back to article Child abusers adopt blackmail tactics

Child abusers are increasingly resorting to online threats and blackmail instead of 'grooming' children, a specialist police child protection agency warns. The UK's Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre said that online child abuse offenders are turning from winning their intended victims' trust with gifts and …


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  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Isn't that progress ?

    Instead of catching them on not-always-obvious grooming charges, the cops can now do them in for blatant hacking and extortion - crimes which are rather easier to judge.

    I'd say that qualifies as progress.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh good

    If this keeps up then maybe talking to children won't be considered evidence of being a peadophile anymore.

  3. Anonymous Coward


    "CEOP's latest intelligence report also notes an increase in the use of P2P technology to distribute images of child abuse"

    Oh dear oh dear. These people are very slow. Using P2P over 5 years ago and I was deleting about 1/5 of what i downloaded due to the people in it being under 18 and there were a few that were pretty horrendous. Went back the web after I got sick of not being able to trust the filenames as far as I could read them.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Increase in P2P child porn

    One factor to consider is that a potentially very large % of P2P consumers of child porn aren't actually potential child abusers.

    People who download donkey porn aren't necessarily interested in having sex with donkeys, or even aroused by the idea of having sex with donkeys - it is just something different and new to be watched.

    I'm not making a statement against cracking down on child porn - I agree that the stuff should be wiped out. I just don't think we can correlate more child porn file traffic = more children being abused.

  5. Mister_C

    But at least FaceParty is in the clear

    Because we all know that they won't allow anyone over 35 on.

    At all.


  6. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    re: Oh good

    More likely they will still consider it evidence - but now not talking to children will also be considered evidence of being such

  7. Edward Rose

    I got this far and just stopped....

    "Growing use of mobile phones to access the net means parents can't control the child's internet access as easily as in the past."

    Yes they can, it's called the 'Don't give them a completely pointless piece of bling' method.

    Or, Nokia could produce a phone which can only manage incoming phone calls and incoming texts.

    Oh wait, I think they probably do (although I'm not sure), simple as payg on a cheap handset.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Increase in P2P child porn

    More people able/wanting to view it = more demand/money from it = more photos = more abuse.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    @But at Least FaceParty is in the clear

    Errr I think not.

    According to Police profilers most active paedos are in the 18-24 years old age group.

  10. A J Stiles

    Evidence of desperation

    To me, this just looks like evidence of desperation on the part of the abusers. (It's also evidence that nobody at any level has any sense of computer security; from the clueless users who need to be shown where the "any" key is and will gladly part with their bank details despite having been told that their bank would never, ever contact them by e-mail, to the software vendors who make their binaries easy to copy so that they get widely used but conceal their Source Code so that independent help is unavailable, to the governments who not only condone but encourage this shonky practice. But we already knew that.)

    I think we should give serious consideration to simply banning everyone under 18 from using the Internet. What are they going to do when there are no children to abuse?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @ Increase in P2P child porn/AC

    "More people able/wanting to view it = more demand/money from it = more photos = more abuse."

    "More people able/wanting to view it = more demand/ - ok

    More money from it = more photos - no money changes hands in p2p sharing - another piece of non-connected illogic. Try again.

  12. Sir Runcible Spoon

    Child abuse (not porn)

    and there I was thinking that most child abuse occured within the family unit rather than from strangers.

    I'm not saying that it isn't worthwhile educating kids about online risks (or just not giving them internet by phone as mentioned above) but it does take away focus from the really BIG problem of child abuse within families.

  13. William Bronze badge

    Pitchforks at the ready.

    I plan a simple test. We fasten securely anyone we suspect of being a peado to a stake. We then surround them with wood and a thousand daily mails. We then set fire to the daily mails.

    If you survive the ordeal, then you are peadophile and we kill you. If you don't then you are free to go.

  14. keiron d

    wait a mo

    "I just don't think we can correlate more child porn file traffic = more children being abused."

    surely more child porn traffic means more children being abused. more demand for the content means more children are abused to generate it.

    i can see the government using this p2p child porn evidence to damn p2p to hell and call everyone who uses torrents and p2p networks criminals...

  15. ratfox


    "According to Police profilers most active paedos are in the 18-24 years old age group."

    Really? I wouldn't have thought that.

