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Why Doesn't the IWF Notify Those Whom They Block?

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the silence-nothing-but-silence dept.

Censorship 203

Frequent Slashdot contributor Bennett Haselton writes "What if the IWF notified site owners when it added their content to the UK's national 'child pornography' blacklist? Besides the blocking of the Virgin Killer cover art on Wikipedia, we don't know how many mistakes there might be on the IWF's list. But we would have a better idea, if content owners were notified of the IWF's determination and had the opportunity to challenge it publicly." Read on for Bennett's analysis.
The chief executive of the Internet Watch Foundation, which maintains a list of sites allegedly containing child pornography which are then blocked by most U.K. Internet providers, recently declared that the organization had erred in blocking the Virgin Killer poster art on Wikipedia. But Peter Robbins also called it "one mistake in twelve years" and said that "[t]here are a lot of very credible people on our board, and we want to give assurance that there is independent oversight on what we do." The issue of "oversight" raises a question that I don't think received enough attention during the Wikipedia block controversy: Why doesn't the IWF notify domain owners or hosting companies when it blocks their content?

If an image is a borderline case, such as the album cover that was hosted on Wikipedia, then IWF could notify the hosting company that they had determined that the image could be illegal under U.K. law. If the host — in this case, Wikipedia — disagreed, they could provide arguments to the contrary and possibly change the IWF's mind, which is what in fact happened once Wikipedia users eventually found out about the block anyway. On the other hand, if the image is very obviously illegal, then a notification to the hosting company might persuade them to take the image down. In that case, any argument against notifying hosting companies has to be weighed against the obvious good that would be done by removing the image from that location on the Web.

I sent this question to the IWF, which must get this inquiry a lot, since they replied with a form letter which stated in part:

Contacting international hosts of such content directly may undermine a police investigation, is contrary to our remit and is contrary to INHOPE best practice.

Well, saying that it is contrary to their remit or to INHOPE best practices, obviously just begs the question of why it is contrary to those "best practices"; I replied to ask that question but didn't receive a response, and INHOPE did not respond when I sent them the same question. So consider the only substantive reason given in the IWF's response, which is that notifying the host "may undermine a police investigation." This could hypothetically be true in some cases — if police are preparing to move in on a suspected child pornographer, but he finds out that his ISP has removed content from his account after a notification from the IWF, he might know that he's about to be caught, and delete any incriminating pictures from his hard drive.

But this reason makes no sense in the case of images such as the cover art on Wikipedia, where the content has been generally available in the host country for a long time, and the original content producers are publicly known and wouldn't be able to run for cover even if the local government did declare the image illegal. It also would not apply in a wide range of other situations where the creator of the content is known and admits to creating it. Consider the case of Dr. Marcus Phillips, who was convicted of producing child pornography after he was hired by the parents of two girls, age 10 and 12, to take semi-nude photos of the girls (with the parents present) that could be digitally manipulated and super-imposed to produce "fairy art." Suppose Dr. Phillips had posted his photos in a portfolio online. In cases where the person posting the content admits that they took the photos themselves, and the subjects of the photos are identifiable people with a connection to the photographer, then consider the two possibilities: either (1) The images are such that the police and the courts will ultimately determine that they are child pornography. In this case, you might as well notify the user and their hosting company that the images are being blocked by the IWF, because even if this "tips off" the guilty user, they won't be able to destroy the evidence by erasing their hard drive, because the existence of the image is enough to incriminate them. Or, (2) The police and courts decide that the images do not constitute child pornography, in which case they should not have been blocked at all. In either situation, there's no rationale for the IWF to block the content without notifying the content owners. So why wouldn't the IWF notify the hosts in such cases — when the content creator is generally known, and admits to creating the content, and simply doesn't believe that it constitutes child pornography?

The elephant in the room is the obvious motivation that the IWF has for not notifying people when it blocks their sites: The IWF may be over-blocking such content, and doesn't want irate parties to complain when they find out that the IWF has mis-categorized their content as "child pornography." If several people came forward to say that the IWF had blocked, for example, their photographs of nudist children (which are not illegal), then it might undermine support for the IWF blacklisting system and for their mission in general. So by not telling people that their URLs are blocked, they minimize the number of people who find out and complain.

Perhaps the IWF does not over-block a lot of content, but the point is that we don't know. When Peter Robbins says the Wikipedia over-block amounted to "one mistake in twelve years," and adds, "Nobody in the years that we have been operating had any real reason to complain," there is no way of knowing if those statements are true, because any other mistakes made by the IWF are unlikely to have been brought to light, for two reasons. First, if a site or an image is blocked, most users are not going to realize what happened, since to them it simply appears that the remote server is not responding. Second, even if a user realizes that an image is blocked and the user knows that the image does not constitute child pornography, they may still be embarrassed to come forward and complain that they were visiting, say, a site full of nudist child photos or a porn site featuring adult models pretending to be mid-teen Japanese schoolgirls, and their favorite picture was blocked. The Wikipedia incident was probably a once-in-a-decade perfect storm of factors that led to the IWF having to retract a decision:

  • Wikipedia was popular enough that people quickly noticed the blocked content.
  • Wikipedia had the halo of legitimacy accorded to a popular research site; nobody had to feel dirty for admitting that they had been browsing it.
  • The image in question had been commercially available for a long time, and nobody had been arrested for selling or possessing it.
  • The image had a credible claim to artistic merit. Strictly speaking, "artistic merit" is not a defense against child pornography charges, but there is no unambiguous definition that can be used to determine if a given picture constitutes child pornography, and in a borderline case, a judge would probably be influenced by the fact that the photo was used as cover art for a "serious" album, and not seized from a darkroom in some creep's basement.

That last factor brings up a final irony: that the IWF, in labeling the Virgin Killer cover art as "child pornography," may have just been applying an objective standard that many people might not have disagreed with, if it hadn't been for the fact that the image was used as cover art for a rock album. Suppose you read a news article about a man who was arrested for possession of child pornography, and you happened to see a sample of the images (never mind how) that he was arrested for. And suppose the Virgin Killer album cover photo were been mixed in with those images. Would it have jumped out at you as an obvious case of over-reaching by the police? Would you speak out publicly, saying that even the guy should be prosecuted for the other images, he shouldn't be prosecuted for that one? (Again, ignoring the issue of how you happened to be looking at the photos in the first place, and assuming you couldn't get in trouble for that!) I doubt that I would have the nerve. By defending Wikipedia for hosting the same image, I'm guilty of a double standard. But would the IWF have agreed to un-block the image, if it hadn't been the cover art of an album, but instead had just been a grainy photo stuck in a sub-directory of someone's home page that they never intended to be made public? If not, then the IWF is guilty of a double standard too.

