back to article Investigators blind on P2P child abuse

Child abuse investigators plan to focus efforts on the use of peer to peer networks to distribute images, following a "wholesale move" in sex offenders' online behaviour . The "vast majority" of paedophile activity online now takes place on public and private P2P platforms rather than commercial criminal websites, the Child …


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  1. The First Dave


    In other news,

    Forgers were discovered to have been attempting to make ten pound notes that look just like the real thing.

  2. Anonymous John

    How do they know?

    Looks like just speculation to me.

    "The "vast majority" of paedophile activity online now takes place on public and private P2P platforms rather than commercial criminal websites, "."

    ""The scale and nature of P2P file sharing involving child abuse images is currently impossible to establish," CEP said."

    "The agency received only two reports of paedophile activity on P2P networks in the last year."

  3. cannon


    news just in p2p deemed illegal because now paedophiles may be using it!

    We must turn off the internet, or at least be able to spy on everyone for the sake of the children!

    wtf is going on, do people actually believe this stinkin pile of S*%T, if it's not terrorists, its pirates if its not pirates its paedophiles, do people actually believe their bull crap any-more?

    safety of children is down to their parents, not the state.

    i'm fairly sure if any file that contains child porn is quickly removed by admin's/mods following whichever community uproar of the said files.


  4. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture


    oh noes! paedophilia, encryption and P2P in the same report!

    *Waits for Daily Fail to call for bans on this sick filth! all of it!*

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Just the following two sentences from the article...

    "The scale and nature of P2P file sharing involving child abuse images is currently impossible to establish,"


    "...and the use of 'off the shelf' encryption."

    Will please both the BPI and UK secuity services no end.

    P2P + paedopilia = justification for UK.Gov to force ISPs to block all such traffic (BPI happy)

    Encryption + paedophiles = strict control on available to purchase (and download) encryption software (UK security services happy).

  6. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    Call for the Paedo-Finder General now!

    How convenient that the two biggest bogey-men in the online world have joined together now!

    Who'd a thunk it?!

    The media biz want P2P shutdown, no one with a normal mind likes child porn, so let's see....let's say that all P2P networks are rife with society's sickest nutjobs and we'll see how many people we can scare off downloading Girl's Aloud latest piece of rubbish or Hollywood Killer-Taxi-Driver-Cop-Killer-Nightmare-on-CashCow-Street Part 73!!!

    It's win-win all the way!

    You run a private torrent server? You sick freak! Call for the Paedo-Finder General now!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Who would ever have thought

    that they would try to hide their online activities?

    @Orwell don't forget that the fear business (of all shades) is very lucrative for the majority of those dedicated to protecting us.

  8. peter-

    Same misleading rubbish as in Germany

    There the family minister(!) is on a rant deploying a full-fledged internet censorship infrastructure citing the importance of blocking child pornography.

    These ploys are so transparent it's stunning people fall for this rubbish.

    There's still a bit of a hope this will give the Pirate party with their strong resistance a push in the general elections this month. But then again if the general public is as clever as usual that'll remain wishful thinking.

    Another aspect I find worrying here is that the debate more and more shifts away from protecting children from exploitation to preventing ways of thought. So far there's nothing suggesting that preventing people from swapping child porn will prevent anyone from abusing kids. We have also not seen any sudden increase in child abuse through paedophile internet use (or if so nobody has bothered to tell us)

    After all what we care about is not whether people get off to weird stuff, but to keep them from harming others with that. And we must ensure there's due punishment for those who do.

  9. Paul Murphy 1

    Wots a title look like?

    Well, there's a surprise.. how long before the baying hounds are heard whenever somone starts up bittorrent for any reason, or you try to protect yourself online?

    I share a fair number of files on BT - mainly driver and game updates for anyone who needs them, as well any other free files which I doubt anyone could object to be sharing. Hardly the same as a paed2paed user, but I bet the same wide brush will be used by the media and politicians.

    If I started to use Tor by default to try and make things difficult for internet criminals to find out my details would I then be placed on a watchlist until I furnish my passwords etc.

    I think that we need to send off letters to our MPs to give the reasons why people need to be encouraged to use these things, rather than using them being viewed as suspicious. Maybe we should also be concentrating on the people doing bad things, rather than the tools that they use.