    Do they consider 19-years-old with a 16-years-old girlfriend as paedo?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    That's exactly what they did to Usenet in the US - a study came out saying Usenet is full of porn (the hell you say!) and several large ISPs coincidentally decided to drop access to Usenet. Whether they were really concerned about the safety of children or just needed an excuse to reduce services while keeping prices consistent, of course, is up for debate.

  17. William Bronze badge

    Pitchforks at the ready.

    Type your comment here — plain text only, no HTML

  18. Michael

    @ AC 12:24

    >>>More people able/wanting to view it = more demand/money from it = more photos = more abuse.

    There are a couple big, gaping holes in your logic.

    1) We're talking about P2P, here. People aren't generally PAYING for this stuff, so step two in your plan falls a little flat. Increased trafficking of kiddie porn does not imply that new material is being created. It could merely imply that more people are watching it, or that the people who do watch it, are watching MORE of it than before.

    2) More traffic doesn't mean any new material is being created. Example: People enjoy the music of Tupac Shakur, and when he was alive, he was prolific. Now that he's dead, his estate continues to publish previously unreleased tracks. Likewise, it's possible the increase in kiddie porn is previously unreleased material, which does not imply the material is newly created.

    Kiddie porn is bad, but it doesn't logically follow that more of it out there means more kids are being abused.

  19. Iamfanboy

    @ ratfox

    Yes, they do.

    I mind me of a case (well, in California at least) where a guy turned 18, knocked up his 17 year old girlfriend that he'd been dating for two years, the police got involved, now he's on the registered sex offenders list for life.

    I'm becoming more and more in favor of the idea of lowering the limit on child abuse charges to 14 or 13 - any older than that, it can be rape if it's forced, but not statutory rape.

    The problem is, I've known some pretty oversexed 13 year olds.... where can one draw the line?


  20. Graham Marsden

    Jim Gamble and Operation Ore...

    Let us just take a moment to remember that Jim Gamble was Assistant Chief Constable of the National Crime Squad which was responsible for running Operation Ore, a travesty of justice that resulted in innocent people being accused of downloading child porn because their credit card details had been stolen.

    He made exaggerated and, indeed, downright inaccurate statements to the Government and to the House of Lords regarding that matter, so please excuse me if I take his and the CEOP's current concerns about, for instance, the "increase" in use of P2P or VOIP "creating an even greater risk" of abuse with a large pinch of salt.

    A quick read of their report shows that eg they're still bang alongside the idea of criminalising computer generated images because "The ability to generate images of children, without even having to meet a child, is a useful tool for offenders who can then go on to use that image either to increase their status in paedophile networks or in the grooming process." They also seem to want a "report abuse" button being available on social networking sites that goes *directly* to them (presumably to increase their status in the law enforcement community?)

    I have no desire to protect those who abuse children, however I do have a desire to ensure that we do not get more draconian laws or state monitoring of our web usage introduced in this country based on "Won't someone think of the children!" arguments.

  21. Mike

    another witch hunt?

    so they are going by the assumption that if 1000 new files were released last year, and 500 files are released this year, it would seem that the 1500 files available this year proving without doubt that... assumptions on file numbers alone are idiotic?

    in reality of course the number of videos is a useless measure because of several factors, not only the fact that files are likely to stay around once there, but also the fact that things have moved on - how many people even had the ability to upload such videos 10 years ago? compared with these days where even the typical teenager films their crimes to post on the intertubes

    however the fact remains that the best way to protect children from sexual abuse is to stop them being alone with the most dangerous pedos who are most likely to abuse them - they call themselves "parents" - i say we start locking up all these "parent" people as a precaution just in case, it will also help prevent non-sexual forms of abuse which are also almost always caused by these "parent" people

    of course we won't mention the fact "pedo" includes videos of lawful sex between 16/17 year olds (who can even be arrested for videos of their own lawful activities!)... we also won't mention the various other screwed up laws that try to make boyfriends and girlfriends having consensual sex a worse offense than rape

  22. spam

    What a surprise

    Pigs lift their snouts from the trough for a moment to hype the threat that keeps it filled.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    Reading between the lines...

    A teen girl posts something regrettable on MySpace and a "paedophile" (who probably isn't much older) finds it. He then uses it to badger her into exposing herself and on her webcam. Does that sound about right? Needless to say, that's an a-hole thing to do, but let's keep it in perspective.

