Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Because You Should Know

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  • Jeremy Andrew,

    My thoughts too. Child pornography that requires the abuse of actual children is obviously abhorrent, exploitative and illegal, and I don't think anyone here would support it.
    ..
    But there's a middle ground - say, drawings or animations of child sex abuse that appear intended to arouse desire in paedophiles - that requires careful attention: it doesn't require abuse for its production, but it could normalise or encourage abuse.

    Creep happens. There have been many, many things blocked or banned from all sorts of places on either 'kiddie porn' or 'might incite the pedophiles' grounds. Camera shops that won't hand over pix you've taken of your sprogs in the bath, pictures of kids at play being removed from school websites, etc. Not so much in NZ, but not uncommon in the US.

    Additionally, the depictions of child sex that don't involve abusing actual real children (FYI - Lisa Simpson isn't real). Obviously not a practise many will stand up to support, but I think there is an obvious double-standard that doesn't get pointed out often: molesting kids is wrong, mmkay? There's laws against that.
    Killing people is also a no-no, likewise, against any number of laws. Apparently CGI kids being molested is nearly as bad as real kids because is encourages the pervs to go out and touch real kids. But also apparently, CGI people being murdered is fine, as are highly detailed cinematic representations of slaughter & mayhem on big and small screens everywhere - I'm told there's no sufficiently reliable research linking TV violence with actual violence (not sufficient enough to ban it anyways).

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 838 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Regardless of media, 'objectionable' is a subjective term, and I sometimes have problems with the way it's been applied.

    K, fair nuff. That is consistent :)

    I understand Sacha's point about the list, if published, becoming a menu for perverts but how can they consider (if indeed, they are considering) taking punitive action against someone on the basis of trying to access something that no-one has indicated is illegal/unsavoury?

    If all you get from the blocking is a page such as Emma indicated, then obviously no illegal activity has taken place.

    Frequent hits of blocks might put you on a list of DIA interest I guess. But if they came and searched your computer, there would still have to be illegal stuff on it in order for it to go further.

    I know nothing about how paedophiles collect their material, but I wonder how much this software will stop. If it's torrented or emailed in zip files then this system won't do anything?

    Kyles from Otago

    Argh. :)

    Tis true, lived here almost as long as in Auckland now. And last time I went beyond Auckland airport was 2001.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6157 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Tis true, lived here almost as long as in Auckland now.

    You can take the boy out of the Shore, Kyle, but...

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3624 posts Report Reply

  • Stewart,

    And without dying, Kyle has gone to a better place .

    Te Ika A Maui - Waitakere… • Since Oct 2008 • 562 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I know nothing about how paedophiles collect their material, but I wonder how much this software will stop. If it's torrented or emailed in zip files then this system won't do anything?

    I've seen a '90% peer to peer' figure bandied around, but no basis for it. But if you think about how you would go about spreading illegal material without getting caught, sticking it up on a static website isn't going to be high on your list, is it?

    But if they came and searched your computer, there would still have to be illegal stuff on it in order for it to go further.

    And I will say, as far as good things go, 'on your computer' no longer includes 'in your cache'.

    It is possible, with the stuff I do in the course of a day's work, I have a higher chance of running across this kind of stuff than a 'normal' (don't know other meanings etc) person would, which means I have a higher chance of doing it repeatedly and becoming a 'person of concern' for the DIA. But in a decade of pron-surfing and writing and commenting, I've never run across any child pornography, not once.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4332 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    I know nothing about how paedophiles collect their material, but I wonder how much this software will stop. If it's torrented or emailed in zip files then this system won't do anything?

    ... or if you get it through a web proxy in Ruritania. Motivated people can get round it.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1094 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    You can take the boy out of the Shore, Kyle, but...

    Which raises the question of whether you're still a shore girl or a westie.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6157 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    But in a decade of pron-surfing and writing and commenting, I've never run across any child pornography, not once.

    And even if you did run across it, and quickly backed out, then suddenly got searched by the police and had a couple of images in your cache, the police are quickly going to realise that you're not the person they're looking for.

