×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Cleanfeed Canada - What Would It Accomplish?

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the they-thought-of-the-children dept.

The Internet 211

Bennett Haselton has another article on offer for us today, this time looking at the implications of a Canadian initiative to protect children online. Bennet writes: "Cybertip.ca, a Canadian clearinghouse for providing information to law enforcement about online child luring and child pornography, has announced that a group of major ISPs will begin blocking access to URLs on Cybertip's list of known child pornography sites. A Cybertip spokesperson says that the list fluctuates between 500 and 800 sites at any given time." Read on for the rest of his analysis.The system is named after a similar filtering system used by service provider BT in the UK. It is also reminiscent of a law passed in Pennsylvania in 2002 requiring ISPs to block URLs on a list of known child pornography sites; the law was struck down in 2004 on First Amendment grounds. Although child pornography is of course not protected by the First Amendment, the law was struck down partly because the ISPs were blocking entire servers and IP address ranges, hundreds of thousands of non-child-pornography sites were also being blocked.

Under the implementation of the Cleanfeed system, representatives from Sasktel, Bell Canada, and Telus claim that only exact URLs will be filtered, not sites hosted at the same IP address. (Although conventional Internet filtering programs sold to parents and schools have also made the same claims, only to turn out to be filtering sites by IP address after all, so we'll have to wait until the filtering is implemented before we know for sure.) The other difference of course is that the Cleanfeed system is not the law, so there's nothing to "strike down" in court. Cybertip did acknowledge that this means customers can get around the filtering for now by switching to a non-participating service provider, although they are encouraging more providers to sign up. Cybertip declined to say whether any providers had simply refused to participate. But of course it's much easier than that to get around the filter, since filter circumvention sites like Anonymouse and StupidCensorship will not be blocked.

So, if it's that easy to circumvent, does it do any good? Even respected Canadian academic and columnist Michael Geist, hardly a friend of censorship in other forms, has spoken out in favor of the plan. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that it doesn't accomplish anything meaningful, and may set a horrible precedent that could make it much easier to block other content in the future.

First of all, it seems that it obviously won't stop anyone who is deliberately looking for child porn. Empirically there's no way to tell -- we don't whether systems like Cleanfeed in the UK have prevented people from accessing child pornography on purpose. Even if the providers are counting the number of blocked accesses to known child porn sites, nobody knows what people have been looking at instead through proxy sites like Anonymouse. All we can do is ask, logically, whether it is likely to work. I think purely logical arguments are frustrating when there is no empirical data to act as a referee, but let's face it, users are not going to self-report on their success at finding child pornography, and there's no way to see what users are accessing through encrypted circumvention sites. Logic is all we have.

So, consider people who are deliberately looking for child pornography. Such people are likely to be resourceful to begin with (since real child porn -- remember, non-sexual pictures of naked children do not count -- is vastly less common than regular porn; Cybertip claims after all that they "only" have about 800 sites on their list, compared to millions of regular porn sites). Virtually all such people would be aware of circumvention sites like Anonymouse, or of peer-to-peer networks, which Cybertip says they have no plans to block. So nothing is blocked from people who want to get around the filter.

The only scenario where the filters could make a difference is the case where someone accidentally accesses a child porn site. Now when I first read the Cybertip press release announcing that the filter would aim to stop "accidental" exposure to child porn, I thought that was just a tactfully sarcastic way of referring to the people who get caught accessing child porn and claim it was just a mistake. But Cybertip.ca claims they've received over 10,000 reports since January 2005 from people who accessed child porn by accident. Even though that only works out to about 15 per day, I have to concede in those cases it almost certainly was a bona fide mistake, for the simple reason that nobody would voluntarily report accessing a child pornography URL that they visited on purpose. But even so, there's the question: What have you accomplished by blocking accidental exposure?

I would argue that the harm done by child pornography is to the minors coerced into the production of it, not to the people who view it. (This, by the way, corresponds with current U.S. jurisprudence; the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2002 that a law banning fake child porn was unconstitutional, even when the viewer can't tell the difference.) Obviously you prevent the most damage by stopping child porn at the production stage, but if it's too late for that, you can try to stop people from obtaining it willfully. This lowers the demand and decreases the incentive for people to produce more in the future.

But how would it lower demand if you block people from accessing it accidentally? If those people weren't going to proceed to buy or download more pictures anyway, then they're not fueling the demand. You can block them from accessing the pictures, but the pictures are still out there, and the people who really are fueling the demand can still access them.

So it seems that by blocking someone from accidentally viewing child porn, all you've really accomplished is to avoid offending their sensibilities. Now I don't mean that mockingly, I'm certainly not disagreeing with anyone whose sensibilities are offended by child porn. But there are lots of graphic pictures on the Internet that could offend someone's sensibilities, which are outside of Cleanfeed's mandate. Consider a photo of a 16-year-old having sex, versus a photo of an adult woman fellating a horse; even though the former is illegal to possess and the latter isn't, I think most people would be more grossed out by the second one. (I would even argue that there was more harm to the participants in the making of the second one, and in this case the law's priorities are a bit screwed up. Poor horse!)

So, why block 1% of the content that would offend someone's sensibilities, when 99% of the content that would still offend that person would still be out there? The fact that the 1% is illegal doesn't answer the question; even if it's illegal, you don't have to block it, so what have you accomplished if you do?

Possibly law enforcement is sick of people using the "I accidentally clicked on it" excuse when they get caught accessing child pornography, and wants to remove that as a defense. But couldn't someone just as easily claim that they "accidentally" accessed child pornography through a circumvention site like Anonymouse? They could claim that they thought they were accessing a regular porn site, they were using a circumventor to protect their privacy, and they didn't know that the site carried child porn and didn't find out until they'd already accessed it. So it doesn't seem like the filtering would remove the "accidental" defense.

So, I don't think the filtering accomplishes much at all, but it could set a very bad precedent once the filters are in place. Once Internet users have accepted the precedent that ISPs should block content that is "probably" illegal, what's to stop organizations and lawmakers from demanding that ISPs block access to overseas sites that violate copyright, for example, as the RIAA did in 2002? The technical means will already be in place, and more importantly, people will have gotten used to the idea that legally "questionable" content should be blocked. And with lobbyists claiming that 90% of content on peer-to-peer networks violates copyright laws, wouldn't it follow logically to block peer-to-peer traffic as well?

In a legislative climate where lawmakers have proposed everything from jail time for p2p developers to letting the RIAA hack people's PCs for distributing copyrighted files, we should resist any kind of content-based blocking that would let them get their foot in the door. That includes even well-intentioned efforts like Cleanfeed.

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

211 comments

In Canada, ... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17258322)

In Canada, the internet comes without 4chan.

Lame. (2, Insightful)

FatSean (18753) | more than 7 years ago | (#17258324)

Another attempt to get adults to give up some freedoms in the name of the precious children who must be free of sex predators so they can grow up to live in a society that gives up freedoms in order to protect the precious children...

Re:Lame. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17258796)

Not that I agree with the measures taken, but the cycle works in the opposite direction too...the vast majority of pedophiles were sexually abused as children.

