How are they going to prove that?
I can't imagine how there could be a way to distinguish in a court of law between befriending children and befriending children with intent to molest.
The European Parliament has asked the EU to make online "grooming" a criminal offense. Today, as part of a report adopted in Strasbourg by a vote of 591-2 in favor (with 6 abstentions), MEPs called for the criminalization of "all types of sexual abuse of children," including online grooming. Grooming refers to adults …
"The EP report also proposed to make providing online chat rooms and forums where pedophile activities take place a crime."
And how the hell are they going to do this exactly? Basically you're saying that all chat rooms and forums are going to be illegal, 'cos (I'm assuming) any chat room or forum could be used for this.
Why not ban the internet entirely, or stop people going outside? Maybe gouge people's eyes off, or chop of their fingers to possibly prevent looking or typing.
I've a vision of 2000ADs Judge Death here. A future where it's been decided all crime is committed by the living, so life itself is declared a crime. Suddenly this doesn't seem as far fetched as it once did.
I'm all for 'think of the children' but for craps' sake, the EU needs to stop being so paranoid and focus on something achievable and realistic. For a change.
This post has been deleted by its author
Having seen examples of where a police officer is pretending to be an under-aged child, I don’t think there will be problems in providing the evidence to convict a genuine paedophile. What’s likely to happen is that new legislation will introduce another sexting type of problem. A conversation between adolescents that would be ok if carried out face-to-face could become a serious crime if carried out online. Plus, the service provider could be in trouble. You’re likely to see all servers hosting unmoderated line-by-line communication being moved outside the EU.
Hello! These aren't real places! "Cyberspace" doesn't actually have any "space". Nothing happens "in" it. Its just fast email. This is an "after the fact" crime. If you are convicted of being a paedophile, they can go back and classify all your pre-crime communication as "grooming."
It all smacks of:
a) creating multiple offences for the same action so they can implement plea-bargaining.
b) a power grab by the EP, unnecessarily usurping national law.
Mines the one with the EFTA membership application in the pocket.
I don't like the way the concept of "grooming" keeps getting pushed as a reason for laws. In this instance, it does make some sense. There is some.opportunity for long-term, unsupervised persuasion. And that also gives a chance for there to be a usable body of evidence.
But there are less obvious problems. Age of consent laws vary across the EU. There are stupidities over child porn, such as the UK's age-16 consent law and age-18 child porn law. And with so many services governed by US law, can a different age limit for parental permission work?
I hope we can avoid the trap of "teenagers are children". Perhaps the most we can hope for is that the idiots get embroiled in EU-wide negotiation which keeps them away from the legislatures.
"The EP report also proposed to make providing online chat rooms and forums where pedophile activities take place a crime."
so by extension, all parks should be made illegal because pedophile activities take place there?...er...as said already "speaking to people" is not a crime in itself and i think perhaps it should remain that way. Harrassment, lewdness etc...are surely already crimes in a real or virtual environment ?
Simplest solution is to make all websites and chatrooms and email access adult only.
Surely? I mean, just think of the damage that could be done to a child if it saw an image af a naked adult. Or a dead person. Or - no its too horrible - a child had a conversation with an adult.
While we are at it how about installing cctv in the houses of all children, to ensure that their parents and family members aren't abusing them...
Adults should not "befriend" children.
Adults have the responsibility of protecting children and educating them, not being friends with them.
It is a sickness of today's society that adults consider having to be friends with children. Becoming a friend is often viewed as facilitating communication. Unfortunately the opposite is true : if the adult becomes a friend, he loses authority and his views become dismissable.
Adults online have absolutely zero reason to try and get the phone or address of a child. I'm going to be totally, shockingly politically incorrect here and say that, outside of family ties, adults should have zero interest in other kids. Beyond polite enquiry to a parent about his health and scholarship status, a normal adult should not devote any more interest in a child that is not part of his family or his best friends' family.
And I'll even go one step further and say that, outside of security or behavioral issues, an adult should not even speak to a child he does not know and that has not been presented to him by someone who he does know that has some family tie with the child.