  10. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Using Truecrypt and Enigmail makes you guilty?

    Perhaps it just means you don't want every thing you say and do being pored over by someone else thank you very much.

    I do wish the constant association of legitimate things such as encryption, that happens to make the reading of private individuals information by the "state" more difficult, with commiting a crime, would stop.

    Inferring that use of encryption indicates something illegal to hide and by extension, is an indicator of suspicous criminal activity is just wrong. People want to keep things secret for all manner of reasons, nearly all of them legal.

    Encrypting or using p2p is not a crime, the child abuse is the crime. The trend to not bother fixing the primary cause but to try (and almost by definition fail) to stop it by secondary routes continues. Ah, but that also allows the secondary objective of controlling the individuals to contine.

    Oh wait, I get it...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    I downloaded quite a few times in the past files that were wrongly labeled from eMule network. Few of them were kiddie porn. Sick stuff. I'm talking about 2-10 years ago as I don't use eMule anymore. So the problem has been widespread even then, who know how is it now. That was one of the reason to leave eMule - finding real stuff became a big problem because of viruses and concealed porn.

    I know it's also happening on rapidshare and similar. Since they started removing "infringing" content lots of files are named like "f*cking sh*t part 1", etc. Also usually compressed with password set. People who know where to look will still be able to find it - but law agencies can dream on. They're way too slow to follow with the changes. Also usage of proxies is becoming widespread (one of the reasons is that university / dorm networks are locked down) and people are wising to use them.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    I use Truecrypt

    On noes!

    I must be a paedophile / terrorist / copyright-infringer!

    Or just maybe, I think that what's on my computer is nobody else's fucking business.

  13. NRT

    "....implement the Internet Watch Foundation blocklist of abuse websites."

    How will this help?

    If P2P is being used then the source of the material is multiple small comuters not big file servers that can be blocked.


  14. richard 80

    Fabulous coincidence

    Dark Lord Mandy wants to clamp down on P2P and this linkage is made.

  15. Dan 10

    Well you did say it!

    To be fair to the authors of this report, they probably just looked at the reader comments on the recent stories about the IWF watchlist - you lot all posted to say the gov were full of sh!t and that dodginess like this was taking place on P2P networks - in the abscence of any hard evidence they probably thought "this bunch of geeks sound quite knowledgeable"!

    However, as already stated, P2P, encryption and kiddle fiddlers all in the same report - oh noes!

  16. adnim

    Sexual gratifcation

    Although the abuse of children for sexual pleasure is illegal and morally, imho wrong. I am sure pedophiles although aware of this, see their involvement in such activities as sexual gratification much more than they see their activities as a criminal offence, morally wrong and damaging to the victims. So from a pedophiles point of view legislation against child abuse and the trade in child porn images is something that denies them sexual gratification rather than protects children.

    No matter what measures are taken by the state or society to curb such behaviour, pedophiles will resort to ever more covert methods to get their sexual gratification. Legislation and controls will not stop the trade in child pornography, it will just drive it deeper underground.

    Do I have a solution, other than destigmatising pedophilia, encouraging those who find children to be their only source of sexual stimulation to own up, seek guidance and help, and for the public at large to actually show some kind of respect for those who admit to such sexual urges and actively seek help, No I don't.

    Yes it is a heinous crime but to just vilify, exclude from society, penalise and punish pedophiles will only drive them further underground. At the risk of being flamed I suggest pedophiles are accepted for what they are and helped by society to overcome that which makes them so hated. For some there will be no cure, no solution and incarceration maybe the only answer.

    I can understand a knee jerk response of string them up by their balls, but all this does is rid society of one pedophile, it is not a solution and again the more pedophiles we string up the further underground the remaining will go.

    If the taboos surrounding, and public disgust of pedophilia were not so rigid, perhaps more pedophiles, at least those who do experience some kind of guilt for their actions would come forward and seek help.

    In the name of saving the children all I can see for the future is even tighter controls and heavier penalties with pedophiles being further ostracised and too scared to seek help. As a result we will all suffer as our civil liberties and rights are further eroded.

    I am not at all suggesting that society go out and hug a pedophile, what I am saying is that society should be more tolerant, accepting and supportive of those pedophiles that do seek help to rid themselves of such destructive sexual desires.