So not only do we not know how many mistakes are on the IWF's blacklist, it may be hard even to agree on an objective definition of a "mistake." But at least in cases where the content creator has already identified themselves — such as a public image on Wikipedia, or an image in a photographer's online portfolio — the IWF should notify people when it blocks their content. That would at least bring to light the cases where the content creator disagrees with the IWF's determination that their content constitutes child pornography. In some cases, such as the Wikipedia controversy, people would side with the content providers. In other cases, they wouldn't. But there's no reason to assume, as the IWF does when saying that Wikipedia represented "one mistake in twelve years," that in 100% of such cases, the courts and the police would side with the IWF's judgment.

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FIST SPORT (2, Insightful)

ringbarer (545020) | more than 5 years ago | (#26931715)

People invariably get the authority they deserve.

Re:FIST SPORT (1)

XnavxeMiyyep (782119) | more than 5 years ago | (#26931761)

Not everyone supports their government; they just have no other options. It seems that you don't like Obama. Does that mean you "deserve" him as your president?

Re:FIST SPORT (1)

badfish99 (826052) | more than 5 years ago | (#26932993)

I don't think I deserve the IWF. But I can't vote against it. Nobody can.

The government forced the ISPs to set up a censorship body by the thread of legislation, but the government doesn't formally control that body, so there is no public overview of what it does.

I predict that within, say, 30 years, most government in the UK will be done like this.

Re:FIST SPORT (1)

XnavxeMiyyep (782119) | more than 5 years ago | (#26933235)

I predict that within, say, 30 years, most government in the UK will be done like this.

Then citizens must take action! Somehow...

Post the blacklist (4, Funny)

xbytor (215790) | more than 5 years ago | (#26931757)

Post the blacklist so we can independently verify that they have not made any mistakes!

Re:Post the blacklist (4, Insightful)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 5 years ago | (#26931783)

Post the blacklist so we can independently verify that they have not made any mistakes!

Their argument will be "We don't want to publicly give out lists of this material to people who may use it for reasons other than verification!"

They'll keep ducking no matter what.

Re:Post the blacklist (4, Interesting)

gnick (1211984) | more than 5 years ago | (#26931873)

Worse than that - They may find themselves liable as accessories to a crime. I'm in the U.S. where, like in most places, viewing/possessing child pornography is a crime. If I were to verify one of the sites listed on the blacklist and it did, in fact, contain child porn, I'd be guilty of a crime. By providing me the link, the IWF may find themselves in hot water too. In court I may even be tempted to drag them in saying that, by providing the list, I felt an obligation to help them refine it. I never wanted to see those images - They pointed me to them and victimized me by encouraging me to view them.

May be kind of far-fetched, but I dunno - IANAL.

Re:Post the blacklist (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 5 years ago | (#26932001)

This issue can be worked around. People who get the list have to sign an agreement that they understand the implications of accessing the resources indicated on the list. No signing, no list. The law should also be adjusted such that anyone who does sign this agreement to get the list becomes immune to prosecution for a limited amount of access in order to verify the classification. It should also allow them to store any content they decide is disputable provided they post back to the IWF immediately the identity of what they are disputing (so there is a formal record of it). Persons with a criminal record of sex crimes would not be eligible.

Re:Post the blacklist (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26932335)

Yeah, all of that. Or, get rid of thought crimes. Abuse is the crime.

Re:Post the blacklist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26932533)

Paying or otherwise encouraging others (by say viewing ads on their pages and helping them generate revenue) is also a crime. Leeching off of their FTP servers, I guess is up for debate, but visiting a CP web site is certainly criminal since you're encouraging abuse.

Re:Post the blacklist (3, Insightful)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 5 years ago | (#26933165)

CP web site is certainly criminal since you're encouraging abuse.

Not all CP is the result of child abuse. In this day where cameras are cheap, and many cellphones have cameras, the proportion that is the result of abuse is probably dropping.

A 17-year old could take a picture of herself in the nude, masturbating, or having sex with her 17 year old boyfriend, and the picture is CP without any abuse. The sex could even be perfectly legal depending on the state.

But having, receiving, or send the picture is a felony, even if the action in the picture is legal?

Re:Post the blacklist (3, Insightful)

EvilJoker (192907) | more than 5 years ago | (#26932087)

I think a bigger concern for them is that it would prove disasterous for their case- their list of banned newsgroups, at least as far as anyone could identify, was CLEARLY not researched beyond a superficial check of the names, since they all had names suggesting child porn, but the users that checked found that every single one had been abandoned long ago, even by most spammers.

With more mistakes coming to light, they wouldn't be able to charge for their list.

Re:Post the blacklist (1)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 5 years ago | (#26932329)

I think a bigger concern for them is that it would prove disasterous for their case- their list of banned newsgroups, at least as far as anyone could identify\

Any adult related USENET groups gets CP related spam. Even the regular ones get hit with it. How about they attack the originating IP rather than banning an entire group?

Re:Post the blacklist (1)

CharlieHedlin (102121) | more than 5 years ago | (#26932717)

USENET, I thought the NY AG killed that...

Re:Post the blacklist (1)

Schemat1c (464768) | more than 5 years ago | (#26933533)

USENET, I thought the NY AG killed that...

Shhh...

Re:Post the blacklist (1)

Verdatum (1257828) | more than 5 years ago | (#26932661)

And Nothing of Value Was Lost.

Re:Post the blacklist (4, Interesting)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 5 years ago | (#26932253)

Well, that just points out the obvious incompatibility between the concepts of blacklists and possession laws. The company can't verify a proposed submission because to do so would violate laws about viewing and possessing child porn, either, so you can probably assume that the majority of sites on the blacklist are bogus. Either that or the company is forced to violate the law to confirm the sites.