What freedoms are you giving up? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17258918)

Another attempt to get adults to give up some freedoms in the name of the precious children

What freedoms are those, again? If I don't want to see you internet access to a given site, well, that's my right under free market principles. If you don't like it, find another provider. If I want to simultaneously limit my corporate liability and improve my public relations by actively preventing people from committing a crime (deliberately accessing illegal content), well, that's my right.

If you want to set up your own ISP in Canada without those restrictions, go ahead. If you want to set up an ISP that only shows web-pages about cats, or muffins, or religion, or science, or whatever, go ahead... it's not illegal.

I think you're confusing hype with loss of freedoms. The entire "child pornography" topic is usually just hype -- because if governments and citizens really cared about child abuse, they'd spend more time finding better ways to monitor and prevent child abuse by parents and relatives.

In the vast majority of cases, the abuser is someone the child knows well, and the abuse is not recorded in any way. Given this truth, why all the fuss over the recordings (the "child porn"), and where is the outrage over the real issue, the child *abuse*? The misplaced focus is depressing...

Re:What freedoms are you giving up? (2, Insightful)

SevenHands (984677) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259084)

The ISPs apparently incorporating these filters are the large ones. May not qualify as Monopolies, but in some areas, are the only service providers the customer can choose. If the choice comes down to broadband from a censoring ISP or dialup, which one would you go with?

Re:What freedoms are you giving up? (4, Interesting)

Nos. (179609) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259280)

If you want to set up your own ISP in Canada without those restrictions, go ahead. If you want to set up an ISP that only shows web-pages about cats, or muffins, or religion, or science, or whatever, go ahead... it's not illegal.

Actually, it might be. Check section 36 of the Telecommunications Act (http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/LEGAL/TELECOM.HTM [crtc.gc.ca] ). Here it is: 36. Except where the Commission approves otherwise, a Canadian carrier shall not control the content or influence the meaning or purpose of telecommunications carried by it for the public.

Personally, I don't like the project. I admire the goals, but as the article suggests, there are issues. Is is really going to put a stop to browsing child porn on the internet, no way. I don't think anyone believes that. Will it stop those who want to view child porn... probably not most, if any. There are too many ways around the whole idea to make it worthwhile. Also, under Canadian law, possession of this list of sites is also illegal, though its unlikely that Cybertip or any of the ISPs would every be prosecuted for having the list.

Finally, comes the issue of privacy. I've been told that the system does not track which IPs are attempting to access which sites, but I have to wonder if it really does, and if not, how long before this "feature" is added in.

Re:What freedoms are you giving up? (1)

flibuste (523578) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259900)

I definitely agree with you. I don't like this idea. I find it dangerously anti-freedom.
Then, I also do not like this 21th century moral trend to overprotect the children of any single thing, dismissing parental authority completely in the process, and goes against the wrong targets. As the post suggested, as long as you do not prevent production of child pornography, laws like that will have no effect than tempting the curious, as the curious kind is always attracted to things that are forbidden.
It was the same with drugs 20 years ago: parents and governments were trying to deny this "immoral" thing alltogether and hide facts from the kids. Result has generated more addicts than ever. Curiosity generally kills the cat.

And the Rock Cried Out, No Hiding Place (3, Interesting)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259902)

If I don't want to see you internet access to a given site, well, that's my right under free market principles. If you don't like it, find another provider.

The goal being de facto censorship by pressuring all ISPs to filter. If an ISP won't filter, you organize a boycott coupled with a shame campaign so that not only do they lose the people who actively boycott, but also people who don't want to be labeled as a pervert for staying. That leaves just the perverts. And then once you have all the perverts using one ISP, you hit it with a raid, seize the user records, and bust all their users, wiping out that ISP.

"The Rangers say that many refugee ships fleeing the war have been heading toward this area of space because so far, it hasn't been attacked!"

"That's interesting. What if they wanted to drive the refugees into one area, corral them? Make it easier to hit them all at once?"

"Could be. The effect would be devastating, demoralizing!"

"That could be their intent. Maybe this is as much about terror as it is about territory! When we've had wars back home, sometimes one side would leave a, a few areas of enemy territory undamaged. That way you'd get maximum results when you finally hit them with something big! Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Dresden, San Diego!"

"They could be doing the same thing here! Drawing in thousands of ships, escorts, and refugees from a dozen worlds in preparation for a major offensive!"

"It makes sense! It - it's what I'd do!"

Re:Lame. (0, Troll)

TheLink (130905) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259044)

Protect the precious children from evil adults.

Then send them to war once they get a bit older ;).

Yes but... (2, Insightful)

gripen40k (957933) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259056)

I would gladly give up my own personal freedom and well being to make sure my children grow up safe. That's just what being a parent is, protecting your children, even if it is costly. Now you may say that I'm just perpetuating the cycle, and eventually we will all give up our rights and freedoms, but I say that there is no 'right' to abuse my children, and no 'freedom' to watch them being abused on some child porn website. I can't imagine that you wouldn't want to give up your ability to look at child porn just because you feel you are free to do so and giving up that ability hinders your freedoms somehow. And what's so wrong about a world free of sex predators!?!

Re:Yes but... (2, Insightful)

BalanceOfJudgement (962905) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259344)

The answer to your question is contained in this statement:

I would gladly give up my own personal freedom and well being to make sure my children grow up safe.

You'll be giving up your children's freedom, too. Is that the choice you want to make? Do you want your children growing up in a world where the government is what teaches them good from bad, instead of you? Once we acknowledge that it is appropriate for the government to tell us what is OK to look at and what isn't, we've given away the very rights and freedoms which make us unique, and which make us, well, 'free'.

I recognize that this means that sometimes bad people do bad things, but taking away the rights of all future generations in order to stop rare, individual actions is not the appropriate response. I realize it's easy to knee-jerk and respond by doing the first thing that comes to mind, but 'wisdom' is so-called for a reason - it involves reflection and rational thought, not knee-jerk reactions.

Re:Yes but... (2, Interesting)

gripen40k (957933) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260046)

OK, lets step back from this for a sec. We aren't talking about a freedom or a right, we are talking about people's perversions online and child porn. Both of which are neither rights nor freedoms (well you are allowed to be a perv, but not one involving children). The rights and freedoms of the children involved are being trampled upon. What I'm saying is that I would gladly do what it takes to make sure my children are never in such a situation. Now, there is pretty much no chance of that happening to children of mine, and as most children are abused by a friend or direct relative of the family then I pretty much don't have to give up anything in order to make sure my kinds don't end up like that (ie watch them... which doesn't even require much effort...).

Now you say that growing up in a world where the government teaches us what is good or bad is not so great, but it's a bit too late for that. Governments (and religious organizations) do that today in nearly all parts of our lives. We know it's bad to steal from a store because our government says so. If we lived in a government that encouraged theft, like ancient Sparta [wikipedia.org] , then we would think it's alright. Just how some Muslim countries feel it is wrong to have women with exposed faces, although this is obviously a mix of religion and government, it is because someone told them that is the way it's going to be.

There is a line, as always, and a balance must be achieved, and I think that's the point you might be missing (or not, it's up to you). ie child porn = bad, government critics = good.