  17. Ally J

    'impossible to establish'

    = 'we're making all of this up'.

    The latest (alleged) child abductor and paedophile to be exposed also used tents in his back yard.

    Can we expect a similarly sensationalist press release about this? I mean, if you've nothing to hide then compulsory CCTV into your back garden isn't a bad thing, and the banning of tents will be mitigated by government-approved 'people's shelters'. It'll make everyone so much safer.

    No, really.

  18. dunncha

    Pedo's verus Pirates

    If only they spent as much money chasing Pedo's as they do in chasing Pirates then I'm sure we would have a lot less of them.

    If we consider it in terms of social damage then I would say Pedo's are worse.......

    But if you consider it in terms of Business Revenue then the Pirates are Public Enemy No 1

    More scare tactics to frighten the great unwashed!

    Epic fail!!!

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Playing Devil's Advocate

    So, really, how much P2P traffic is actually "legal" content?

    Yes, yes, I know you can do all sorts of wonderful distributions with P2P (e.g. Linux), but are you likely to put your holiday movie and snaps on a private P2P so that your friends and family can share them ?

    I'm not advocating all P2P is bad - as an underlying concept/protocol it's brilliant. However the only "use" I've ever found it being widely used for is the distribution of copyright material (software, music, video). I'm willing to bet the P2P distribution of SUSE is insignificant in comparison to the latest Hollywood blockbuster.

  20. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

    Hang on a moment

    Haven't we all been saying for the past few years that the more 'they' intrude upon our privacy the more your everyday Joe/Jane will start to use encryption by default?

    And just how would this make it easier to detect the perverts? It only seeks to criminilise everyb...oh i get it (must be thinking the same thing as AC12:21)

  21. Anonymous Coward

    The problem is their own making.

    "The agency received only two reports from under-18s of paedophile activity on P2P networks in the last year"

    There are simple reasons.

    1) There are looking for it, so will not report it

    2) They are looking for normal porn, but get this instead. Who under 18 will admit they are looking for porn to an Official body?

    3) They are downloading movies / MP3's / Exam papers / anything else and come across it. Who will admit that?

    You see, unless they offer immunity from prosecution (both cival & criminal), who in their right mind would admit to using P2P software to download anything?

    The downside of crimalising the nation, people shut up and close up.

    And nope I don't use P2P as most music and movies these days is production line shite, not worth wasting my bandwidth on

  22. The Original Ash

    Spotted this years ago.

    Firstly, @ The Fuzzy Wotnot : Good to see another Monkey Dust fan!

    Secondly, what did the authorities expect? Motorways are covered in CCTV cameras, so car thieves are carrying sat-nav units telling them the best route to their destination without going on motorways.

    Criminals will always find a way around the system. It is inevitable. The most prolofic offenders will never be caught, as they are the ones who know how to hide their presence best. You will only ever catch the casual perv, or the occasional copyright infringer. The big boys are intelligent and unidentifiable. They don't use dodgy websites, they don't host files, and they do *nothing* from their own equipment; This is just common sense for anyone serious about comitting online crime.

    You won't catch child abusers by sitting at a desk watching torrent tracker activity. Get off your collective posteriors and do some police work.

  23. Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
    Big Brother


    Big Brother is watching your internet activity. Some fo your facebook friends are 'undesirables', you will be taken to the Ministry of Love for a nice little chat.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Dangerous implications

    I don't trust the people making these regulations to understand the problem. The Internet is a quasi-anarchistic structure. There are very few limits or rules put on how data passes across it.

    If I choose to invent a new protocol, using a private encryption type, running on high-order ports (above 1024), then I believe that it is possible to obscure pretty much any communication. And if I were to be really devious, I would break up communications onto variable ports, with each burst containing information (within the encryption, off course) about what the next port used would be. And even set up a set of collaborative nodes to obscure complete conversations by routing consecutive packets through different systems, and add bogus non-informational junk to the stream. And use a different encryption key for successive packets. As Eddy Izzard says, "The possibilities are endless".