Guess which of those two things must go away for society to function? Give you a hint: it isn't the blacklist. Possession laws are about as asinine as they get. They make illegal the legitimate screening of reported illegal content, they make reporting child porn that you accidentally discover on the Internet impossible without risking prosecution for possessing it (if only momentarily in your browser cache and RAM), and in general are fundamentally contrary to efforts to rid the Internet of child pornography. Any law that achieves the opposite of its stated goals is pretty clearly a fundamentally bad law...

...unless, of course, the members of Congress enjoy child pornography and passed laws like this to make it hard to eradicate so that they can enjoy it in the privacy of a secure government network with no logging.... You don't... like... child pornography, do you, Senator? Makes you wonder, doesn't it? :-D

Re:Post the blacklist (1)

drspliff (652992) | more than 5 years ago | (#26932985)

Well, in the states the PROTECT act of 2003 provides protection against prosecution for both the government agency that deals with this stuff AND to providers of services where a third party may upload offending material, I cant remember what the IWF's legal status is in the UK, but I'm sure they have some protected status which allows them to investigate, report and monitor stuff legally.

The difference being that in the USA there's a way for ISPs to respond to and report it (which is encouraged, and depending on circumstances actually required by law) without getting individuals hauled off and prosecuted for doing "the responsable thing".

I don't even want to think about what happens if you're an American running British servers, required by American law to preserve "evidence", while being prosecutable in the UK for the actions required to carry this out.

As an ISP I much prefer the American laws in this case, they're surprisingly sound.

Re:Post the blacklist (3, Informative)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 5 years ago | (#26933795)

The American laws may be better than the UK's train wreck, but they are far from sound. The reality is that if I stumbled upon something illegal through clicking the wrong link on Slashdot (for example), I couldn't necessarily report it without fear of prosecution; unlike ISPs, I don't have any guaranteed protection under the law. In fact, there was a reporter that got several years for investigating child porn a while back, so even the investigative media doesn't have protection from prosecution.

See also: Larry Matthews [cnet.com]

Sound? Hardly. The laws are a disaster, the courts' interpretation of them doubly so.

Re:Post the blacklist (3, Informative)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 5 years ago | (#26933841)

Here's another, more recent story [counterpunch.org] about the same thing happening to a journalist just two years ago. In short, possession laws are still very much defecating on the freedom of the press.

Re:Post the blacklist (4, Interesting)

johnsonav (1098915) | more than 5 years ago | (#26932615)

They may find themselves liable as accessories to a crime. I'm in the U.S. where, like in most places, viewing/possessing child pornography is a crime. If I were to verify one of the sites listed on the blacklist and it did, in fact, contain child porn, I'd be guilty of a crime. By providing me the link, the IWF may find themselves in hot water too.

Easy way around that. Just have the IWF throw up a web page where you can type in a URL, and it'll tell you if that site is on the list. You don't have to give out the entire list to anyone. Everyone can check that their sites aren't being wrongfully blocked, without giving away the list of known CP sites.

Re:Post the blacklist (0, Troll)

Translation Error (1176675) | more than 5 years ago | (#26933797)

For some reason, this scene comes to mind...

"As the court can clearly see from these IWF search logs, the defendent was fully aware he was breaking the law and even went so far as to use a tool designed to prevent the spread of child pornography to evaluate and aid his efforts to avoid detection!"

Re:Post the blacklist (2, Insightful)

AndrewBuck (1120597) | more than 5 years ago | (#26931913)

This is of course the obvious reason to not be forthcoming with the list, however there is an implicit admission in this statement. If their filtering technology was worth a damn and not easily circumvented, it wouldn't matter who got their hands on the list as the content is blocked anyway.

Of course they are only responsible for blocking content in one country, or for one ISP, but what business is it of theirs if people use networks not under their jurisdiction to view material they are blocking for their clients.

-Buck

Re:Post the blacklist (1)

The Dancing Panda (1321121) | more than 5 years ago | (#26931945)

Also, posting child pornography is illegal. Posting the blacklists would be posting child pornography in all of the cases that are not borderline, and a percentage of those that are.

Re:Post the blacklist (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#26933257)

Indeed! I agree totally!

It'd be like posting .torrent files on a website linking to unlicensed music or software! They're totally breaking the law!

Mistake? (1, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 5 years ago | (#26931771)

The artwork for the Virgin Killer album was said to clearly fall under new UK child pornography laws. Therefore, while a law so restrictive that it makes old album covers illegal might be odious, how is it a mistake for the IWF to go along until such a law is overturned?

Re:Mistake? (4, Insightful)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#26932115)

The mistake is in attempting to hide the fact that you've 'complied with the law'.

Hidden censorship is the enemy of everyone but the censor. To say "these books are banned" at least provides the ability for someone to someday come along and argue the case that they shouldn't be. To simply and silently make the books disappear removes that.

All use government power should have oversight, the government works on behalf of the people using powers accorded to it by the people. Abuse, deliberate or unintentional, should be watched for and corrected.

That is why Google indicates when it's removed results from a search when it's complying with local laws.

Not gonna happen (5, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#26931815)

Child porn is like terrorism: it's a free pass for the government to do just about anything they want to in the name of protecting us from it.

Re:Not gonna happen (1)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 5 years ago | (#26931841)

Agreed. I was about to say the same thing. When child porn is involved nearly all common sense is tossed aside.

Re:Not gonna happen (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 5 years ago | (#26932179)

Yup

Republicans "Protect you from the terrorists"
Democrats "Protecting the children"

Re:Not gonna happen (1)

jamesmcm (1354379) | more than 5 years ago | (#26932213)

Except this wasn't blocked by the government but an independent consortium of ISPs. I think they do it just so the media don't hound them - the Daily Mail would love a campaign like this on a slow news day.

Re:Not gonna happen (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26932381)

Child porn is like terrorism: it's a free pass for the government to do just about anything they want to in the name of protecting us from it.

Is that the standard being applied here? That child porn is harmful to adults? (Maybe so as possession makes you a pedophile for life under the law regardless of your inclination.)

The usual argument is that the production of child porn is harmful to the children depicted in it. That it is evidence of a crime and its distribution a furtherance of that crime by that it creates a market for more production, thus the abuse of more children.