Re:Yes but... (2, Insightful)

BalanceOfJudgement (962905) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260576)

OK, lets step back from this for a sec. We aren't talking about a freedom or a right, we are talking about people's perversions online and child porn
No, YOU'RE talking about that. Nobody would support what you're talking about, which is precisely why you must belabor the point - it's indefensible and so you feel it makes you right. But, I think you're the one who needs to step back and realize this:

What I am talking about is that bills like this one are the sort that grant permission to the government to tell us what is ok and what isn't. It is THAT which I find unacceptable.

Now you say that growing up in a world where the government teaches us what is good or bad is not so great, but it's a bit too late for that. Governments (and religious organizations) do that today in nearly all parts of our lives.

Well, then bring on more of the same. Since it's already this way, it MUST be ok. Hmm, I think you'll find large segments of the population disagreeing with you..

We know it's bad to steal from a store because our government says so. If we lived in a government that encouraged theft, like ancient Sparta, then we would think it's alright.

You've got it backwards. The culture itself thought it was alright, so the government did too. Likewise, WE, moral beings, believe stealing to be wrong - I don't know about you, but that's why I don't steal. You're saying you'd steal if the government said it was ok, but you really thought it was wrong?

There is a line, as always, and a balance must be achieved
*coughs* *points to display name*.

Balance doesn't always swing the way you hope it will, unfortunately.

Re:Yes but... (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259592)

I would gladly give up my own personal freedom and well being to make sure my children grow up safe.

I'm sure the same was said in 1936 by many parents in a land we shall not mention when laws were being passed to make their nation safe. Ironically, in 1945 many of their children had died in due to the war that was waged to "protect" them.

Yes, it is a natural instinct to give something up for you children, but freedom should not be one of them. In fact, the most altruistic behavior would be to give up your personal safety to grant your children more freedom.

Re:Yes but... (1)

PingSpike (947548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260194)

As the author at top correctly points out, none of your goals are accomplished by this blocking list. Read the authors synopsis, its really pretty good. Demand for this stuff isn't removed. The supply isn't removed. And the way to get it isn't removed. About the only semi useful feature it provides is that it can stop you from accidentally viewing this stuff. The list doesn't even block by IP, it blocks by URL. Its a pretty trivial matter to either use proxy or do a reverse DNS lookup in order to around this.

All you've accomplished is setting a bad precident, and opening the door for abuse of the same technique. This isn't even sacrificing freedom for some safety. This is throwing some freedom away in exchange for the ability to pretend you're safe.

Re:Yes but... (1)

computational super (740265) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260648)

I would gladly give up my own personal freedom and well being to make sure my children grow up safe.

"We must do something. This is something. Therefore, we must do this."

Re:Lame. (2, Interesting)

rs79 (71822) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259154)

Am I the only one that's nervous that there exists someplace a list of hundreds of kiddie porn sites updated in near real time?

Who here doesn't know of somebody underpaid and easily corruptable that works at a big ISP?

This thing sounds like a godsend to people who want to get access to this kind of stuff.

Am I missing something here?

missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17258370)

If we start blocking entire ranges of IP's in Canada, US, UK, etc then the host countries who refuse to take action against these sites may start noticing that the whole world has blocked them. Some of these sites are "pay" sites too, so if we start cutting off their revenue then of course that's is also good. It's harder to develop a pay model via p2p where most of the child porn is traded but of course we should go after the commercial child pornographer' first which is mostly on web sites. I admit we can enver get rid of child porn 100%, but Money should not be made on this sick enterprise.

I installed their web servers, and got stiffed! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17258410)

I configured their web systems a couple of years back. 2 dual-cpu 1U for the web and a dual-cpu 4U system for the DB server. Sure, they had $100,000 (they had a cpl more systems for the office LAN, and built their own micro-datacenter) to blow on over-priced systems from IBM and crappy Computer Associate's software, but no cash for the sys admin. bastards. I'm still bitter. They considered the work we were doing a "favour" from them since it could lead to other jobs with .gov related entities.

Canada isn't a state of America (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17258442)

You brought up a lot of interesting arguments on why those ISP's should not be able to put in such a system, unfortunately all your legal reasoning is based on American law and not Canadian law. If you haven't figured it out yet, things are different up here. Child porn is simply a bad idea and I stand behind the Canadian ISP's making a effort to limit the damage done. If the world did everything by your standards nothing would ever be done as nothing is every 100%.

Re:Canada isn't a state of America (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 7 years ago | (#17258778)

If the world did everything by your standards nothing would ever be done as nothing is every 100%.

It's one thing to say "nothing is ever 100%" but to say so in defense of something that solves roughly 0% doesn't help anyone.

Common law and treaties (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17258808)

unfortunately all your legal reasoning is based on American law and not Canadian law.

Extrapolating about Canadian law based on American law works half the time, given that both American law and Canadian law are descendants of British law, and even after the 1776 schism of the common law, several countries have enacted treaties to harmonize aspects of their laws. Even if it falls into the half where it does not work, it's still useful as a way to state that such a measure could never cross the border.

Good maybe (2, Interesting)

otacon (445694) | more than 7 years ago | (#17258514)

ok. so this will make it harder for people to access child porn...and that's a good thing, but not impossible...only an inconveience really. Why not spend money and develop a systems that accuratley tracks CP traders and frequent CP site visitors. or maybe a better system to track sex predators on social networking sites, which is an even scarier problem. The blocking is a good step, but not a very big one, a lot more ground needs to be gained but you have to start somewhere I guess.

Re:Good maybe (1)

gmack (197796) | more than 7 years ago | (#17258912)

This is one step of many taken here in Canada. I know they have a victims database and better international cooperation between poilice departments in order to track down child rapists.

As it was explained to me this cleenfeed system is mainly for dealing with countries that don't really care to do anything about the problem.

a stupid question maybe (2, Interesting)

hjf (703092) | more than 7 years ago | (#17258520)

But, isn't it easier to take down these sites, instead of blocking them? I see cops catching the drug dealers, not forming a ring around them so people won't buy drugs from them. So why don't they do the same thing to these sites.

Why BLOCK access? Do they think that, if people ignore them they will go away?

Re:a stupid question maybe (1)

Chosen Reject (842143) | more than 7 years ago | (#17258594)

It's easy if the sites are hosted in an area that you have jurisdiction over. I haven't done any bit of research on the topic, but I'm willing to bet that most of these sites are not hosted by your local webhost service.

Re:a stupid question maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17260212)

It's easy if the sites are hosted in an area that you have jurisdiction over. I haven't done any bit of research on the topic, but I'm willing to bet that most of these sites are not hosted by your local webhost service.

Internet Watch Foundation, which updates british cleanfeed blacklist, releases some stats. In 2005 their blacklisted child abuse content traced (as in hosted) to: 40% USA, 28% Russia, 17% Asia, 13% Europe (Spain, Portugal, Slovakia). I think that in swedens blacklist USA is also top 1. Anyway point is that we aren't really blocking any third world anarchy countries (like russia) but places like USA, where is decent children protection laws and propably much rights for police as they can get. (eg access to SWIFT, and right to torture people...)... so they are kind of using local webhost service.