Of course, online it is sometimes a bit more difficult to find out who you're talking with, but a child will undoubtedly give himself away at some point by using some school expression or other construct that an adult would not use. At that point, an adult should be aware of the situation and behave accordingly in any future correspondence.
Children need to be friends with children, not with adults. Children need to make their own mistakes and understand their own lessons, which is something they cannot do with an adult because, by default, an adult "knows". There is no room for a child to experiment life with someone who already knows about it.
Without going back to the old days when children were considered well behaved if they never opened their mouth and sat still, we need to learn to guide children without either lording over them nor doting on them. Which also implies that we all need to become proper, responsible adults. Maybe that last bit is also part of the problem.
One problem here is surely that the age of consent varies across the EU from a low of 13 in Spain to 17. Prospective member Turkey is 18 whilst, fo reasons I canb only speculate on, it is 12 in the Vatican City (which falls outside of the EU). There are also numerous conditions regarding age differences, position of trust and so on.
"The EP report also proposed to make providing online chat rooms and forums where pedophile activities take place a crime."
So, that's IRC gone then. Oh, and any unmoderated forum. And moderated forums with private messaging.
Get your Free Speech while you can! Last run, limited units available!
Frankly, I'm sick of all this moral absolutism.
Just ban minors from using the Internet without adult supervision, and create an offence of failing to supervise a minor properly while they are accessing the Internet. Then there will be nobody there for the paedophiles to go after.
The most obvious- "How was your first day of secondary school? What're you wearing?" etc etc could be prosecuted.
Hopefully they'd not be prosecuted too much as they've not actually done anything disgusting in real life (Maybe a fine / caution the first few times, with more serious punishments for repeat offenders), but you can see this becoming an emotive subject where they're treated more harshly than if they'd hacked a little girl to pieces with a very large axe.
If it was just someone talking to someone and the conversation took a wrong turn- or if the kid was pretending to be older- then I can't see how that's at all "dangerous" behaviour.
What if it's just two kids talking about "lewd" subjects? Or an adult just "listening in" to such a conversation- either for their gratification or to keep an eye on what their kids were doing online? How would you prove this for a parent or family member (who are most likely to actually abuse kids- but also could have a legitimate reason and parental consent to listen in)?
Also, how do extraterritorial laws work? If I committed an act that would be a crime in the UK but not wherever I committed it, surely UK law couldn't apply in that other country?
Yeah. That would mean that *every* unmoderated way of online communication is diving headlong towards being illegal per se due to the possibility of abuse. Great, just great.
I am positively SICK of these ideas being floated *each and every time* by playing the pedo-card (if they know they can't get away with the terror-card). Further criminalization of criminals does not get you anywhere and one should be well aware of that. You protect your kids online the same way you do IRL: You teach them not to trust strangers and until you're sure they got the concept you do some parenting and stay by their side instead of parking them in front of the PC.
So what is the true purpose of this?
The "protection of the children" and "extreme pron" lobbies and laws are by their very nature baised toward extreme protectionist measures. Who would want to stand up and say, in a public debate, "This is fucking stupid!" Only a confirmed pedo naturally.
So, to avoid being castigated as a pervert, the politicians go along with the herd. Indeed most seem to want to be seen to be leading the herd. Irrespective of the actual rights or wrongs of what they are proposing or doing.
This proposal to criminalise 'grooming' is going to further seperate men and children. Because if a grown male likes children he is obviously a pedo and raving pervert who needs to be locked up for the sake of society, right? And this is at a time when the school system is trying to encourage men back into teaching at a primary level so that the kids will have at least one male role model in their lives.
The females (both paranoid and politically driven) who are driving this wave of hatred against males are damaging this country far more that they realise. They are not building themselves a lasting monument of the good that they have done. Indeed when the time comes that the roots of the countrys' problems are investigated and the responsibilty for their actions is made public, these women will find that they are revilled as much as the worst monsters in history for distroying the family structures within this country.