Re:Not gonna happen (3, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#26932505)

In this case, "us" can be read to include "our children". In any case, it's not necessarily the goal that's the issue, it's the incredible lengths that people are willing to tolerate the government going to to reach the goal that's the problem.

In my opinion, going after child porn consumers is a waste of resources, since catching a few (or even a few hundred) has no real impact on the overall demand for it. Going after the people who are actually abusing the kids to make the porn may be more difficult, but it's the only really effective way to get rid of the stuff, and the only real way to deal with why real child porn, as opposed to virtual porn like stories or drawings, is really such a problem: A child must be abused in order to produce it.

Re:Not gonna happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26932643)

terrorism is so last year. Now we need to throw away money (immediately!) to prevent a depression!! oh noes!!! Meanwhile, I make too much money, so I need to get a second job to pay for some deadbeat's mcmansion.

We should form our own group (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 5 years ago | (#26931843)

It could be called the Open Internet Watch Foundation (OIWF) or something like that. The operating policy would involve openness and transparency to permit full review to ensure errors and controversy are properly dealt with, unlike the secretive IWF. This would ensure the higher level of quality of the blocking list. It can also may multiple categories of blocking more readily available.

Re:We should form our own group (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 5 years ago | (#26931985)

LoL forming the greatest source of child porn on the planet. *user logs in to check there were no false positive* *browses 10,000 CP pics*

Re:We should form our own group (1)

Walpurgiss (723989) | more than 5 years ago | (#26933431)

call it Wikipedophilia, where anyone can weigh in their opinion if an image/site should be classified as cp.

Secrecy and scrutiny (3, Insightful)

BSAtHome (455370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26931879)

Generally, secret stuff does not withstand public scrutiny. If it could, then you would be able to hold some one or somebody responsible. But that is against the secret nature.

Re:Secrecy and scrutiny (1)

Crashspeeder (1468723) | more than 5 years ago | (#26933223)

It's this very secrecy that protects them and also caused the outrage. The fact that they don't really answer to anyone means there's nobody to appeal to should you disagree. On the upside, this very secrecy and lack of accountability means the public expressed far more outrage.

I somehow doubt it makes a difference in the end, though. As the article says, nobody is going to disagree with anything that was blocked by the IWF. Nobody will admit they were looking for something that could be considered child pornography.

Then again, I disagree with child pornography laws. I personally think if you're a child there should be a different set of requirements to be charged with child pornography...especially if the pictures you possess are of yourself [slashdot.org]

We need a change of tack (3, Interesting)

jrothwell97 (968062) | more than 5 years ago | (#26931955)

If it undermines a police investigation, don't you think that as soon as the site is blocked, it might give them a clue the fuzz is on to them?

In my opinion, it should be the police's job alone, and not the IWF and ISPs' job to police these sorts of pages. True, there are some horrendous images of children being abused out there—but if the IWF can't tell the difference between a Wikipedia image of album artwork and child porn, surely there's something wrong?

If the police go after the pornographers, presumably they'll eventually find the servers and confiscate them—therefore, the stuff is taken off the net, and not with the sticking plaster of the IWF block. The contents of the pages also needs to be made public: only the text, however, because one can usually make a good guess at what's in images and video by looking at the text.

If the text says, for example, 'Virgin Killers is an album by [X band]...' you can guess the page is going to be legit. If it says 'cum see the hottest ch1ld pr0n0 & k1ddi3 pix...' well... you can guess what's going to be in there.

Re:We need a change of tack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26932553)

If it says 'cum see the hottest ch1ld pr0n0 & k1ddi3 pix...' well... you can guess what's going to be in there.

Craploads of advertisements or malware/another country's honeypot for catching and tagging people (that's how it also is for warez, software downloads, etc.)

If the police go after the pornographers, presumably they'll eventually find the servers and confiscate them--therefore, the stuff is taken off the net, and not with the sticking plaster of the IWF block.

In some places, child porn is legal (if it's not of their own citizens), some other countries it is legal for ages over 16 (or "x"), and some other countries, it's legal regardless, because they feel that the natural human body is okay to look at. Child porn is more a religious issue than a moral one, feel free to argue all you like though...

Re:We need a change of tack (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26932621)

So if somebody's religion says it's OK to diddle little girls you're OK with that?

Die in a fire.

Re:We need a change of tack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26933329)

Considering that less than 100 years ago it was legal and expected for a girl to marry as soon as she was capable of reproducing, (between 8 and 13) then yes.
  There are plenty of smaller countries with short life expectancies, or a large agricultural community where this is still true.
 
  Child rape is a problem, but there are large portions of the world where children marry and have children of their own.
  Should it be illegal for a married couple to take pictures of themselves while on vacation in london?
  Should 16 year olds be arrested for taking nude pictures of themselves? It's happening, right now.
  Here [crimesagai...ildren.com]
And Here [slashdot.org]

I ask you, drop your religous and social prejudices, and ask yourself not is it legal, but is it right?

Re:We need a change of tack (1)

computational super (740265) | more than 5 years ago | (#26933685)

See, that's the thing about knee-jerk, reactionary, brain-stem thinking... I want people like *you* to die in a fire. How funny is that?

Re:We need a change of tack (1)

geniice (1336589) | more than 5 years ago | (#26932973)

In many cases it's quite hard to spot that you have been blocked (since you need enough traffic to spot the change in IP patturns). Working out exactly what has been blocked is harder still.

Re:We need a change of tack (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 5 years ago | (#26933023)

True, there are some horrendous images of children being abused out there....

I see this claim being made quite a lot. Can you give one shred of evidence that it is in any way true. Or at least, that these images exist in such dire volumes that we must all accept a near Soviet level of censorship on our internet connections?

One shred of good evidence. That's all I'm looking for. Anyone have some?

Re:We need a change of tack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26933383)

True, there are some horrendous images of children being abused out there....

I see this claim being made quite a lot. Can you give one shred of evidence that it is in any way true. Or at least, that these images exist in such dire volumes that we must all accept a near Soviet level of censorship on our internet connections?

One shred of good evidence. That's all I'm looking for. Anyone have some?

Did you really just solicit violent child pornography of actual children, without checking "post anonymously"?