So question is why we need to to censor USA? like it is not just Canada and GB, but also France, Belgia, Holland, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland is doing filtering... and list is growing. Western countries are basically censoring kiddieporn from other western countries (like USA or Spain), where we should be able to handle it directly with police. And pretty much with secret blacklists, which is the actual major problem, not filtering :(

I also think that that plan is not to try block anybodys net who really want to avoid filtering, but filter those net who doesn't try avoid filtering. So, Why and What is bigger question. Are they filtering sites which can't put down with legal ways because they actually are legal or it needs too much work? Or is it just big whack a mole game with botnets and bulletproof hostings like with spammers?

Stats:
IWF: Half Yearly Report 2006 [iwf.org.uk]
IWF: reveals 10 year statistics on child abuse images online [iwf.org.uk]
IWF: Significant Trends 2005 [iwf.org.uk]

yeah stupid question indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17258806)

Site in country X.
Country X doesn't care.
Canada cops can't arrest people in country X.

In this case the best Canada can do is stop Canada's contribution to the site's traffic. It won't cause the site to shut down but if every country does it it might. That's called "doing your part".

Re:yeah stupid question indeed (2, Informative)

hjf (703092) | more than 7 years ago | (#17258992)

No, that's you being just stupid. "Country X doesn't care" doesn't exist. Poor countries don't have the resources to find these sites, Canada could do their part letting them know about it. And I don't think there are that many countries that "Don't Care".

Blacklisting is just a pain for webmasters, like it happened to this small ISP in Canada which hosted "Child Love" websites. They couldn't close it down, so they blocked it (actually, they pulled strings to have Verizon stop selling access for them, which is the same thing as blocking, only they can't sue anybody for free speech).

Re:yeah stupid question indeed (1)

Daxster (854610) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259758)

How about, "Country X doesn't care as much as Canada about a website hosted within their country that contains child pornography"?

In other words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17260656)

...even if this does nothing, you're in favor of it because it feels like it's doing something.

The world is indeed populated by stupid people. No offense.

It's a slippery slope... (2, Informative)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 7 years ago | (#17258524)

Experience has shown that the police does not give a rat's ass when it comes to civil liberties.

It is only a matter of time before the police will block sites they disagree with that has nothing to do with child pr0n...

Re:It's a slippery slope... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17259598)

Which would be really really bad.. if the police had anything to do with this.

The captcha is "mating". As long as they're not kids...

Re:It's a slippery slope... (1)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260564)

Which would be really really bad.. if the police had anything to do with this.

I agree, it would be really bad if the police had their hands in this, but at least the police are accountable to the government and the people. Corporate execs are under no obligation to reveal what urls are being censored, nor is there any recourse the public can seek when those corporate execs start blacklisting "dangerous" urls for their friends in Ottawa.

Re:It's a slippery slope... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17260806)

Actually, there is recourse.

Start your own damned ISP.

Re:It's a slippery slope... (1)

computational super (740265) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260282)

And the beauty of the censorship is that the very act of checking to see if they're blocking unrelated sites is in itself a violation of the law.

Why not a safe White List ? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17258532)

Create "Safe List" and give every ISP user Online form to turn "protection" on/off.
- simple to implement
- no software install on user end.

Why not? Because protecting children is not a point!

Censorship is what they are after.

Isn't this what Slashdot has been doing? (1)

nels_tomlinson (106413) | more than 7 years ago | (#17258564)

Do you remember the goatse links that trolls and pranksters used to put in their posts? We learned to check links before we clicked, and then the slashcode was altered to show the url; all this, to reduce the chance of accidentally seeing the goatse guy, just to protect our sensibilities.

As the summary says, the blocking will be trivial to circumvent. So, why not make the blocking available? It sounds like a value-added feature that will be great marketing fodder. You can either advertise ``safer surfing'' or ``no blocking,'' depending on whether you implement it. As long as it's a free market decision and not a government mandate, I think it's all good.

Making life harder for no-blocking ISPs' customers (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17258924)

So, why not make the blocking available? It sounds like a value-added feature that will be great marketing fodder. You can either advertise ``safer surfing'' or ``no blocking,'' depending on whether you implement it.

And watch the safer-surfing ISPs decline to renew peering arrangements with no-blocking ISPs, forcing no-blocking ISPs to pay extra for transit to customers of safer-surfing ISPs. And watch the safer-surfing ISPs route mail from the no-blocking ISPs to junk mail folders. And watch both the local cable ISP and the local DSL ISP in a given town become safer-surfing ISPs.

I'll go along with this (2)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 7 years ago | (#17258600)

Suggesting there is a slippery slope here is a bit of a stretch. Depending on how the filtering is done (and I think we can all agree that is the critically important part here) this could be very good. It means I cannot accidentally end up at a site providing illegal material. Child porn is a bit odd under canadian law (as it is everywhere) because what counts as porn, what counts as a child, what counts as art, what about virtual actors or drawings blah blah blah, meaning that production of child porn is illegal but possession of somethings which other places *may* define as child porn could be legal etc... All in all, if its likely illegal here, I'd rather not land there accidentally, and no one who does browse/pay/participate in those sites has any excuse if they are caught.

If goofle.com and goohle.com both led to child porn, but google.com does not, I would tend to prefer the former two by default be inaccessable. Possession of child porn, either because someone spammed me or because I can't type properly is not really something I want to deal with. Whether you're guilty of anything or not, if your name gets in the paper with 'Child pornography' next to it, your job is gone, your marriage is gone, and all in all you aren't in a good place to be.

Re:I'll go along with this (1)

tomjen (839882) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260838)

The same was said in Denmark when they rolled the CP filter out - then the courts banned www.allofmp3.com too.

Yes there is a slippery slope, and it starts the day they institute censorship.

Polictical correctness - for its own sake. (1)

Makito (518963) | more than 7 years ago | (#17258620)

Being from Canada, I think the whole idea is just silly. They're treating the symptoms and not the root cause - again.

Ignoring the fact that CP is definitely illegal here, incompetently blocking CP is not going to solve anything. Pedophiles and sex offenders are just that, you don't grow or learn into it when you get older. The effort and resources could be better put to catching these criminals rather than just blanketing the subject.

On a side note, opting out is practically impossible being that every major internet provider in Canada has already signed up.

I'm not sure if Canada has common-carrier laws like our American counter-parts, but if we do, this must be some clear violation of that stature.

Re:Polictical correctness - for its own sake. (1)

jimibee (980271) | more than 7 years ago | (#17258934)

As far as I know ISPs are not common carriers anyway, so it doesn't really matter.

definition of a banana republic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17259308)

>I'm not sure if Canada has common-carrier laws like our
>American counter-parts, but if we do....

Its stunning how many canadians know more about american laws, customs and well....everything else, than about their own country.

The more you live here, the more you wonder if anyone would notice if this became a US state or a banana republic like Guam or Puerto Rico.

As a canadian, I can not tell you what is the difference between both people.
I think northern USstates have more in common with their canadian counterparts than with their southern countrymen.
 

Treating the symptoms (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259632)

They're treating the symptoms and not the root cause - again.