    This would be Peer-to-Peer (no server involved), and would be pretty much impossible to fully track until the protocol was cracked. It would not be BitTorrent or eMule or Limeware or their ilk. I could do it without publishing the details, keeping the specific details private to those taking part. I'm sure someone must have patented this idea already (or if they haven't, I claim that this is prior art - apply to El Reg for contact details).

    Of course, it would be very difficult to join this 'super-network', but if you are a paedophile ring, an Al Quaeda cell, or MI5 or the CIA, I'm sure that you could find a way of getting this information to your peers. What makes Torrent et. al. easy to find is the fact that it is a mass P2P system that survive by trying to be as accessible as possible.

    We run the risk of the techno-rertards in the Government who make policy just banning all the well-known P2P protocols, without tackling the real problem of the unknown ones. They will trust their advisers, many of whom will have ulterior motives for offering advice. And the only REAL solution is to lock down Internet to known and allowed protocols (shudder the thought).

    I know a bit about how networks work, but I know that there are much cleverer people than me in the technical community. If I can come up with something like this, then I expect even better solutions to be being bandied about, and to eventually appear, if they are not in use already.

    Hang on, what's that thumping sou.....

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here's a better idea...

    Here's a better idea...

    Why not focus on, you know, actually stopping the child abuse itself rather than waste time with those who view the pics of it?

    What is the point in CEOP if it does not do the slightest thing to protect children and goes after people looking at pics of abuse to make themselves look good even though that benefits not a single kid?

    Deal with the problem at the source - stop child abuse, protect some real kids rather than chase thought crime.

  26. Anonymous Coward

    maybe, just maybe

    These people are actually doing what the report says they are doing but those who like to protect their privacy (a.k.a. freetards not wishing to get caught) don't want to accept that the technology that has been developed to help them not pay for the latest music might be used in this way.

  27. dave lawless

    p2p is so last century

    A post to HN (something like) "confessions of a child pornographer" described the shift of commercial CP vendors away from the web and into virtualisation. You buy the crypto keys to a remote vmware instance and vpn your way into it. No local files, no traffic sniffing, various levels of IP tunnelling (via compromised machines), I'm sure you can think of ways to do this yourself.

    The filth has to keep going for low hanging fruit to keep the subject in the news, the great firewall won't build itself.

  28. xsquared_uk

    More misleading language

    "The vast majority" - sounds WAY more impressive than "An extremely small minority of sick weirdos". Sensationalist rubbish.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    After reading this article I have so many questions I don't know where to start.

    "It is a mode of abuse and image distribution that remains largely unseen to the general public and indeed to the victims themselves."

    1. Do victims normally search the internet for paedo images of themselves being abused? What for? Arousal, or claim to fame?

    "Offenders are also increasingly turning to free encryption software in an attempt to evade detection [no shit? Surely the stupid ones are all behind bars by now], CEOP said, meaning reports take longer to process and analyse."

    2. "Longer"? As in, 1000000000000000000000000000 times longer? Or do they have quantum computers?

    "exploited by offenders are wireless technology"

    3. What does this mean, hijacking unencrypted connections? Yes? No? More specific please?

    "Co-ordinated responses between governments, law enforcement agencies and the communications and internet industries, mutually aiming to disrupt an offender's activity and deny them access to the services they need, will be vital"

    4. Note no mention of the necessity to avoid the disruption of honest citizens trying to defend their right to privacy. Also, barring blocking all potentially encrypted+steganographed P2P traffic (i.e. all P2P traffic), how can they hope to achieve anything? Useless draconian measures as usual - only the stupid and the innocent will be affected.

    "child protection in technically converged environments"

    5. In English please?

    *shakes head*

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    maybe just maybe

    Clueless dick.

    Oh yes, I remember now, if you want to keep a little privacy, the *only* reason for that must be that you are commiting a crime.

    Wait until you have had your pc stolen and your bank account emptied a few times, then you might start to think of an alternative reason for encryption. Try thinking through what you are saying instead of trying to reduce the argument to a nice simple black and white "4 legs good, 2 legs bad" kind of argument that even an amoeba can cope with. Most things don't reduce that far.

    Ooh look, I can label them as freetards and not have to think any more.

  31. Anonymous Coward

    Status of Operation Ore

    Any reference to CEOP needs to be accompanied by a reference to Operation Ore.