    Hundreds of images in folders, different story.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6157 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    That's what happens in Britain. Here in NZ you'll get one of these. Our system will at least be honest.

    Can't quite get my head around this, So if you click on the unpublished URL, you will be redirected to the warning screen telling you why the site is blocked. Your redirected visit to this warning page will be logged and if you are directed to this warning page enough you will be investigated by the DIA? So the DIA comes around to investigate you, no doubt they can get a search warrant on the basis that they had redirect your browser enough times, but I'm curious on exactly what charge are they are going to be pursuing people or on what grounds will they be issued a search warrant.

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1295 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Which raises the question of whether you're still a shore girl or a westie.

    The 'which kind of Aucklander are you?' Facebook quiz informed me that I was a westie, and we know how reliable those things are.

    (Anyway, I was born in Venezuela to a Cajun father and an Irish/Ngai Tahu mother. The Shore upbringing is the least of my problems. Heh.)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3624 posts Report Reply

  • The Rabbi T. White,

    And even if you did run across it, and quickly backed out, then suddenly got searched by the police and had a couple of images in your cache, the police are quickly going to realise that you're not the person they're looking for.

    Hundreds of images in folders, different story.

    Looks like you've just pointed out another flaw: it's introducing a quick and easy way to troll people outside the boundaries of the internet without having to leave the keyboard...

    The loquacious version for the less technically inclined: your computer is not secure. Not even slightly. The ease with which malicious software can be installed on your computer cannot be overrated. Said malicious software that has the potential for someone to completely control your machine without your knowledge. To make as many requests and save as many pictures from as many websites in as many folders as whoever is controlling it may feel like.

    While it is arguable that people can do this now, there is currently no real valid way to anonymously tip off the police. An investigation will not be conducted from a random call from a phone box. Details of how they have knowledge of their alleged activities, etc. will at least be sought before anyone even lifts a pen to write down a name.

    With instant flagging / monitoring of people from their browsing, this has removed the greatest barrier to entry - aside from the technical knowledge, but plenty of people have that - of someone who has a grudge against you totally ruining your life in a matter of minutes.

    Hell, the person doesn't even need to have a grudge against you. The internet has nurtured a particular culture of schadenfreude known as "lulz" wherein the aim is to upset and grief as many people as possible by whatever means necessary. This is well and truly giving people means - government sponsored ones.

    Hmmm. Somehow my explanation became a novel. Sorry about that, but it's important people are aware of all the potential forms of abuse that can arise from this.

    I'll just say to the "It's worth the risk in the name of the children!" replies, please believe me that this piece of technology will in no way hamper people who actually desire to see illegal sexual material. Even if child pornography rings did just consist of a website that you went to (they don't), bypassing the filtering is so simple that any teenager who has ever wanted to access Facebook at school during class hours knows how to do it. Why bother?

    Since Jul 2009 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Top notch first post.

    Why bother?

    Too keep some gravy trainers in lattes and plush offices till the cows come home. Oh to have that job....as Mr Lock said

    "There is a difference - a big difference - between a people and those who rule them."

    sincerity.

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1295 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    A male spotted hyena which attempted to mate with a female which succeeded in driving it off, eventually turned to its ten-month-old cub, repeatedly mounting it and ejaculating on it. The cub sometimes ignored this and sometimes struggled 'slightly as if in play'. The mother did not intervene.[56]

    Infants and children in Bonobo societies are often involved in sexual behaviour.[57]

    +

    Bonobos

    The Bonobo, which has a peaceful, egalitarian and matriarchal society, is a fully bisexual species — both males and females engage in sexual behaviour with the same and the opposite sex, with females being particularly noted for engaging in sexual behaviour with each other and at up to 75% of sexual activity being bisexual. Bonobos often use sexual activity to prevent violence and conflict.[61]

    Not such an educational priority on the school curriculum for the powers that be compared to say shame.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality_in_animals

    Because on this issue in NZ is it really OK to ask for help?