Re:We need a change of tack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26933541)

Go ahead and search LimeWire or whatever for "Underage" or whatever other words you want, at your own risk. I'm sure you'll find enough proof.

And yeah, I'm posting anonymously.

How Dare You! (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26931959)

Only a paedophile, or closet ally of paedophiles, would subject our laudable Safety and Security measures to the vile corrosion of reasoned criticism! Purity through Faith!

Re:How Dare You! (1)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 5 years ago | (#26932199)

Courage, Duty, Honor

Re:How Dare You! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26933157)

How about these since we're referencing small mindedness for humor:
'Blessed is the mind too small for doubt.'
'An open mind is like a fortress with its gates unbarred and unguarded.'
'Innocence proves nothing.'

Dawn of War quotes
[url]http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Warhammer_40,000:_Dawn_of_War[/url]

so they fix the list, and we move on (1, Interesting)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26932035)

i understand the argument of some people here: the list can have errors, therefore, the list idea is bogus

but this argument is ineffective: the list can be fixed. there can even be punitive damage costs delivered to anyone shown to be put on the list in error, which i would suggest, to make sure governments don't block carelessly. let a law be established where the government can me made to suffer dearly financially for blocking content that is deemed permissible in an open court of law. but what is not going to happen, nor should happen, is that the list itself should go away

i am going to receive flak from slashdot in general, but here goes: there is actually material on the internet that even the most socially liberal, libertarian-minded society would find objectionable, and has every right AND duty to block

that doesn't mean there is tons of content that is currently blocked by one government or another that is blocked wrongly. plenty of blocked material fails any morally or intellectually coherent test for validity of being blocked. but that doesn't mean there is actual genuine content out there that society has a right, and a duty, to block

look: you lose the argument if your argument is nothing should be blocked

but you WIN the argument if you say plenty of stuff is blocked wrongly

change the nature of your argument and your fight. but if you keep up with the fight that nothing should be blocked, you lose and are further marginalized in the argument. and it is an important argument, so that governments don't start blocking content without impunity, and that their block lists are transparent to the public and reviewable and vetoable

THAT is the important the fight. but the fight against the idea of blocking is over. it is happening, and will happen. get used to it. if you can't make peace with this fact, you have left the realm of the coherent argument and society is not listening to you

Re:so they fix the list, and we move on (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 5 years ago | (#26932177)

Is there is material you find objectionable, do not view it. The computer much like the television has an off switch.

There is never a case for censorship, it is immoral in and of itself. To put down your head and just accept it is no different than accepting segregation or many other horrible things human societies have done in the past.

If these people want to end child porn, a noble goal, let them submit reports to the police. The police can then seize the servers.

your argument fails, hard (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26932675)

a dutch court of law finds a website to be serving up child pornography and deserves to be shut down. the police have been given full powers to shut down the webserver by any means necessary. the dutch political establishment, the press, and the popular majority are all for shutting down the site

the webserver is located in moldova

the moldovan government responds "we have reviewed your request and will advise you upon receipt of bribe, i mean, proper consideration for our request for tanks. i mean, ALL YOUR GAS PIPELINE ARE BELONG TO US. end transmission"

you can't always shut down the webserver. sometimes, you need to block, and you have every right and duty to block

and it IS censorship, and according to the most libertarian and socially liberal notions, it is your right and duty to censor. and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. in fact, it is wrong, according to libertarian and socially liberal morality, to NOT censor the site

Re:your argument fails, hard (2, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 5 years ago | (#26933265)

No, you take this to an international court, and failing that you settle disputes between nations the time honored way, war.

Censorship is immoral, no matter reason.

you would rather go to war, over a webserver (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26933333)

rather than censor it

and you speak of morality?

this term, "morality", i don't think you understand it

best that you not talk any more about morality, until you have further matured and have gained a better understanding of the concepts involved

for your sake, god i hope you are only 13 years old

Re:you would rather go to war, over a webserver (5, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 5 years ago | (#26933393)

I am a slight bit older than that.

Censorship is evil and never necessary, war is evil and sometimes necessary.

Your idea of matured seems to be nothing more than decided to put your head down and accept your position and anything the government imposes.

At least the war has the chance to actually stop this instance of spreading childporn, censorship merely ignores it.

war (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26933713)

better than censorship

modded as insightful to boot

i weep for humanity

Re:you would rather go to war, over a webserver (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 5 years ago | (#26933427)

I see you like logical fallacies, we call this one argumentum ad hominem.

please: (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26933559)

point out my logical fallacy

as for my ad hominem, i doubted that the person was older than 13 years old

you'll notice he replied, and stated he was slightly older than that

in other words, based on his faulty thinking, an inability to consider all of the concepts in play, demonstrating most probably an inexperience with all of the concepts, i suspected be was an immature person, and my suspicion was confirmed

so there is no ad hominem attack, unless you are saying it is an insult or an attack to call someone a teenager

likewise, i doubt you are very cognitively mature, seeing as you have an inkling of rhetorical terminology, but not a very good grasp on how to actually use those rhetorical terms correctly

Re:please: (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 5 years ago | (#26933711)

It is indeed an insult to call someone a child. Also to continue do to so when I have both pointed out I have though about the issue and that I am not "immature" means that you are a troll.

To continue to exhibit this behavior indicates you are probably a child with an over important sense of self. An undergrad student most likely.

As an employed person I might have better things to do than be anal about my /. posts and talking to you.

Have a nice day, kiddo.

Re:your argument fails, hard (1)

genner (694963) | more than 5 years ago | (#26933371)

Don't pick on Moldova they gave us that Numa Numa song.

Re:so they fix the list, and we move on (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26932627)

There never ever is any reason to censor this content. Even if it is horrible and it violates laws such a list is still the wrong approach.
Over 80% of all child pornography sites are hosted in Europe or the USA. They are clearly illegal there so the servers themselves can be taken offline, a list is not required.
The funny thing is that these servers remain online. Either the police doesn't care or they aren't "real" child pornography servers, just some older chicks pretending to be teens and stuff like that.

On top of that nobody is harmed by viewing these pictures. Not a single case of child abuse will be prevented by blocking pictures _that already exist_. If anything a working block of such pictures will motivate pedophiles to create new ones.