    What is the status of Operation Ore at the moment, El Reg?

  32. james 68


    they want to find pedo stuff all they gotta do is join a newsgroup

    i gave up on newsgroups years ago because all they had was filth, never downloaded any of it as the filenames alone were enough to turn my stomach, but if they want to catch the real bastards perpetrating these crimes then thats where they should concentrate.

  33. Anonymous Coward

    Is it just me?

    ... Or are these 2 statements contradictory?

    "The 'vast majority' of paedophile activity online now takes place on public and private P2P platforms rather than commercial criminal websites,"

    "'The scale and nature of P2P file sharing involving child abuse images is currently impossible to establish,' CEP said."

  34. Peter Kay

    Legal use of P2P

    Lots here : mostly Unix, large free Indie games and free (and legal) music.

    This may be someone trying to control P2P (good luck with that!). Personally, though, even if it the article is taken at face value (hohoho) I have to say : good.

    I'd much rather paedophiles stick their material on private, difficult to reach P2P sites rather than more common P2P, hacking into legit websites and so on. Kiddy fiddling is on the short list of crimes where mere suspicion can ruin your life, I don't trust the police to be technically competent and the last thing I want is to find myself registered on a website which is also being used for nefarious reasons without my knowledge, and get tarred with the same brush..

    The best way to tackle this is to use P2P widely for legal purposes. Download a Unix distribution, look at the free adventure and other games available on P2P - some are very good. Limit your upload bandwidth if it's taking up too much.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Oh dear! more scare mongering from our great leaders.

    File sharing is bad! what you don't think so?..ok..well..PEADOS USE IT TOO!! you must be one of them!

    So what they are going to do? go on a p2p network, host a file called peadofilm and arrest all the owners of the Ip's that DL it hoping to find the real deal?

    How many innocent lives are they going to destroy this time, lets call it "Operation Ore2".

    Hijacked wireless connections, incorrect IP time stamps, the freetard who clicks on hector9 instead of sector9?, anyone with a vengeful cat =p.

    That said It's almost certainly posturing and hot air, not that it will stop them throwing a couple billion of tax payers at contractors to "fix the internet"

  36. Si 1
    Big Brother


    I'd be interested to know how CEP plan to get around Tor. Aside from man-in-the-middle attacks there's no way to distinguish traffic going to your machine from traffic passing through it. So unless ISPs intercept all Tor packets or let CEP perform man-in-the-middle there is no way to work out who is doing what. And I'm assuming here they are able to crack the encryption on Tor packets to begin with.

    I suppose their answer will be to make Tor illegal altogether, but that will probably just hasten the introduction of onion routing software that disguises its traffic as normal HTTP data over SSL.

    Like everyone says above, this is all part of the government's desire to control the internet. Forcing the IWF list onto all ISPs is another warning sign, since the government can start blocking any dissenters it wants.

  37. Jimmy 1

    Re: AC @ 13.06 GMT

    "What is the point in CEOP if it does not do the slightest thing to protect children and goes after people looking at pics of abuse to make themselves look good even though that benefits not a single kid?"

    Actually, CEOP is probably the most effective child protection agency currently operating in the UK. The unit is staffed by hard-nosed cops who don't feel the least bit inhibited about kicking doors down, arresting paedos and recovering exploited children. The stats are available on their website:

    As to their motivation for issuing this report, well just take your pick.

    1) As someone above posted, number one suspect is the sticky fingered Lord Peter Tweeter of Little Twittering who is busy tending to the interests of his corporate friends in the failed music industry.

    2) Time to ratchet up the unit's budget before the public spending cuts that the pols are promising us come into effect.(someone has to pay for the bwankers folly)

    3) Kite flying, purely as an activity indicator.

  38. Anonymous Coward

    CEOP admit 'commercial CP' is a myth..?

    At least CEOP are now 'fessing up to the media-friendly myth of a 'vast commercial CP industry' (at one time estimated by police officers to be worth $billions globally. That's progress - a tacit admission that they've been feeding the tabloids porkies all along.

    I don't know whether there's any truth in the claims now being made about P2P filesharing networks. Who does? But that's CEOP's modus operandi and always has been: put these kind of blanket statements (as if they were fact) into the public domain and refuse to elaborate or explain, whilst ensuring it's a serious criminal offence for anyone, including journalists, to investigate their validity.