Posted AC? Bet your friggin life it's posted AC
You're kidding right? I think I missed the 'irony' tag that should have been on your post because I really can't believe that there are people left in the world who are stupid enough to think that gay men and women are more likely to be paedophiles than straight men and women.
I suggest, if you are being serious, that you go get yourself some statistics and you will see that gay men and women are less likely to be paedophiles than straight churchmen. More offences are committed by men with girls than by men with boys and more are committed by women with boys than women with girls. If this is really your misinformed and ignorant opinion then I suggest you crawl back under your rock and tuck in to a big box of shut the f*ck up.
You are a troll right?
I'm a single dad (there is such a thing believe me). So if I am in a chat room talking to my child?
It is important for children to learn how to deal with adults, in a safe way. However, we seem to be stampeding in the direction of preventing all contact between adults (usually men) and children.
We shouldn't be teaching children to be afraid of men, just to be wary that there are a small number of people out there that are dangerous, and how to tell them apart. Occasionally, they won't be able to, as paedo's can be very clever and manipulative, and there will be a tragedy, which for the family involved is awful, but I'm sorry, no amount of legislation will stop that happening. What it will stop however is the normal, healthy relationships between adults and children which will lead to a generation of children growing up unable to relate to older people at all, which is a great shame for society in my view.
When I grew up, adults were respected. Yes there were a few odd-balls and we all knew who to steer clear of, which we did quite succesfully, without those people being persecuted because they were odd. I would put money on the fact that although odd, none were a threat, just odd.
It's not normal behaviour for any adult to be in a chat room pretending to be 10 and trying to arrange to meet up with a child, but any law the EU or anyone else drafts will not catch that person, they will find another way. It will however "catch" the innocent and their lives will be wrecked by the mere suggestion that there was something going on.
Yes - protect the children as far as we can, but let's not destroy what is left of the social fabric in the meantime.
I'm pretty sure that FB MUST have had some grooming take place at some point, so let's throw the bitch in prison!
But seriously. WoW etc could be classed as this - a 14yo girl plays a character who wears little clothing and talks to a 25yo bloke - who doesn't know she's 14 because it's anonymised - and BANG! You're under arrest for grooming! And I thought WackyJack was bad!
Grooming is already illegal under UK law and has been since 2004. In answer to Adam's question the grooming is proved usually by the lengthy chat logs with stuff like "I can't wait till we meet so I can spend the night with you" etc. to prove the intent. The definition of grooming is in fact very broad in legislation, as it should be (I disagree with the AC here) to cover chat rooms, msn, txt, second life, forums, VoIP, whatever. It isn't talking to children through whatever medium that is the offence, its the relevant INTENT, which is pretty much a cornerstone of UK law. And its for the prosecution to prove that intent, a difficult thing to do so hopefully ensuring only the clearest and worst cases make it to court and not everyone who's ever made a smutty remark to a 15 year old.
A person aged 18 or over (A) commits an offence if having met or communicated with another person (B) on at least two earlier occasions, he intentionally meets B, or travels with the intention of meeting B in any part of the world,at the time, he intends to do anything to or in respect of B, during or after the meeting and in any part of the world, which if done will involve the commission by A of a relevant offence and B is under 16, and A does not reasonably believe that B is 16 or over.
but how's it going to work - with age of consent ranging from 12 to 18 across Europe.
Anyway I stopped talking to teens along time ago due to the whole grooming maddness (used to be part of an anime club where the age range went from 13 to 30.)
And how many teens and preteens are in online games?
It's all bulls--t wont save a soul and will be another ticky box to lock someone up.
But we've already got a grooming law, hence no one under 18 on my IM hosts and no online gaming.
Excuse me, but what the hell are you saying?
First of all, kids don't need to hold all adults in reverential awe. And if you think they do, that's fine but it's your opinion - not a valid basis for legislation. I sure as hell don't feel it's my responsibility to educate all children in sight. They've got parents for that - parents that would do well to stop blaming society and invoking legislation to cover up their shortcomings, I might add.
Second, I'm 28 and an online gamer. Other online gamers are 14 years old. Others are 50, and others are 10. I've got plenty of legitimate reasons to be in a chatroom with any of them. I'd also have plenty of legitimate reasons to be friends with them, if I wanted to.
