'shop (5, Funny)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 6 years ago | (#23680891)

They can tell from a few pixels and having seen quite a few shops in their time.

NSFW (5, Interesting)

Atheose (932144) | more than 6 years ago | (#23680901)

It'd be nice to see a "NSFW" (Not Suitable For Work) tag on the article. I clicked the link and I'm at work, and am now worried that large men with guns will appear. Saying "The following images may be disturbing" is too ambiguous.

Re:NSFW... Well... (3, Funny)

scsirob (246572) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681049)

Since you are reading /. at work, those men showing up might happen anyway. And righfully so. You shouldn't read /. at work. You should work! For me! WORK! FOR ME!! HEHEHE ! FOR MEEEEEE!

Kind regards,

Your Boss...

Re:NSFW... Well... (1)

Atheose (932144) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681157)

Shit, you found me! *Get's back to work*

Re:NSFW (2, Funny)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681357)

Actually I just clicked the link at work while I didn't intend to, I wanted to open the slashdot post but instead accidently clicked the porn link. I'm scared now.

Re:NSFW (2, Insightful)

xaxa (988988) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681397)

It'd be nice to see a "NSFW" (Not Suitable For Work) tag on the article. I clicked the link and I'm at work, and am now worried that large men with guns will appear. Saying "The following images may be disturbing" is too ambiguous.
You have a warning. It's up to you to decide what the risk is to you, and whether to click the link or not.

How to tell (3, Interesting)

TappedOut (1185315) | more than 6 years ago | (#23680913)

The latest Scientific American has an interesting article on the current state of the art of how to tell whether a photo has been doctored. http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=digital-image-forensics [sciam.com]

Re:How to tell (1)

NewbieProgrammerMan (558327) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681307)

But what's the current state of the art of telling whether a "photo" is created from scratch?

Coral Cache for the 1st site (4, Informative)

mariushm (1022195) | more than 6 years ago | (#23680949)

Here's a coral cache link for the 1st site:

Click me [nyud.net]

The last one won't work at all

corepirate nazi hypenosys makes reality invisible (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23680991)

liars & touts & shills oh my. many continue to pretend, but it's not helping at all. the lights are coming up all over now. conspiracy theorists are being vindicated. some might choose a tin umbrella to go with their hats. the fairytail is winding down now. let your conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

http://news.google.com/?ncl=1216734813&hl=en&topic=n
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/29/world/29amnesty.html?hp
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/06/02/nasa.global.warming.ap/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/06/05/severe.weather.ap/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/06/02/honore.preparedness/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/01/opinion/01dowd.html?em&ex=1212638400&en=744b7cebc86723e5&ei=5087%0A
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/06/05/senate.iraq/index.html

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=weather+manipulation&btnG=Search
http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/28/vermont.banning.bush.ap/index.html

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html

& pretending that it isn't happening here;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3086937.ece
all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece

Re:corepirate nazi hypenosys makes reality invisib (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23681085)

You are not a gadfly.

Image Based Rendering (1)

jonastullus (530101) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681081)

Seeing how well Image Based Rendering works (as for example in this impressive, and already old demo of a 3D morphable face model [youtube.com] ), many things are now being calculated from a single image or a pair of images.

Object geometries, light sources, occlusions, textures can be determined more and more precisely from simple photos, making it easier to add objects which exhibit the correct shadows and highlights for the surrounding scene.

So my guess would be that confidently identifying fudget images is already near-impossible and will become even more so with more robust image based rendering algorithms

Disturbing images (4, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681107)

Note: some of the linked (computer-generated) images may be disturbing.

Oh don't worry, we've seen goatse and tubgirl already.

Tricksy (3, Funny)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681109)

some of the linked (computer-generated) images may be disturbing.

Aha! Your little trick worked. It made me actually read the article before posting.

Digital Signature (1)

Mishra100 (841814) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681291)

Maybe photo companies could start implement a digital signature like process into their photos.

The idea is that each pixel would be assigned its own identifier. Kind of like HTML format like #342332. You then take the sum of the identifiers (or something like that) and use the camera's encryption key and sign the document. When you want to verify the pictures authenticity you use the image verification feature on the camera which would match the picture's identifier and match it against the camera key to make sure it still hasn't been altered.

This is only an IDEA and my explanation on how it MIGHT work is just an idea. I also know it might not be perfect as someone could steal the encryption key. But at least it would deter 95% of people out there altering pictures that aren't that computer savvy.

Salem Witch Trials 2.0 (2, Funny)

gooseupfront (1120847) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681355)

I can just see this coming back. "See the pointy hat and broomstick! She's clearly a witch!"

It goes like this.... (4, Insightful)

MadMartigan2001 (766552) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681359)

If they can generate images of kids that you cannot tell are fake, then they can generate images of YOU that cannot be identified as fake. So, it's just a matter of time before we start putting "sicko pedo bastards" in jail for harming innocent children when in fact, not a single real person appears in the photo. At the same time, real sick and twisted pedophiles, who are smart enough to cover their tracks, will continue to abuse real children. But who cares about that right? As long as we hang a few, innocent or not, it makes us feel better.

Have you seen Google today? (3, Interesting)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#23681387)

Fittingly, their art is an homage to Diego Velázquez [wikipedia.org] .

Hard for a layman to tell a photo of a Velázquez from a photo of its model. Like everything else, today's artists just have better tools. A good painter could have fooled the FBI in 1920, only easier than with a computer-generated image today.

The cameras weren't as good then, so it would have been harder to tell a photo of a model from a photo of a painting of the model. The cameras were not in color. Nobody expected a photo of a painting to be anything but a photo.

Lets see any of you lay persons who haven't been trained in art make a photoshop image as good as a Velázquez painting.

Oh, the humanity! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23681401)

Once women began faking orgasms, the world went straight to Hell.

Now we have fake kiddie pr0n.

Oh, the humanity!

Where will it end?

Please tell me that professional wrestling is still real !!
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