    For years CEOP have been banging on about large 'global networks' of organised paedophiles - ever since the tragedy of Ore, to be honest. The tabloids lap it up, with never a critical word, and CEOP make their next £5million+ annual budget review. The danger is that the longer these clowns play to the gallery, the more pressing becomes the need for another Ore-type expose to justify all that expense - and I think we're all becoming more gradually and reluctantly aware what a complete farce that has since been revealed to be (the class action is imminent).

    CEOP really need to get their priorities in order. Chasing down lonely middle-aged men for looking at images on their home computers in the privacy of a back bedroom is not the same as investigating and arresting men and women for organising the rape and sexual exploitation of young children, no matter how many times they tell us it is.

    Common sense cannot be denied, more especially when we consider that there are fewer and fewer instances where credit cards are used, that any CP is actually paid for. It cannot be difficult for CEOP with all their international contacts and expertise to target the real online criminals; the men and women who actually create the CP itself. Instead, they choose to waste taxpayer money imprisoning men who have done nothing more than look at an image on a screen, ruining their lives, those of their families and creating a modern-day scapegoat with no chance of rehabilitiation, no comeback whatsoever. Just for looking at a picture. It's cheap, it's cowardly and it's a disgrace.

    I have no doubt CEOP will get their way with new laws designed to fully-enable DPI (deep packet inspection) across UK networks. It may already be happening. Just hold up the 'think of the children!' banner and you'll scare politicians into doing anything (including signing away all our personal freedoms). It's a sorry state we're in, to be sure. Yet still the Paedogeddon careens around this land, funded by Government, endorsed by Police and lauded by the gutter press, leaving in its wake fear and chaos for any ordinary person unfortunate enough to get themselves in its way...

    For all our cowardice in the face of such mob-handed idiocy we get the kind of 'freedoms' we deserve...

  39. Nebulo
    Black Helicopters

    @AC 13:01

    Just "I don't trust the people making these regulations" would do for me. Your argument (along with most others here) is sound, but as we've noticed, that counts for sod all these days.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Internet porn reduces actual abuse

    Making CP photos is where abuse may take place.

    Looking at CP photos does not abuse anyone. If it did, juries would not look at them in court. If Pamela Anderson was abused by people looking at her video, the video would be banned.

    I have naked baby photographs of myself, clearly showing my genitals. I don't feel abused if someone else looks at them. I wouldn't even know whether someone else was looking at them.

    And a recent research shows that Internet predators are not a threat to kids. See:

    Why? Because they are on the Internet, and not out abusing anyone.

  41. John Watson 1

    Yeah Right

    What a complete load of rubbish, if any p2p site were to host such files public sites especially do they not think that these users are also against paedophilles, the owners of such sites wouldnt allow these images still or moving, the users of the sites wouldnt allow these images and would report them to relevant authorities.

    The internet and the good folks that use it is very very self regulated by themselves more lies spun up so that it makes a better case to spy on the public.

  42. Pablo
    Thumb Down

    @ Here's a better idea...

    Yeah, but protecting kids and stopping real abuse is too much work. It's so much easier to focus on fighting a symbolic menace.

    I'll just go ahead and point out the obvious, if pervs are sharing child porn on P2P, they're not paying for it. That removes their only tangible connection to the actual abuse. They might share responsibility in some vague moral sense (if you believe that kind of thing) but as a practical matter, going after them is a complete waste of time.

  43. Anonymous Coward

    that's enough

    That's enough to make me download the current truecrypt right now. wankers

  44. Anonymous Coward

    Wait for it MPAA new line

    Terrorist are using encrypted P2P Networks to distribute Movies to fund there actives in child porn.

  45. Rod MacLean

    Commercial Criminal Websites

    "The "vast majority" of paedophile activity online now takes place on public and private P2P platforms rather than commercial criminal websites"

    Commercial criminal websites? Is that like Or were you thinking more along the lines of ??

  46. blackworx
    Thumb Up

    @adnim, AC 15:05

    If you were politicians and came away with that you'd have been torn to pieces by now, and the sad thing is that the majority of the people doing the tearing would agree wholeheartedly with you in private.