Of course they're treating the symptoms, and not the root cause. We do not even know what the root cause is, let alone have any treatments it. We have no idea what makes a pedophile a pedophile, or how to alter them to no longer be a pedophile. Same for racists, kleptomaniacs, gays, and windows users. Don't you think if we knew how to cure aberrant behaviour, we would?

No, the only thing we can do is make it easier for people to block out websites that promote/depict behaviour they find unacceptable. As long as there are strict guidelines as to what gets put on the blacklist, periodic reviews, and policies/procedures for getting delisted, I'm fine with this.

Re:Treating the symptoms (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260622)

Curing gays? why would they want to be less fabulous. Actually Linux and Mac uses would be the aberation. Since they are the statistical outlyers.

Canadian Clearinghouse (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17258622)

Am I the only one that read that and thought about misleading child molesters into thinking they'll win a date with a kid to get them to purchase online magazine subscriptions, then sending Dave Sayer to one lucky molesters house with a camera crew periodicly ?

Um, distraction, maybe (5, Interesting)

gillbates (106458) | more than 7 years ago | (#17258662)

Maybe the real intent of this campaign is to keep Canadian citizens distracted from the real issues facing their country. Or perhaps to see just many rights people are willing to surrender in the name of fighting _____________.

I still don't understand the concept behind making images illegal. Granted, someone who wants to look at this kind of stuff might have a really messed up sense of morality, and probably reality as well, but I don't see how this is a legal issue before there is an actual victim. I would think that the kind of depravity which would cause someone to seek out such images would be better handled by the Church than the law, as it seems to me that this is more of a spiritual and emotional problem than a legal one. I just don't see how the threat of jail time is going to fix someone's dirty obsession.

OTOH, this probably does not have anything to do with the question at hand, and is instead a proxy for those who want to control the population by making certain thoughts criminal. This issue would be merely the test bed for effective means of thought control, a legal means of establishing the validity of thought crime. If, by using an emotionally charged subject, they can establish a legal equivalence of the crime, and merely thinking about it, then it paves the way to the extension of making political crimes subject to the same kind of enforcement as well.

  • Defendant: But, I didn't actually do the crime!
  • Prosecutor: But you thought about it, didn't you? If you weren't thinking about doing it, why did you visit these websites? Why do you have these images on your computer?

If you think about it, the above dialog applies equally well to both child pornography and terrorism.

Re:Um, distraction, maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17258886)

If you examine all of the laws in your country (and if you compare them to other countries) you will find that the vast majority of what is legal or illegal is pretty arbitrary. For example the "age of consent" in most western countries will vary from 14 years old to 18 years old with little rhyme or reason as to why it was set at a particular age, and many of your grandparents (or great grandparents) were married at 14 or 15 years old.

Making the "images" of sexual acts on children is largely because legislators want to be seen as being tough on child predators and it is easier to catch someone for owning or distributing child pornography than it is to catch a person who is actually abusing children; there is an underlying assumption that people who look at child porn are also going to abuse children which may or may not be true. As people move into making it illegal to produce drawings/stories involving children I wonder whether this will have the opposite effect that legislators are going for; there are (probably) a lot of people in this world who are sexually attracted to children who are able to control their impulses largely because they can have a diverse and fulfilling fantasy life.

Re:Um, distraction, maybe (1)

plalonde2 (527372) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259580)

The reason CP is illegal isn't because it's believed the users of CP will become molesters. It's illegal largely in order to remove the market for CP, whose creation involves sexual abuse of children.

Re:Um, distraction, maybe (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259114)

I still don't understand the concept behind making images illegal...I don't see how this is a legal issue before there is an actual victim.

That's a legitimate question when talking about simulated images (I don't know what Canadian law is regarding those), but regarding images of real children, surely you can think of whom an "actual victim" might be?

Re:Um, distraction, maybe (3, Insightful)

Phishcast (673016) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259122)

I still don't understand the concept behind making images illegal. Granted, someone who wants to look at this kind of stuff might have a really messed up sense of morality, and probably reality as well, but I don't see how this is a legal issue before there is an actual victim.

If you (or your wife, or your child) are forced to be photographed nude or engaged in sexual activity to which you have not consented, are you not victimized every time those photographs are seen or distributed? Are you really arguing that there's no victim here?

Re:Um, distraction, maybe (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259238)

If you (or your wife, or your child) are forced to be photographed nude or engaged in sexual activity to which you have not consented, are you not victimized every time those photographs are seen or distributed?

If a tree falls in the woods, do you care?

Re:Um, distraction, maybe (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259752)

If you (or your wife, or your child) are forced to be photographed nude or engaged in sexual activity to which you have not consented, are you not victimized every time those photographs are seen or distributed? Are you really arguing that there's no victim here?

Every time you buy a diamond (ring, necklace, or what have you) you are supporting slave labor and the drawing blood of African children in mines.

If not directly then indirectly by increasing the demand for such items.

Why aren't diamonds illegal? They obviously have real victims as well. Are these children who lives are threatened with force on a daily basic in slave like conditions no better than these others?

Still... CP is a horribly thing, but I'd prefer if our law have better priorities such as dealing with the gun and drug violence in our cities. I still can't believe their our crack drug dealers on our streets who are out in force with impunity without the police doing anything.

Re:Um, distraction, maybe (2, Insightful)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259156)

I still don't understand the concept behind making images illegal. Granted, someone who wants to look at this kind of stuff might have a really messed up sense of morality, and probably reality as well, but I don't see how this is a legal issue before there is an actual victim.

Well, the State (insert your favorite government here) is in the business of trying to tell people what to think. Despite the protections on speech and expression in the United States, the government (and certain religious persuasions) would prefer it if you didn't think about these things at all and don't wish to be subjected to the actualizations of the thoughts of others.

Now, I see child porn as morally reprehensible. Frankly, I think you have to somewhat depraved to enjoy thought of sexual contact with pre-teens (not to mention [though I will] the dead or animals). But as long as the thought is in your head, and does not lead to overt acts that can be said to be contrary to the social welfare and the welfare of individuals, what you do in your own head is your own business.

Thought has to be the last bastion of privacy we have available. It's the testing ground, where we let loose the demons that plague us regularly and where we can do it in a controlled fashion. I tend to think it's healthier to work out our aggression and rage in the relatively harmless environment of our mind than to let them out into the daylight. Trying to eliminate even the thought of something bad or wrong is a futile gesture at best.

Re:Um, distraction, maybe (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259762)

Now, I see child porn as morally reprehensible. Frankly, I think you have to somewhat depraved to enjoy thought of sexual contact with pre-teens (not to mention [though I will] the dead or animals). But as long as the thought is in your head, and does not lead to overt acts that can be said to be contrary to the social welfare and the welfare of individuals, what you do in your own head is your own business. - I can understand how actual act of forcing children to perform sexual acts violates those children's psychological (maybe physical even) well-being, but after the pics are made, whoever looks at them (if this person was not a direct customer who ordered these pictures) does not violate that child any further. So pursuing that person under criminal law to me looks ridiculous, but while I can still understand why a society would want to exterminate all acts of violence against children (even if this means going after totally unrelated people, who are looking at those picture after the fact,) I totally miss you on the 'dead' and the 'animal' points. PETA people maybe upset, but it can be argued that performing sexual acts on animals is in no way more cruel than killing those animals for food and skins. A sexual act on a dead body doesn't violate anything though (unless the relatives of the formerly alive body find out and become upset.) But still I don't see how CP, zoofilia and necrofilia can be set equal in the eyes of the criminal law.