Third, in the vast majority of cases, I have *no easy way* of knowing their age, nor can they know mine. We can ask, but the other side could easily lie, or we can do some research, which with this fucked-up kind of legislation could be considered an offense in itself. Your idea that sooner or later a kid will always show he is a kid is laughable - but then again, how would you know? You aren't friend to any kid except for your own, right? And, in any case, the "later" in "sooner or later" could well be "too late" in a world where all chats are logged.
Fourth, in the legal world, "kid" could mean 17 and "adult" could mean 20. I can't see any bit of your argument even appear to hold water in that case.
Fifth, the vast majority of abuse happens in the family. The people who are "friends" with the kids are actually less likely to seek to abuse them. Wrap your mind around that.
Sorry, but I have to comment on Pascal Monett's ridiculous suggestion that no adult should have any interest in any young person other than their own.
Outside of my day job I work as a youth worker, providing support and a positive male role model to young people in my local community. According to Pascal Monett, myself and many other volunteers like me should give up this vital, and in most cases, unpaid work, helping to provide a better life and opportunities to young people.
I care and have an interest in the lives of young people in my community because I like the idea of being a member of a society where everyone looks out for everyone else and doesn't lock themselves away out of fear of what others may think.
Online grooming is a serious problem and I have had to deal with the effects and consequences that have seriously damaged a young persons life. It is not something that I ever want to have to deal with again. Any attempt to help stamp it out and make it understood that to initiate a sexual conversation with someone that you know is underage is totally unacceptable has my full support.
You're not going to end up in prison for having a chat with someone underage on WoW, for example, unless you know (because they've told you) that they're underage. If someone tells you that they are 13, for example and you start telling them that you're putting on your wizard hat and robe, then you'll be in trouble and quite rightly.
I'm afraid that you're talking shit.
As a teen I got on with a fair few people who were adults (18->35), as my mother said I was both intelligent and creative enough to be interesting to talk too for both adults and people my own age and people younger then me. I was an avid roleplayer and writer and it was helpful to have people more knowledgable then myself to help me out.
Also that kind of limited view (no one should have interest in the lives and dealings of other peoples familiy's) of world is why so many parents get away with abusing their children. It's why so many children fall through the many cracks in society, family abuse, bullying and a range of other traumas. Your view has nothing to do with being politically correct or not, your view is simply stupid and leads to ever more isolation and suffering.
Again the person most likely to abuse and get away with abusing a child is the childs parents or guardians.
A person can be someones friend but still garner respect, you evidently can't but then that's your problem.
As for kids - stuff em and their worthless parents. Don't look out for nobody else in this world, it'll only land you in the s--t, gotta feel sorry for the kids though, no rolemodels, no real peer groups, no support, paranoid parents or no outlets. Just a load of dips--t parents and vetted government burocrats.
only solution, they should not be allowed to communicate with any others apart from their own kind, or their own good.
The ISPs should have certain IP blocks they use for people with children or vulnerable adults, then we can all just block them from using services, quite simple.
"You're not going to end up in prison for having a chat with someone underage on WoW, for example, unless you know (because they've told you) that they're underage. If someone tells you that they are 13, for example and you start telling them that you're putting on your wizard hat and robe, then you'll be in trouble and quite rightly."
But that sounds hysterical
"Yo DeathBRingerofHell - how's you?"
"Bah it sucked, I had my 13th birthday yesterday."
"I get out my robe and wizard hat."
> Rest of room "lolz"
"Lol don't worry about it. Wanna go on this raid then?"
respect is due to ac 11:56 and various others.
pascal monett is surely trolling, or an idiot, or a misguided Police Officer, or some combination.
we already have a problem with mutual demonisation between "kids" and "adults" because of imagined barriers, how on earth does imposing unenforceable but real (and therefore dangerous) legal barriers do anything to help anyone?