    Common sense on the "paedo" issue = political suicide.

  47. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Down

    @Jimmy 1 - Re CEOP

    "The unit is staffed by hard-nosed cops who don't feel the least bit inhibited about kicking doors down, arresting paedos "

    And if they actually find any *evidence* of crime, so much the better.

    Of course if they don't and they ruin some poor bastard's life and rip his family apart and destroy his career and leave him with huge legal bills when he was completely innocent, well, it was For the Good of the Children, wasn't it, so it must have been justified...

  48. vivaelamor

    Is CP on P2P real? yes.

    Emule has been full of CP for many years, I would be surprised to see any public bit torrent sites hosting or linking to it but certainly the old style P2P systems have it. I hadn't realised the issue was being overlooked, considering how easy these networks are to navigate you'd expect them to have been policing them ever since they first started shouting about the internet being full of CP.

    People have already commented on the unlikelihood of people reporting stuff they find as well as the seemingly pointless criminalising of possession and I agree. There is such a tenuous connection between looking at an image or video and having anything to do with the harm caused that all these possession issues do is drive things further underground. While the person who abused the child in the first place might be wanting to keep them from the public eye, those who are merely consumers are more likely to distribute them and thus draw attention to the abuse if they are not criminalised themselves.

    The idea that the consumption is harmful in itself implies society is too fragile already, if it were true then nothing they are proposing will solve the main problem as it is still perfectly legal to communicate verbally and by text. There are plenty of free and long running sites for erotic stories that have no limits on subject matter and much of what you would find on them makes what you might see on a video seem like a Disney story. It is not surprising that those crying loudest about child abuse are the ones least likely to realise there is little difference between a video and a written piece, they probably read Mills&Boon and think snuff movies are real.

    Compared to the idiotic things the governments and special interest groups are coming up with I'd suggest encouraging people to treat child abuse as a fantasy rather than an illness would be far more effective. At the moment they are drawing a line where they can hold no ground. As long as the only reasons they have for disallowing peoples fantasies are that they can't act them out then people are not going to appreciate where the line between fantasy and reality should be drawn. This is compounded by the various hypocrisies such as every sort of death being fine as long as it's not porn and children acting responsibly being punished for being under age.

    For the children? I wouldn't trust the idiots chasing child porn to babysit.

  49. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Big Brother


    the link between P2P and encryption to child pornography has been succesfully made in the minds of the public, how long until this is heard in police cells up and down the country?

    "Give us your encryption keys and P2P programs or we'll let slip to the media you are using them"

    with the result you are hounded out of your job, home, city and life.

    Me? I'm getting the old RSA algorithm off wikipedia and brushing up my coding skills

  50. Dazed and Confused

    Legit uses of P2P

    Well one of the little windows on my screen says that over 16 million people are currently making use of a free and perfectly legit P2P application which I also believe the big brother types want to ban, coz they can't snoop it. Skype is P2P.

    Email is also often P2P, if you don't subscribe to getting someone else to handle it for you.

  51. Dick Emery
    Thumb Down

    More smokescreens

    Just another smoekscreen for invasion of privacy and control and drumming up funds for organisations finding themselves less and less usefull as time passes.

    Unfortunately your average daily rag reader believes the hype.

  52. Sceptical Bastard
    Thumb Down

    Taking a punt...

    .. or, rather, a Gamble.

    Yes, Jim Gamble, head of CEOP. He's found a menacing new windmill to tilt at and is willing to take the chance his latest thesis - that online social networking is a cesspit of kiddie-fiddling perverts - won't prove to be just smoke and mirrors. Remember, people, this is the man who brought you Operation Ore. Does that inspire confidence? No, thought not.

    I heard Jim, the self-appointed PaedoFinder General, peddling his FUD on the 'Today' programme this morning. He sounded both ill-informed and a zealot - not a combination one usually seeks in senior police officers. (He also sounded thick as pigshit but that was probably more a matter of his Ulster accent* and Prescott-ian use of English than of intellect per se.)

    * Readers from Northern Ireland are free to take offence.

  53. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Down

    In the UK withholding encryption keys is a crimal offense.

    And has been for some time.