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1295 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    I'm not sure exactly what you're trying to say there, Mark, but I find the implications distinctly distasteful and just plain *wrong*.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    I was just thinking about the refusal to disclose a list of blocked sites because it would provide a "shopping list" for sex offenders.

    But hang on. Those sites are blocked. That's the whole freakin' point. How can it matter if we know what they are? If the filtering scheme is in place, we still won't be able to get to them.

    Alternatively, if the filtering isn't robust and is easily evaded, the whole thing is pointless. Unless it's a way to collect potential offenders' information for later investigation...

    I know nothing about how paedophiles collect their material, but I wonder how much this software will stop. If it's torrented or emailed in zip files then this system won't do anything?

    This system won't, but zipped attachments to email can easily be inspected, and torrents can be interfered with.

    Someone on Slashdot a couple of days ago was claiming that your actual traders of kiddie porn post encrypted DVDs to each other, which strikes me as plausible.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2932 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Someone on Slashdot a couple of days ago was claiming that your actual traders of kiddie porn post encrypted DVDs to each other, which strikes me as plausible.

    Arrests have been made in Australia which involved staking out a PO box and waiting for someone to take delivery of actual physical DVDs. So certainly the postal service is being used to some extent. Obviously by Australian standards, this should mean stopping and inspecting every packet.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4332 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    The loquacious version for the less technically inclined: your computer is not secure. Not even slightly. The ease with which malicious software can be installed on your computer cannot be overrated.

    Sounds unlikely. Even if you had images on your machine, having malicious software which put them there would be a good start to a legal defence. If the machine had downloaded images when you could prove you weren't there, that'd also help.

    If the filtering scheme is in place, we still won't be able to get to them.

    Any international proxy server will however. Relatively easy to arrange.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6157 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Any international proxy server will however. Relatively easy to arrange.

    I agree. That's why I followed that paragraph with:

    "Alternatively, if the filtering isn't robust and is easily evaded, the whole thing is pointless. Unless it's a way to collect potential offenders' information for later investigation..."

    I mean, I understand that the point of filtering is implement a legislative responsibility to censor -- in other words, it is to stop you seeing stuff.

    Perhaps I didn't express myself very well. What I wanted to point out is there is a contradiction between the implicit claim that filtering works to stop people seeing stuff, and the claim that a list of said stuff cannot be circulated lest people use it to see stuff.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2932 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Right yes. It does seem to be of limited usefulness. I guess it might deter the less serious offender, those people who aren't hooked up with the right sites/software etc.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6157 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    I'm not sure exactly what you're trying to say there, Mark, but I find the implications distinctly distasteful and just plain *wrong*.

    Because it's easier to vilify than get to the heart of the problem. Not until the sickos are seen as people will we have any hope of truly protecting those who best deserve it. As I remember at school we received a hearty dose of propaganda against these deviants. But never did any figure in authority ever offer assistance to to anyone who felt they may have such a disposition. The grand illusion is that such an urge emerges fully formed in the adult, where in fact it will begin much earlier. prevention rather than punishment is the solution and these dams our societies build offer little in the way of protection against this kind of thing.

    So Lucy just as you state it wrong for me to remind us there is a precedent for this in the animal kingdom, just as you insist it is wrong for me to suggest that elucidation rather than shame will take us closer to solving the problem, and similarly as you imply it is distasteful for me to suggest that would be child molesterors are provided with an outlet to deal with their problem before they touch their first victim, you perpetuate that cycle of shame.

    I don't in any way condone child molestation, I just don't believe that this filter is money well spent in either protecting the victims, finding better ways to shield them from the shame when prosecutions take place, curbing the problem or even in anyway coming to terms with the full extent of the problem.