Re:Um, distraction, maybe (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260416)

But still I don't see how CP, zoofilia and necrofilia can be set equal in the eyes of the criminal law.

But I wasn't talking about law. I was talking about what I find morally reprehensible. I don't condone these acts -- that's my personal belief. I don't expect my personal belief to be made into law. Why should my opinion count any more or any less than that of anyone else? The idea is to find a common ground that can apply to all citizens in the United States (or anywhere for that matter). Maybe there are those that enjoy the "idea" of sexual contact with minors and while I may find that troubling, they do not. It's when the "idea" becomes an "action" that I think the line has to be drawn there, and let's face it, if you're going to use children to make images of sexual contact with minors, is that really any different than the act?

Harming anyone for your own pleasure is as old as the hills. If the other person is consenting, there's nothing wrong with it, but I think in the case of children, especially pre-teens who have little sexual knowledge, that consent cannot be claimed to be knowingly given.

Re:Um, distraction, maybe (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260552)

Again, I agree with you that younge children are hurt by people exploiting them sexually to make images/videos whatever, but I still argue, just like in case of copyright - it is not the final user but the distributor who must be held responsible (or someone who made the order of-course.)

I understand that you may find various behaviours morally reprehensible, but your definition of what is moral and what is not is different from other people's definitions and it is different from mine.

Re:Um, distraction, maybe (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259278)

I would think that the kind of depravity which would cause someone to seek out such images would be better handled by the Church than the law,

<<Insert Catholic Priest Joke Here>>

Re:Um, distraction, maybe (2)

SilverJets (131916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259502)

Maybe the real intent of this campaign is to keep Canadian citizens distracted from the real issues facing their country. Or perhaps to see just many rights people are willing to surrender in the name of fighting _____________.

What real issues are facing Canadians that this is attempting to distract us from? As for rights, sorry but no one has a right to child porn. If you think it is your right to view child porn please do the world a favour and take a long walk off the roof of the nearest 40 floor building.

I still don't understand the concept behind making images illegal. Granted, someone who wants to look at this kind of stuff might have a really messed up sense of morality, and probably reality as well, but I don't see how this is a legal issue before there is an actual victim.

The victim is the child in the image. The image is evidence of a crime being committed. I don't understand how you can't see a victim here. The images are illegal because its one part in the fight against child pornography. The police and the courts would love to get their hands on the people making this sick crap but that is not always possible because these images can be coming from anywhere in the world. So they also target the collectors, people who don't actively create the images but collect, trade, view, and store them in hopes of removing these sickos from society and hoping to stop the demand for this stuff.

Re:Um, distraction, maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17259636)

"What real issues are facing Canadians that this is attempting to distract us from?"

Oh nothing really, just the fact that there's been a french takeover of the government, nobody from english Canada has gotten a proper mandate to run the country since 1965, and the federal elections have been rigged ever since that bozo Trudeau got in. You must be new here.

Re:Um, distraction, maybe (1)

SilverJets (131916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260712)

Oh nothing really, just the fact that there's been a french takeover of the government, nobody from english Canada has gotten a proper mandate to run the country since 1965, and the federal elections have been rigged ever since that bozo Trudeau got in.

Once again, what real issues is this attempting to distract us from?

You must be new here.

Pffft....hardly.

Re:Um, distraction, maybe (1)

pkulak (815640) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259754)

"I still don't understand the concept behind making images illegal." If they are not illegal, there will be a lot more demand and a lot more children harmed. It's pretty simple. That's why fake images are NOT illegal (at least here), because there, it really is victimless (unless you're just wetting some perv's appetite, I suppose).

Simple answer (2, Insightful)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 7 years ago | (#17258666)

But even so, there's the question: What have you accomplished by blocking accidental exposure?

Well for one, you're potentially protecting yourself from false accusations of accessing child porn, when you legitimately accessed it by accident by clicking on some link where you didn't know what would come up.

That is assuming of course that the agencies won't be using this proxy and filter list to charge people who are blocked with *attempting* to access the material.

say what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17258698)

Consider a photo of a 16-year-old having sex, versus a photo of an adult woman fellating a horse; even though the former is illegal to possess and the latter isn't, I think most people would be more grossed out by the second one. (I would even argue that there was more harm to the participants in the making of the second one, and in this case the law's priorities are a bit screwed up. Poor horse!)

What are you talking about "poor horse"? It's getting a free BJ and I'm sure if he didn't like it or it was "causing harm" the lady would get her head kicked clean off. Last I checked, horses are quite big and very strong, I've seen them kick a door right off it's hinges.

Re:say what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17259666)

Think rather "poor crack whore". I've never met, or heard of, a woman who will voluntarily suck off a horse. Bestiality porn is generally as abusive to its human participants, who have generally been coerced (drugs and their withholding are a favorite mechanism), as CP is to its participants.

Re:say what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17260896)

...and society coerces me into working 40 hours a fucking week. Are crack whores as disguisted at having to suck-off a stallion as I am at having to work for the man? Film at 11 or do you have a point?

Child Porn - Cops should do their job (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17258750)

Instead of banning child porn sites and pretending this is going to reduce exploitation of children, it should be really easy for cops to get warrants to search the logs of child porn ISPs and do undercover operations to find child predators. Unfortunately the reality is that political pressure dictates that cops work to reduce the appearance of crime (not actual crime) since that is what local governments want in order to look good for the next election. They also like controlling what people can and can't see.

Definitions of child are also getting increasingly out of touch with reality. In Alberta for instance the age of consent is 14 (which I think is fairly reasonable) but child porn definitions often use "under 18" as the definition (not I haven't RTFA).

Ontario Human Rights tribunal? (1)

mathx (988938) | more than 7 years ago | (#17258756)

I am wondering if they're opening themselves to a charge under the OHRT for blocking legit content. Just wait til they block a political site that has nothing to do with child porn. Or a class action lawsuit.

I dont understand why they're opening the door on themselves to being classified as a non-common-carrier, meaning they will have to filter *ALL* content. If they filter child porn, why not filter emails for the same content, or discussions of same? Or discussions of *ANYTHING* illegal, from planning a bank heist, to a terrorist dinner get together to copying your friends' matrix DVDs illegally? (Not that the govt isnt already scanning for some of this).

I hope everyone does their homework on this and finds what sites they block and compiles them in a list and files a formal complaint thru the necesary channels.

-math

Government Arrogance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17258906)

This is a typical, statist response to problem solving and is no more effective than Stalinist five-year plans. Give citizens the tools to act in their own self-interest and let them determine what, if anything, they wish to block. Centralized approaches simply will not work. Someone will always find an unanticipated means to circumvent centralized planning. Effective solutions only occur by devolving control to the lowest possible level.