    The part about child porn on P2P networks may well be true, based on some of the file names I see, but remember P2P files are shared for free. It doesn't support child abuse any more than pirating music supports the record industry.

  24. Tonto Popaduopolos

    @ ratfox, Iamfanboy

    "Do they consider 19-years-old with a 16-years-old girlfriend as paedo?" - No, not in the U.K.

    The problem is, I've known some pretty oversexed 13 year olds.... where can one draw the line?" - The line is drawn at 16 years old here in the U.K.

  25. Mark

    re:@ Increase in P2P child porn

    However, unlike real physical acts, a recording of child porn is not reduced by how many people watch it.

    A thousand people watching it means that a thousand people *watched* it. If it increases to ten thousand, ten thousand *watched* it. It doesn't mean they had to make 10 times as many movies to match demand.

    If this stuff was being *sold* then there would be 10x more money and 10x more incentive to increase available "works", but AFAIK, this stuff isn't for sale. There's no incentive to go to the danger, expense and trouble of making another movie *just* because many more people are watching it.

    All the increased traffic is saying is that there is more traffic in that item.

    Nothing else.

  26. Mark

    @Tonto Popaduopolos

    No, 16is where the line *is* drawn. But the severity of the punishment has gone up yet the validity of that age has not been reassessed.

    KP laws are made up from the "your six year old daughter" angle, but applies to "your 15 year old girlfriend". One law HAS been written with the coda "only applies to children (of less than 14 years of age)". Good. Do that more.

    And if you're 16 or 17 and take a picture of you in the nude, even though you and your G/F can have sex and see each other naked legally, passing this *picture* on is illegal.

    See how stupid the law is? How is that law protecting the kid from molestation when the only person making the illegal porn is themselves?

  27. sharon farrer

    never mind jim gamble...

    well said tonto popaduopolos, the line is indeed drawn at 16 here in the UK

    You can have all the logical/illogical arguments you like from the safety of your cosy desktops, but hey, be sure not to let your kid post a photo of themselves playing innocently in a field or a backyard (and I'm not talking about just talking about lusty teens, I'm, talking about 5 year olds or younger too) and watch the paedos swoop on them. Next thing you know your kids featured on a pervs channel hosted by a corporate sex offender-take your pick-youtube, myspace, facebook...and the comments these paedos make about your kids' innocent pics are WRONG. Would you like me to give you a list of these scumbags names and web hidey -holes? No problem-just hope my computer can handle it coz there's that many of them.

    I'm not working with the UK on this-I've gone to the USA coz nothing gets done here about this child-murdering rapist bunch of scum. Don't forget that's what they are, and sorry to sound harsh but some of you sound like paedo trolls. Maybe I'm paranoid but it's hardly surpising there's that many of them about. PJFI have assisted at least 250 of them to jail in the past 12 months and that's the tip op the iceberg. The web is still riddled with them. We've need to take a leaf out the USAs book with regard to exposing them otherwise more of our kiddies will be raped and killed. Fact . This matter is too serious for detached intellectual arguments about logic and P2P and usenet in the 60s

  28. Graham Marsden

    @sharron farrer

    > sorry to sound harsh but some of you sound like paedo trolls. Maybe I'm paranoid

    Well I'm sorry to sound harsh, but you do, indeed, sound paranoid if you think that anyone here is a "paedo troll".

    In fact you sound like a News of the World "Won't Someone Think of the Children!" troll.

    I have no doubt, given what you say about "exposing" people, that you'd support some form of "Megan's Law", failing to realise that, in the UK, the Police know where over 97% of people on the Sex Offenders Register are, whereas in the USA, the figure is only 70%, ie 30% of their offenders have completely evaded official surveillance and monitoring and that's not to mention the people who are completely innocent of any crime, but who have been attacked by vigilantes who have mistaken them for paedophiles.

    And please don't forget that the majority of offences against children are committed by close family members, not random strangers...

  29. Talamasca


    By Michael Posted Friday 12th September 2008 21:18 GMT

    “… but it doesn't logically follow that more of it out there means more kids are being abused”.

    Nor is it logical to assume that paedophiles just miraculously stopped abusing more children simply because it doesn’t follow your train of thought.

    Please leave the blinders at the door.

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