The list is not only pointless, it's actually harmful and a shame to any democracy. Censorship is always wrong, no matter the intentions.

censorship is completely right sometimes (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26932775)

so, for example, the webserver is in moldova: you need to censor it, because you can't shut it down. according to the most socially liberal and libertarian of moralities, you have a duty to censor child pornography

effectiveness, impact, any argument you are making: completely pointless and besides the fact

if you encounter child pornography, you fight it. whatever that entails, even if you think it is a token gesture. to ignore or accept child pornography as inevitable is not an intellectually or morally coherent position to take, according to any moral code in any society on the planet

plenty of behavior in any civilization happens that is incredibly difficult to stop entirely. that doesn' tmean you don't fight it. it also doesn't mean you accept it. what you do is you wage a continual low grade war agains tit you can never win. that you can never win the war doesn't mean you don't fight it

you make trash. every week, you take the trash out to the curb. you, in maintaining your house or apartment, are engaged in a "war on trash". you will never win this war. so, o you stop taking out the trash and live in your filth?

one of the effects of resisting fight, and not accepting things like child pornography is you minimize it. making it more difficult to get, but not impossible to get, actually makes a difference on its quantity. so this is what you live with

but you don't accept it. this is intellectually and morally incoherent, according to any morality

Re:censorship is completely right sometimes (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 5 years ago | (#26933293)

Censoring child porn is not fighting it, your nation is just turning a blind eye to it.

censorship IS fighting child pornography (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26933407)

and it is not the only tool at our disposal

along with the other weapons we have for fighting child pornography, censorship is a valid and valuable part of the arsenal

what do you suggest, not fight it at all?

fight it with methods that is worse than the child pornography itself?

(and no, censorship is not one of those methods)

please: try to define to me a better way to fight child pornography

or try to define censorship of child pornography websites as somehow worse than child pornography

or, try to argue that not fighting it at all is the best course of action

Re:censorship IS fighting child pornography (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 5 years ago | (#26933467)

The best course of action is to stop those responsible.

Censorship only means you can't see it, it does not mean those who are determined or outside your country can't. It also does 0 to stop this behavior. It is no different than looking the other way when a crime occurs.

Censorship is indeed worse than child pornography, child pornography damages 1 or more children. Where as censorship damages the entire society.

Re:censorship is completely right sometimes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26933751)

"according to the most socially liberal and libertarian of moralities"

"is not an intellectually or morally coherent position to take, according to any moral code in any society on the planet"

"this is intellectually and morally incoherent, according to any morality"

These phrases, which form the basis of your argument, appear to appeal to arse-extracted axioms with no basis in any rational philosophy. Try living up to your mathematical username and stating your premises then see if you can come up with any reason whatsoever why censoring any particular sequence of binary digits accords with "the most socially liberal and libertarian of moralities".

"you fight it. whatever that entails, even if you think it is a token gesture"

"what you do is you wage a continual low grade war agains tit you can never win. that you can never win the war doesn't mean you don't fight it"

Ah, a "war on terror" argument. Fight the endless, pointless fight!

War on terror is war on a particular strategy of warfare (in this case, a strategy appropriate when your enemy has the big military and you don't), and makes no sense. You might as well declare a "war on blitzkrieg", or a "war on espionage". A strategy is not your enemy, and neither is a sequence of bits.

Of course, if you want to use CP or "the threat of terror" as a distraction to curtail freedom, you've made excellent choices. Why, the known unknowns we're currently fighting must be positively Satanic compared to that namby-pamby Europe-consuming Hitler that we somehow managed to defeat in 6 years! Although the way you talk about a "duty" to censor, you might still be bitter about the outcome.

Re:so they fix the list, and we move on (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 5 years ago | (#26932899)

but this argument is ineffective: the list can be fixed. there can even be punitive damage costs delivered to anyone shown to be put on the list in error, which i would suggest, to make sure governments don't block carelessly. let a law be established where the government can me made to suffer dearly financially for blocking content that is deemed permissible in an open court of law.

Important correction:
The government as a whole would not care about the punitive damage, because they would just take it out of taxes. Compared to the billions that are currently dumped into dubious rescue plans for the economy, a few million would not even register.

So instead of making "the government" pay, the person who made a false entry to the list would have to pays personally. That way it could work.

Going slightly off topic, I think a similar rule would be good against false DCMA takedown notices. With statutory damages awarded to the owner of the falsely blocked website, and those should be just as high as the statutory damages for illegal distribution of copyrighted material.

you are correct (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26933049)

that punitive decisions against the government are in actuality punitive decisions against the people. however, the government can and should and must suffer for doing the wrong thing, even though the eventual financial toll falls on the people. this is because the eventual toll for the government doing something wrong also falls on the people, so the people suffer no matter what happens

furthermore, the news generated and the bad press of such a trial affects the current ruling party, so there is an interest in not seeing such punitive action ever seeing the light of day, meaning that the need to maintain correct lists is important, and receives such care and diligence, only because the threats of punitive action exists

Re:so they fix the list, and we move on (1)

u38cg (607297) | more than 5 years ago | (#26933733)

Maybe a better idea, instead of pulling the wool over our eyes and pretending that now it's blocked, it's OK, would be to take down the damned servers. Go after them under local law. If you can't, get treaties signed. Sort it out. The IWF is worse than useless, however; it makes you think it's gone away, when in fact it is just out of sight.

Internet Watch Foundation "Crapland" closes down (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#26932073)

The Internet Watch Foundation's "Crapland" [today.com] child-friendly Internet theme park has gone bust after only three days.

An information board at the entrance depicts the classical painting Smell The Glove by Scorpionaggio (courtesy National Portrait Gallery) and welcomes the visitor on a "flight of the imagination, travelling down the magical pathways that teenagers have used to get their porn for centuries," and which have been specially opened up for the lucky children invited to come. "Just like Michael Jacksonâ(TM)s Neverland."

Advertisements promised a "Clean Kiddie-Friendly World ... Hollywood Special FXs, Blind Faith plane ride, Nevermind swimming baths, Houses of the Holy rock climbing ... & much more!"