Yay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17258998)

Now if I can just figure out how to get my competitor's websites into the Cybertips list, I can put those suckers out of business right quickly! Seriously, doesn't this give whoever maintains the list a heck of a lot of power?

Infrastructure... (4, Insightful)

RexRhino (769423) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259028)

The most important thing about this program is that it is building a censorship infrastructure in Canada. Once all ISPs have implemented a national blacklist (supposedly only of child porn sites), it is simple enough to expand it to include other sites.

Child Porn is just a MacGuffin, a universally despised act that is easy enough to strike up paranoia about. Unlike Terrorism, or Drugs, or Global Warming, or other issues, it has universal political support for legislation dealing with the problem.

Here is how the system is going to be expanded in Canada:

1. Block Child Porn Sites (after all, only a filthy disgusting pedophile would be against blocking child porn sites).
2. Block "Hate" Sites (after all, only a filthy digusting Nazi would be against blocking hate sites).
3. Block Political "Advertising" (After all, we don't want people with lots of money advertising on the internet, and corrupting our democracy!)
4. Block Dangerous Information (after all, why does someone really need to know how to build a gun, or a bomb, or manufacture drugs)
5. Block Sites that Compete Unfairly (after all, Google has a monopoly on search engines! Canadians shouldn't use an American monopoly, they should use a Canadian search engine, run by the CBC!)
6. Block Sites that Exploit Women (after all, we don't want women to be exploited... that is why we need to ban the Miss Universe pagent website!)
7. Block 'Bad' News Sites (after all, Fox News or Al Jazeera are highly biased news channels... they could confuse the minds of Canadians with their one-sided programs).

And so on, and so forth. Once the infrastructure is in place, it costs NOTHING to expand the list of blocked sites - and it is always easy enough to come up with some sort of reasonable arguement why certain sites should be blocked. Once this system is in place and works well, every political party will be screaming to have something they don't like banned - and without any real Libertarian minority in Canada, the only arguement will be over what things should be banned.

Re:Infrastructure... (1)

MadEE (784327) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259270)

And so on, and so forth. Once the infrastructure is in place, it costs NOTHING to expand the list of blocked sites - and it is always easy enough to come up with some sort of reasonable arguement why certain sites should be blocked. Once this system is in place and works well, every political party will be screaming to have something they don't like banned - and without any real Libertarian minority in Canada, the only arguement will be over what things should be banned.
This infrastructure has always been available and could have been used to block 'bad' things. That hasn't happen and it's probably not going to happen. The only reason this works is because that the cybertip site is generally trusted in the community and they are offering a feature that many customers want. The second this starts effecting what people want to see people complain and the program stops or they bleed customers. This would happen far before step 2.

[Cliche] This wil fail because ... (1, Informative)

Stavr0 (35032) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259038)

Cleanfeed Canada advocates a

(x) technical ( ) legislative ( ) market-based ( ) vigilante

approach to fighting child pornography. Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't work. (One or more of the following may apply to your particular idea, and it may have other flaws which used to vary from state to state before a bad federal law was passed.)

(x) other legitimate sites would be affected
(x) It is useless against anonymous proxies
(x) Requires immediate total cooperation from everybody at once
(x) Anyone could anonymously destroy anyone else's career or business

Specifically, your plan fails to account for

( ) Laws expressly prohibiting it
(x) Open relays in foreign countries
( ) Jurisdictional problems
(x) Eternal arms race involved in all filtering approaches
(x) Technically illiterate politicians
(x) Proxies

and the following philosophical objections may also apply:

(x) Ideas similar to yours are easy to come up with, yet none have ever been shown practical
(x) Any scheme based on censorship is unacceptable
(x) Blacklists suck
( ) Whitelists suck
(x) We should be able to talk about it without being censored
(x) Countermeasures should not involve sabotage of public networks
( ) Why should we have to trust you and your servers?
( ) Incompatiblity with open source or open source licenses
(x) Feel-good measures do nothing to solve the problem
(x) I don't want the government looking at my surfing habits

Furthermore, this is what I think about you:

(x) Sorry dude, but I don't think it would work.
( ) This is a stupid idea, and you're a stupid person for suggesting it.

To answer your question... (1)

MadEE (784327) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259078)

What have you accomplished by blocking accidental exposure?
Unfortunately the law has very little leeway for accidental exposure, in may places (including Canada) even having these images in your browser's cache could land you in jail for a long time or at least make your life a living hell. Couple with it the fact there are a hell of a lot of people whom child pornography disgusts. We are after-all talking about one of the most extreme abuses of a child, that is enough to turn many people's stomach. I think a lot is accomplished, particularity when it's easy to get around (a simple page warning the user with an option to continue onto the site would be better IMHO though).

Child pornography should be legal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17259162)

Acts of child exploitation should be illegal, but not the images.

I never really thought that child porn laws affected me until my daughter was born. I regulary post pics of her to flickr and I am constantly worried about what is appropriate or not, it's insane. Child pornography is a pretty fuzzy slope, and I've heard stories of other well-intentioned parents getting burned before. Having these laws just stifles and restricts normal people, while letting child molestors go unnoticed and underground.

I also feel compelled to post this mesage AC since there is such hysteria with this subject. I'm sure others who would otherwise post support for image legalization won't because of potential accusations.

The hell it should (1)

SilverJets (131916) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260948)

NO,absolutely not. Child porn images should never be legal and nothing anyone says could convince me otherwise.

If you have concerns over an image you are posting to flickr then just don't post that image. It is pretty simple.

Trying hard to understand (1)

ericlondaits (32714) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259312)

I'm trying hard to understand the purpose of this, to no avail...

First, I think it's ridiculous to block Child Porn from people who might accidentally stumble upon it. If you come across a CP site your free to easily close the window or to register the address and take appropriate measures (report the IP address to authorities or something). I can't think of any other illegal activity where the state is concerned from people accidentally witnessing it while they don't do anything about it.

Second, I assume we agree that someone actually looking for CP won't be stopped because of this filtering. Perhaps he'll have to work harder to access the site, but there are many ways around ISP filtering.

Third, the article talks about "protecting children online". Are they concerned about children accidentally (or willingly) accessing CP? The younger a child is, the bigger the chance he/she has to access what would otherwise be considered child porn without requiring the net... sometimes looking in the mirror is enough. I'd be more concerned about the child posing in the picture than about a child that might be looking at it. I guess most parents would like to shield their kids from all porn, and not just the more illegal ones.

Nice move.... (1)

Hap76 (995519) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259472)

Well, the ISPs can prevent their customers from using lots of sites they don't like in the name of "protecting the children". The few people who either don't trust the ISPs to make those choices for them or who are child pornographers, etc. will circumvent it - but the ways in which they might do so may be easier for government(s) to monitor. As long as only a few people circumvent the restrictions, the signal/noise ratio is high, making monitoring of those means worthwhile. The Canadian gov't might even presume evil of users circumventing the blocking ISPs. And of course, no large business would ever abuse the privilege of controlling its customers' access to information...

It's kind of like a war - mine the easy way, put snipers on the hard way. Of course, this would be war on one's own citizens/customers, but that's a minor detail.