As it stands, this is disastrously worded. Any IRC network - and heck, pretty much every public messaging service - allows a user to create any chatroom they like, on any topic they like, and the admins get no warning of this occuring because it's a cornerstone of online communication that you can, to some extent, do with it what you will. I assume, then, that there will be checks and balances in place where reasonable action taken by administrators upon being notified of infractions will absolve them from guilt?
Otherwise I guess they'll just have to remember how to read minds, or ban everyone just in case.
If you think a friend is someone who will be more likely to dismiss your ideas that someone who isn't, rather than holding them in some regard, you must have some crap friends.
Are you really suggesting adults shouldn't - you know - empathise with children? Engage them in friendly discourse? Meet them on their level? Try to be pleasant, rather than overbearing and above them? Never so much as glance at a child that isn't theirs? Well. That's nurses out the way, for a start, and preschool, and daycares, and playschemes, and the Scouts/Brownies, and teenagers doing... well, basically anything, including going out to the shops of their own volition and picking something up from the corner store or visiting a park.
When you're dealing with kids within any carer/leadership position - especially younger ones, but it's true for any age range - dealing with them as if you are the lord high almighty does make them sit down and shut up but at the end of the day you'll get a lot of really damn staid and boring children. Ratcheting down your mental age a couple of months and joining in with them while maintaining and upkeeping a respect for you both gets them involved and gets them learning, as they'll be a lot more reactive to someone who doesn't intend only to see them from beyond the end of their nose looking down at them.
You are so, so wrong.
Members of a community have relationships with each other. That is what makes it a community. These relationships may just be a nodding aquaintence on the commuter train, they may be shopkeeper to customer, friends or nieghbours, service providers & service receivers. To promote the isolation of members of a community from each other as you suggest will lead to the inevitable breakdown of that community.
A breakdown that is already in progress. In my youth (I did have one dispite the rumours my grandkids try to spread) antisocial behaviour was prevented by anyone and everyone witnessing it. "I'll tell your Mum!" were words to strike fear into the heart of the bravest child. Then people knew each other and looked out for each other, even if it did seem to be like telling tales on the kids. Now if you merely suggest to a parent that little darling(s) might possibly have had something to do with an 'incident' (together with video, fingerprints, DNA samples and relable witnesses) said parent is more likely to deny that THEIR little darling (tm) would ever do anything so heinious! and then take you to court for daring to say such a thing.
I USED to help run a 'club' (OK so I was a trekkie, and THAT is why this will be AC) which had many junior members. These kids (aged from 10(ish) upwards) joined in the meetings and activities of the club. I enjoyed their company and their enthusiasm, so I am obviously another pedo pervert. I put a lot of time and effort into that club and I know that my efforts were appreciated by all of the club members.
I USED to be a first aider. This took time, effort and personal expense. I did this because I thought that I might be able to do some good with these skills. My RN service taught me that everyone should be able to save someone elses life. It is not difficult. I also enjoyed the time at the training courses. The usual people would come along year after year and you got to know people that you would never meet. Some of these were young too.
I no longer take part in either activity and I blame people like you for my, and societies, loss. Now if I hear about a scout group needing leaders I do not apply. When I hear about new and 'interesting' activities that the council are trying to start, I ignore them. Why? Because I would probably have to get a CRB check (because a person HAS to be a pervert to want to do these things don't they?) and though I have an unusual name I do not trust the police to have the correct details for me and I do not want to trust my future life, career & livelyhood on an underpaid data entry person [probably not usering their primary language to input the data either].
I no longer do first aid. I have let my certificates lapse and when asked I say I do not have these qualifications. I do not want to save someones life and be sued for imagined hurts or loss that they FEEL that they suffered because I practised first aid on them and am not a fully qualified doctor.
These breakdowns in society that I have seen and suffered are directly due to people expressing views like yours. YOU have helped to damage society. Are you pleased with yourself?
The gravestone. Because that is where Pascal and friends are taking my country.
Yes, but "joke" doesn't really apply in this case. It always irks me to put "joke" on something that isn't an honest-to-god joke*, just to prevent the kneejerk arsehats from spouting kneejerk arsehattery.