The reality when it opened on Saturday evening was somewhat less impressive. Spurious 404s, lying customer service staff ("for the authentic Internet experience!"), HTML 2.0 and web searches through AltaVista. "It looked like a website from 1995 or a paper chart of what it should look like," said customer Jimmy Wales. "It was like they'd stacked dial-up modems on both sides of a path together, stuck some printouts on a TV and stuck a keyboard in front. We were waiting two hours and they charged us GBP10 for a photo with Mary Whitehouse."

Two curtain-twitchers and a Whitehouse were attacked by irate Internet users. A posting on 4chan showed a busybody having a fag behind the grotto.

Then, on Tuesday evening, Crapland closed. A statement by the management said this was due to "intentional organised crowd manipulation and event sabotage and unscrupulous and inaccurate negative bias media that quoted our words accurately in full." A woman dressed as a particularly hefty Pepperpot stood outside shrieking: "The IWF's dead. Go home."

Cable internet users who unwittingly signed up for the Crapland experience are giving up and getting DSL broadband instead. "It's been a complete Virgin killer."

IWF's epic fail: blocked text and NOT image (5, Informative)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#26932113)

I'm the volunteer press person for Wikipedia who spoke to the press during the incident.

One thing I didn't find out until Monday night (by which time the news cycle had ended): they blocked the page about the album, on en.wikipedia.org, and they blocked the page describing the image, on en.wikipedia.org ... but they didn't actually block the image itself, on upload.wikimedia.org.

But then, large websites have only been using separate image and text servers since 1995, so we could hardly expect the IWF to be up with such developments.

As well as blocking people from reading *encyclopedia text*, they *failed* to actually do the thing they were claiming to do: blocking the image.

This brings up one point: there is no evidence whatsoever that they actually do the job they claim to. And there is this piece of evidence that they don't actually know how to. Hamfisted *and* incompetent.

Could you follow up with a question as to how they managed to block text and not the actual image? I'd be fascinated to hear their explanation.

Re:IWF's epic fail: blocked text and NOT image (1)

conureman (748753) | more than 5 years ago | (#26932601)

Epic Irony.

Not first mistake, first reversal (4, Interesting)

EvilJoker (192907) | more than 5 years ago | (#26932127)

They claim it's the first mistake they've made- this is clearly false, and it isn't hard to find examples where they've been clearly wrong.

It is, however, the first time that they've reversed their decision and admitted that they were wrong.

Re:Not first mistake, first reversal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26933609)

Indeed, see http://dis.4chan.org/read/img/1150410623/ [4chan.org] for one example.

Begs the question (1)

Bobb Sledd (307434) | more than 5 years ago | (#26932275)

No, it doesn't "beg the question." It might raise the question, but it definitely doesn't beg the question.

http://begthequestion.info/ [begthequestion.info]

Get it right!

Grammar Nazi Refutation. (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 5 years ago | (#26932909)

No, it doesn't "beg the question.

I was going to press you on this, but then I found a counterexample [wikipedia.org] to your world view.

Re:Begs the question (1)

reallygoodname (1412881) | more than 5 years ago | (#26933451)

Thank you!

Not the government.. (3, Informative)

jamesmcm (1354379) | more than 5 years ago | (#26932289)

Many of the commenters here seem to think that this was government censorship, I would just like to clarify that the IWF is funded (and founded) by an independent consortium of ISPs and is not attached to the government in any way.

The ISPs are just as panicky as the government about banning it so the story-hungry newspapers don't start a campaign against them. I think this just goes to show that you it isn't only the government censoring/filtering content, the corporations will do it too (albeit for different reasons).

Re:Not the government.. (1)

conureman (748753) | more than 5 years ago | (#26932551)

I thought this consortium was designed to prevent the government from stepping in and instituting the usual measures to ruin everyone's life. (Except the "criminals" who will evolve a new generation of counter-measures and carry on as always with their unpopular activities.) This is merely one of the anticipated benefits of the program, brought to the public's attention.

Re:Not the government.. (2, Insightful)

badfish99 (826052) | more than 5 years ago | (#26933315)

No, this *is* the government stepping in. The ISPs would have done nothing were it not for threats from the government. And the IWF say they work "in partnership with" the Ministry of Justice. It is government in every respect except that there is no democratic control over it.

The "police investigation" sounds even more bogus (3, Insightful)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 5 years ago | (#26932307)

So consider the only substantive reason given in the IWF's response, which is that notifying the host "may undermine a police investigation." This could hypothetically be true in some cases â" if police are preparing to move in on a suspected child pornographer, but he finds out that his ISP has removed content from his account after a notification from the IWF, he might know that he's about to be caught, and delete any incriminating pictures from his hard drive.

Doesn't this only really make sense if there's some connection between the police investigation and being put on the list?

Imagine if nobody was allowed to tell anybody "hey, I think what you're doing might be illegal". Because of course there's a chance that it really is illegal and that the police are investigating, and if the person told this decided "hey, you're right, I guess I'll stop", well, you've just interfered and prevented the investigation from succeeding.

Maybe they just care more about persecuting people than they do about reducing unlawfulness...

Filthy Speech Movement Troll (1)

conureman (748753) | more than 5 years ago | (#26932349)

In order for speech to be labeled Free, I don't believe it should be restricted. We of course, don't have any free societies on this planet, AFAIK. This is the tyranny of the majority, as outlawed by the U.S. Constitution, then democratically instituted by the ignorant masses. I realize TFA refers to GB Malarkey, it's the same as here, histrionics &c. used to promote government bloat, if not also the usual Black Helicopter stuff.

It's about privacy! (1)

morgauo (1303341) | more than 5 years ago | (#26932635)

They aren't asking to see your bookmarks are they? Why do you expect them to show you theirs?

best practic (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26932679)

...why it is contrary to those "best practices"

And exactly what ARE those "best" practices? I, for one, don't always agree with "experts" or even real experts. My surgeon doesn't perform surgey on me without my input, even my permission. If you are a web developer your boss has input, even though it's you who are the expert.

http://www.hpmosebach.de/page_1171959671197.html (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26932709)

http://www.hpmosebach.de/page_1171959671197.html

Anyone wanna check the "virgin killer" image at this site? Is it blocked in UK?