Those who disagree with this law are pedos!! (2, Funny)

madhatter256 (443326) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259674)

If you disagree with this law or feel it isn't necessary then you are giving gas to the car that is the exploitation of children. Might as well support child furry-porn, or furries in general, or zoophiles, and child labor. There are a lot of sick people out there and there are steps needed to be taken in order to stop such retardation from spreading!

As long as this law doesn't breach the rights of law-abiding citizens, then I'm all for it. I believe the canadian government fully reviewed this law so that it was as impartial as it can be and does not affect those who are already innocent.

Re:Those who disagree with this law are pedos!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17259996)

"stop from spreading"? Pedophilia is a contagious disease you say?

Re:Those who disagree with this law are pedos!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17260706)

RTFA

This isnt a Law, its a censhorship initiative from cybertips.ca / major ISP

Fear of the Bogeyman and Legislating Morality (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259728)

Cybertip claims after all that they "only" have about 800 sites on their list, compared to millions of regular porn sites).

And of those 800 sites (the FBI, by contrast, say there's hundreds of thousands!), 'll bet that 99.9% of them contain, at best, questionable content. That is, they offer content that may offend some, may or may not be considered illegal (in any number of jurisdictions), and most definitely do not contain of anyone having sex. The other 0.1% I'll leave aside.

The truth of the matter is there are, and have always been, many sites that are designed to appeal to prurient interests. So what else is new,right? These sites do not cross any line that would make them subject to being shut down by local authorities. They want to stay on the "legal" side, and typically prefer to stay on the "legal and innocent enough" side, because they don't want the attention, but more importantly, their income is based on credit card receipts. In recent years, credit card companies have implemented policies refusing payment to such sites.

So, let's call them "girlie" sites, because that what they are. Girlie sites with a lot of suggestive poses and clothing, but little (if ever) nudity, and definitely no sex of any kind. And if that sounds too benign, note that these are the very sites you read about in the papers when they get shut down. The headlines, of course, are very different.

Now as to the matter of "harm", well that's a legitimate question. A parent that allows their child to engage in any kind of modelling, prurient or otherwise, may be harming that child. Dr. Phil would say, "Yes, they definitely are being harmed, exploited and abused." On the other hand, if the content of Myspace is any indication, that conclusion doesn't reconcile with the attitudes and mores of today's kids (or parents, it seems), and doesn't take into account the parents' or child's wishes, irrespective of how outsiders may judge them.

The people who do commit real crimes against children typically are family relatives or friends of the family. They don't have websites.

This getting together of ISPs under the pretext of protecting children is disigenuous and dangerous. The motivation for this and similar actions I see as two-fold. First, most parents aren't being very good parents (all too busy, right?), and the internet was never designed to be "kid-friendly." Removing access to content that isn't suitable for kids is a legitimate, but highly debatable, goal. Second, most people have a strong dislike for prurient subject matter, and have an even stronger disklike for prurient subject matter that involves anyone under the mythical age of 18. If you can't convince the site owners, the models, or their parents to stop, the goal becomes legislating away access for the customers. The scenario could be best described as, "Yeah, it's not illegal, but we're not going to let you watch it." and is simply legislating morality.

What's with all the kid porn stories lately? (3, Interesting)

nightfire-unique (253895) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259810)

The human race is fascinating... here we are in the midst of the following events:

- An ongoing, unjustified war in Iraq which has killed between 100,000 and 750,000 people,
- The ongoing occupation of Palestine which has, just in the past 6 months, resulted in hundreds of assassinations and "collateral" deaths
- The recent war in Lebanon which killed over 300 children under 12 (you are concerned about the children, right?)
- The use of cluster bombs in southern Lebanon, leaving hundreds of thousands of minelets on school grounds, in forests, and in back yards,
- The ongoing massacres in Darfur,
- The ongoing war between the Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tigers,
- The potential threat of a nuclear exchange between Iran and Israel,
- The growing national debt and deficit of the United States,
- Global climate change,
- Governmental interference with scientific studies, and non-scientific policy decisions
- The return of so-called "morality" (read: christian morality, highly offensive to an atheist like me) into the US legal system
- The depletion of our world's natural resources at an alarming rate
- The erosion of the public domain and privatization of all information
- Continual attacks on the US electoral system

And what are we talking about? Sex. Children are dying and being horribly maimed from the bombs we build, sell, and drop. And we're concerned with sex. The US has 1/4 of the world's prison population, and we're concerned with Sex. Be it gay marriage, under-18 porn, or buying sex toys in Texas. We're on the verge of running out of oil - a mainstay of our global economy. Our environment is heating more quickly than ever witnessed by humans. We have leader-fueled rhetoric causing the destruction of entire neighborhoods. And we talk about Sex.

Meanwhile... (1)

suitepotato (863945) | more than 7 years ago | (#17259892)

They continue giving their teens and pre-teens web cams, high speed Internet, and computers in the privacy of their bedroom and not in the family room where the parents *might* once in a while take notice of what they are up. Silly me. The family room is for cable and satellite television where a plethora of channels market sex to them right under the watchful eye of mom and dad who never think to just maybe turn the channel to Discovery Science or History Channel International.

Nope, it's that army of sex predators twisting their kids like Darth Sidious. Ooh, they've found the phantom menace...

Yeah, geek humor aside, this does remind me of the witch hunts of old, the commie hunts of the 50s, and the satanic cult hunts of the 80s. Always some nefarious group to place the blame on rather than the as usual incompetent parenting.

Yikes (1)

jon3k (691256) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260156)

Well hello slippery slope. Look I hate the exploitation of children as much as anyone, especially sexual exploitation, it makes my blood boil. But, the fact of the matter is this sets a dangerous precedent. The question is obvious - what will they block "for" you to "protect" you next?

Misguided efforts (1)

^_^x (178540) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260450)

I think the only real impact we'll see is unrelated sites being blocked with no real explanation as to how they got on the list, as with most blacklists. Also, we may eventually see people being raided/arrested mistakenly for... I don't know... going to a site that springs a blocked popup ad on them?

While I'm predicting the worst, I expect that as part of the filtering, people will now find that there are logs of every URL they've accessed in the few cases where those logs don't already exist. Usually they don't matter (ISP server logs, etc) but now they may be skimmed to profile net users' habits for law enforcement agencies like CSIS.

Ultimately, if this isn't scrapped in the early stages, expect its reach to spread first across other kinds of porn, then P2P sites, and looking at the history of Canadian Customs & Revenue Agency, eventually we'll have any sites they disagree with blocked, for example, for expressing certain opinions. (Look up all the books that customs has confiscated for no legally acceptable reason...)

Then again, not nearly as many people have been afraid to speak out against this as I thought, so it's also possible that it'll be gone within a year of its implementation.

Due process? (1)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 7 years ago | (#17260496)

Whatever happened to due process?

If these sites contain child pornography, wouldn't that be a crime in and of themselves? Shouldn'these sites be taken down?

Okay, what if the sites are out of country you ask? Isn't it still a crime to view them? Instead of blocking them, shouldn't the government be trying to go after people viewing them?

I do not like the idea of an ISP censoring, regardless of how noble it might be.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...