Now, a "tongue in cheek" or "sarcasm" icon, however.
*i.e. something that starts with "I say, I say, I say" and ends with "....because it isn't threatening behaviour, if you own a kangaroo!"**
**Feel free to add the middle bit yourselves. I've done the hard work.
Screw the European Parliament. The garbage bin of posterity is all that befits it.
And screw the Pascal Monetts of this world. You must be infectious, Pascal, for you make me sick. Positively pukingly sick.
Others have already replied at lengths to his drivel, so I'll keep this short. The nib of his discourse is this: "don't talk to my kids, for they might find out how much I lie to them. They shall know naught of the world but what I condescend to tell them. Bar any way a child might find to escape parential tyranny".
It doesn't even deserve a refutation. I wish you a stray bullet, Pascal.
(And don't comfort yourself thinking your heinous talk is politically incorrect. It isn't. Very much not so.)
Actually, no rant, just 2 little additions to above comments. And not a naughty word in sight.
@ Pascal: you are the reason why adults fear to integrate with children, in a healthy way. You are the reason that I refuse to teach martial arts to anyone under the age of 18 - despite parental pressure to do so. You are the reason that I insist on parental presence in the same room when I tutor maths. You are the reason that fewer and fewer adults volunteer to run youth groups, such as Scouts or Cadet forces - which leads the youth to have "nothing to do", the most common excuse for causing trouble. You are the reason that children have no idea how to speak to adults, and that adults have no idea to speak to children other than their own (and often not even that). You are the reason that nobody intervenes when they see a lost child crying for his mum in the middle of a town centre. You are the reason for the breakdown between the generations in the UK today.
I feel sorry for your children if they are taught that all adults should be feared - just for being adults, and therefore *obviously* predators - rather than engaged and respected for that engagement, and their willingness to pass on their experience of the world.
@ Kain: I got it. I'm bemused that others didn't. I vote for a "if you need me to state in caiptals that this isn't a serious comment, and is in fact a jibe at popular alarmism, then you shouldn't be allowed unsupervised access to the interwebz" icon.
Sorry forgot the joke Icon.
I no I'm not a bigot I'm LGBT activist and trust me there are still lots of folks that think gays /lesbians and trans folks want to convert every one . I live with a fuck nut that believes LGBT community should have nothing to do with kids I do believe people will try to twist this law if passed to go after the LGBT community. Notice no say any thing when I said single male . So is it ok that a single male because of being a pedo just being single and talking to kids
Besides from teachers, no adult should have contact with a child until they turn 21. We can just stick them all in boarding schools and forget about them until they are able to operate as functioning adult members of society.
While we're at it ban children from the internet as well. Yes it's a useful tool, but so is a knife and Idon't hear anyone arguing to allow kids to use knives (in a responsible and constructive manner, of course)
Either ban kids from using the internet or make sure all kids have to go through an AOL style portal to get the internet.
Why should my usage of the internet be fucked up by some do-gooding idiot who probably has no concept of chat-rooms, IRC, IM etc and bases their view entirely on Daily Fail and the like ?
Going back a good 10 years I used to play an on-line game called Planetarion, entirely text based, but with an active IRC community around it. Thousands played the game and at any time there was a good few hundred in IRC. One of these was well known to be a school-girl, around 15 IIRC, who took delight in coming on-line at about 4.30 and posting comments along the lines of "check me out on my web-cam".
Didn't stop me and most of the others talking to her and everyone else in the same manner as we always had done, now and again someone would make some sort of comment and get the abuse of "you sick bastard", but it was all in jest. She even went to a couple of the live events IIRC, accompanied by her older brother (18+).
Some would say that all that went on was sick and we were all perverts, conversely everyone involved thought it was a good laugh with someone who could hold a conversation.
The worst part is, the more you try to keep adults/children in seperate rooms, the more fascinating it becomes for children and the more likely for bad things to happen. If your interaction with adults is limited, your ability to deal with a situation involving an adult will be stunted.
I believe the old idiom covers this perfectly well :
"The road to hell is paved with good intentions."
Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021