It's certainly censored from google image search...

go beyond filtering to add censorship (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 5 years ago | (#26932771)

At this point, my understanding is that the UK filters content for items that are arguably illegal under the the law.. This is pretty much a sovereign government making the decision to impose a consequence without due process, which might be ok under the current conditions. It is still possible for non-casual viewers to get access to the content, and if the content is of the category that many casual people view it and want to continue to view it, then evidently pressure can be placed on the policy makers to reverse the decision. The question of whether lots of arguably legitimate content has been blocked is at least ill posed and likely non-sensical. Most images that going to be blocked are going to be considered legitimate by at least some people, and if that is the standard the board is to be held up to, then this would require some sort of legal decision, and might lead to real censorship. Here is why.

Under the current plan it seems to me that content it allowed to remain on the web. This means that even though it may be illegal in the UK, persons outside of the UK and motivated viewers in the UK can still get access to it. But what if the user were contacted? Well, first any well known organization would likely remove that content rather than experience the publicity of hosting such content if the knowledge became pubic. Second, any public hosting company would likely remove such content just as a matter of course. One can imaging parents posting pictures that some might consider questionable, and the free hosting service removing those pictures, thereby leading to a reduced ability for the common person to express him or herself. Third, some people may sue to have the content taken off the list. if most of the content is not legitimate, then one might see a string of cases in which every outcome was in favor of the filter. This might lead to a situation where it is assumed that the filter was accurate, and therefore solidify the de-facto status as a means of limiting freedom of expression without due process.

IMHO, the best option is have no mandatory filtering. ISPs who want to filter are of course free to, and can use different types of filtering as a method to sell their service. In the US, Christian filters are quite popular(it is interesting that a search also brings up software to allow a wife to spy on her husband, indicated that christians might have a problem). A nation might also impose a certain type of filtering as an option that ISPs are required to provide, but user are free to choose or reject. In the UK solution, which I think is kind of lame, it seems that contacting users would be costly and counter indicated. While one could reduce cost by publishing a list, this would just make matters even worse.

A God complex moves in mysterious ways (1)

meist3r (1061628) | more than 5 years ago | (#26932797)

Since when do megalomaniac control freaks need reasons to justify their actions?

Re:A God complex moves in mysterious ways (1)

genner (694963) | more than 5 years ago | (#26933517)

Since when do megalomaniac control freaks need reasons to justify their actions?

Since the lowly peons crave strong leadership becuase they need guidance........see it's not that hard rationalize a justification. Todays power mad leaders are just lazy.

Nobody expects the IWF! (2, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 5 years ago | (#26932847)

Why Doesn't the IWF Notify Those Whom They Block?

Because their main weapon is surprise!

Well, surprise and fear . . . and vicious devotion to the pope . . . wait . . . their three main weapons . . .

IWF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26933089)

I don't see what the Independent Wrestling Federation (IWF) http://www.wrestlingiwf.com/ has to do with child pornography.

not going to hand out list (1)

WeeBit (961530) | more than 5 years ago | (#26933143)

The top reason I believe you will never see the list is because some of them are probably under investigation.

Some are very hard to track down.

Feasible? (1)

illegalcortex (1007791) | more than 5 years ago | (#26933259)

I'm in favor of someone easily being able to tell if a website is on the blacklist (in as much as I'm in favor of this whole concept to begin with), but "notifying" websites? How? Send them email to webmaster@soandsosite.com? We all no that's not overrun with spam. And no one would send spam to that address in the same format as a blacklist notification, right? What if it's a subsite? Do they dig up each sites author's email address? Do they edit for people putting weird things in their email to avoid spammers?

This just really doesn't seem feasible. Maybe they could have a site where anyone can register for notification for a wildcard URL string. But that brings up a whole different set of issues.

The most disturbing thing isn't addressed here (1)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 5 years ago | (#26933297)

Most of the people trying to access the page through British ISPs got a 404 error or a similar error. They weren't even told that they were being censored. If something like this happened for a small website, someone would likely just assume the site was down. People realized that wasn't the issue in part because Wikipedia shows internal links to pages as blue if a Wikipedia page on the subject exists and if not shows it as red and directs to a page for you to start that article. So users could see that en.wikipedia.org was fine elsewhere and that pages linking to the Virgin Killer page had the link in blue meaning that the Wikimedia servers thought there was a page there. If this sort of censorship happened for a small website people trying to access might not even realize that the failure to access occurred due to censorship.

How do they check websites? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26933301)

How do the IWF identify websites with "child porn" on anyway..? As another comment said, viewing child porn is illegal.. do they have some exclusion from the law or what? They must have some grounds to "ban" a website, and the only way I can see possible, is for them to check themselves..

UK Law is More Restrictive Than You Believe (1)

Brian Ribbon (986353) | more than 5 years ago | (#26933503)

"If several people came forward to say that the IWF had blocked, for example, their photographs of nudist children (which are not illegal), then it might undermine support for the IWF blacklisting system and for their mission in general."

An image is "child porn" in the UK if it offends against "the recognised standards of propriety", even to a minor extent. In other words, images are illegal if they are offensive to the jury (who are considered able to "apply the recognised standards of propriety"), and some juries have found nudist photographs to be illegal. Such juries include those in R v Graham-Kerr [geocities.com] (1988), R v Mould [geocities.com] (2000) and R v O'Carroll (2003). Those cases are notable for reasons other than the fact that a person was convicted for possessing nudist material and should threfore not be seen as anomolies as regards the nature of the offending material.

As I have said before, the IWF is not solely to blame for blocking access to pages which contain photographs of nude children; the issue is that the UK has a law which criminalises the possession of images which a random group of people find to be morally offensive. On the other hand, if the IWF didn't deliberately mislead people into believing that indecent images are always "child abuse images", people wouldn't be so shocked when they find that photographs of nude children are labelled as child pornography and therefore blocked.

Shine the symbol into the night sky! (1)

mac1235 (962716) | more than 5 years ago | (#26933785)

This is a job for Wikileaks!

What's wrong with naked children (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26933805)

I can understand the problem with images of children - or indeed adults - being raped or otherwise sexually abused. But seriously, what is the problem with a picture of a naked child?

If you wish to become aroused by such an image, or even masturbate to orgasm, then that is up to you.

But to ban such images just in case someone wants to enjoy rubbing one out seems stupid to me.

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