    Was Peter Ellis the only victim in this travesty?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Hugh_McGregor_Ellis

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1295 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    "The boy who made the original complaint was moved to another creche where his mother again accused a male creche worker of sexually abusing her son. No charges were laid."

    your taxed dollar • Since Mar 2008 • 1295 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    You seem to be implying that Peter Ellis is a victim of society's failure to offer some form of early intervention to those afflicted with a 'disposition' to molest children. For the record, there is no evidence that the massive injustice dealt to Ellis stems from anything other than a ghastly moral panic. Unless you're prepared to lend your energies to his full and complete exoneration you'd do well to leave the poor guy out of whatever it is that you're trying to prove.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3353 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    So Lucy just as you state it wrong for me to remind us there is a precedent for this in the animal kingdom, just as you insist it is wrong for me to suggest that elucidation rather than shame will take us closer to solving the problem, and similarly as you imply it is distasteful for me to suggest that would be child molesterors are provided with an outlet to deal with their problem before they touch their first victim, you perpetuate that cycle of shame.

    No, that's cool, I just couldn't tell from the quotes given whether you were saying that or making the old gays = pedophiles argument. The former has much merit, the latter...really doesn't. I withdraw and apologise.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I have just been emailed a media release by Trevor Henry of the DIA. It appears to be a reaction to the media attention the filtering is now attracting. In the interests of fairness, I'm going to reproduce the whole thing here, and not comment on it, at least immediately.


    Media Release 16 July 2009


    Web filter will focus solely on child sex abuse images

    A filtering system to block websites that host child sexual abuse images will be available voluntarily to New Zealand internet service providers (ISPs) within a couple of months, Internal Affairs Deputy Secretary, Keith Manch, said today.

    The Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, funded with $150,000 in this year’s Budget, will be operated by the Department in partnership with ISPs, and will focus solely on websites offering clearly objectionable images of child sexual abuse, which is a serious offence for anyone in New Zealand to access.

    “The filtering system is a response to community expectations that the government and ISPs should do more to provide a safe internet environment,” Keith Manch said. “It is not a silver bullet that will prevent everyone from accessing any sites that might contain images of child sexual abuse, but it is another important tool in the Department’s operations to fight the sexual abuse of children.

    “The distribution and viewing of images of this abuse – wrongly called child pornography – is trading in human misery. It is the result of real children being sexually abused and exploited in the worst possible way. Each time anyone anywhere in the world accesses one of those images, the child depicted is victimised again.”

    Keith Manch said the filtering list will not cover e-mail, file sharing or borderline material.

    “Anyone trying to access websites offering child sex abuse pictures will receive a screen message saying the site has been blocked because it is illegal,” Keith Manch said. “The Department is developing a code of practice, which will be publicly available, to provide assurance that only website pages containing images of child sexual abuse will be filtered and the privacy of ISP customers is maintained. An independent reference group will also be established to oversee the operation. Anyone who feels that their access to a website has been wrongly blocked will be able to ask anonymously for the filter to be checked. The filter will not be used for law enforcement. “

    The filter was successfully trialled with Ihug, TelstraClear, Watchdog and Maxnet over two years. It filters out over 7000 objectionable websites with no noticeable impact on internet performance.

    “We understand that Internet NZ is happy with our plans but the society will be able to review the hardware setup to ensure it complies with industry best practice.

    “Joining the filtering programme is voluntary and if any ISP subsequently is unhappy it will be able to withdraw. This is another way of ensuring that the Department gets the filter right.”

    The Department has entered into a partnership with ECPAT New Zealand, part of a global organisation the purpose of which is the elimination of child prostitution and pornography and trafficking of children for sexual purposes.

    “ECPAT is operating a hotline through its website (www.childalert.org.nz) so that members of the public can report suspect sites, not already identified by the Department.”

    The Department will not disclose the 7000 objectionable websites which have been compiled through its own forensic work and with its international law enforcement partners.

    “If we did, inevitably some people would visit them in the interim, effectively facilitating further offending and making the Department party to the further exploitation of children,” Keith Manch said.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4332 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    “If we did, inevitably some people would visit them in the interim, effectively facilitating further offending and making the Department party to the further exploitation of children,”

    That implies that at some point in the future the list would be made available, which would be good.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2932 posts Report Reply

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