    So if they are sure this person is sending or holding kiddie porn they can be arrested if they refuse to cough up the keys. Either decrypt or do the time (IIRC its about 2 years max but I believe the British prison population still retains a dim view of this behaviour)

    Of course that would require the people who investigate this to find that out by other means.

    Interviewing people, physical surveillance, gaining informers, building a case not based on media hysteria.

    Real police work.

  54. EvilGav 1

    Legal P2P

    Probably one of the largest, would be World of Warcraft, all updates are issued on a P2P (Torrent) network.

    There are others (the Linux distros being a common one), indeed there are also lots of game updates that are issued on P2P these days, to expedite access to them.

  55. Wayland Sothcott 1 Bronze badge
    Big Brother

    Fantacy crime

    "After all what we care about is not whether people get off to weird stuff, but to keep them from harming others with that."

    I think you are wrong on that. What we care about is punishing people who have sick perverted fantacies. It's not the actual harm to the children we care about, it's that people are getting away with fantasising and getting off on their sick thoughts and no one seems to be able to stop them.

    Obviously if a child was harmed in the taking of the photos then having aa market for those photos could cause more photos to be taken. Also if a harmless child photo gets into the hands of a peido then it can become an object of sexual perversion, and no one wants their childs photo used that way.

    However the way the law is worded it's the actual possession of the 'images' which is prosecuted provided the person gets off on them. This means they could have artistically created the images without reference to actual people and they would still be illegal.

    This would be like accusing readers of crime fiction of murder. Or at least make thinking about murder a crime.

  56. Anonymous Coward


    Let's see, what's a paedophile to do that needs the visual gratification but does not want to actually harm a child? I know, they can go to websites. Oh, they shut those down, ok, then they go to the newsgroups. Oh, those got closed down as well. Ok, how about getting some from P2P. Oh, P2P has been shut down as well. Hmm, let's go back to the original question. What's a paedo to do that needs the visual gratification but does not want to actually harm a child? Well, thanks to the IWF and CEOP, if the feelings got strong enough, the people that had outlets via online to alleviate these feelings have lost them. What do they thing the paedo's will do then? It won't be getting off to pictures of Paris Hilton, that's for sure.

  57. Graham Marsden


    Don't forget that the Coronors and Justice Bill includes provisions for *pornographic drawings* of "children" to be made illegal (NB that's not drawings taken from photographs, but ones created ab initio, ie which have never had any basis in reality!)

    So no doubt we will soon see a UK version of the Australian case where a guy was convicted of having "child porn" because he possessed images of Lisa Simpson performing sexual acts!

  58. mark 63 Silver badge

    legal torrents? why?

    " I share a fair number of files on BT - mainly driver and game updates for anyone who needs them, as well any other free files which I doubt anyone could object to be sharing"

    Game updates are hosted by the software house / developers

    Driver files are hosted by the hardware company

    surely to get these off a torrent just invites virus/malware seeding?

    The only legal sue i can see for torrents is getting copies of copyrighted stuff you already own the copyright for. even thats questionable

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Offenders are also increasingly turning to free encryption software in an attempt to evade detection"

    OMG that's... that's just terrible. FREE encryption software! Bastards! They should be using commercial encryption software. Seriously why the distinction?

  60. Martin Nicholls


    "Encryption + paedophiles = strict control on available to purchase (and download) encryption software (UK security services happy)"

    Is the beauty of SSL, once you open a pipe there's no way to tell if it's pedo downloading children pictures, somebody buying airline tickets or banks pushing money around.

    Also, do I detect them complaining? What exactly did they expect to happen? Pedofiles to suddenly stop being pedofiles because they took down wikipedia?

    This is of course the same issue the movie and movie industry are about to get a kick up the arse from, people will just move to darknets, when that happens on a large scale all laws become irrelevent. Stick that in your piracy funds terrerists pipe and smoke it.

    Really though, who in the world is predicting anything but all traffic on the internet becoming anonymous and encrypted very strongly?

    The IWF are just pissy because they have no legal power and most sane people think they're an utter waste of time, effort and money - and good paper when the media write stories about them.

  61. Forename Surname
    Thumb Down

    Ban on Tents & backyard sleeping next?

    If they want to catch the real pedos, perhapse they should look here

    Conspiracy of Silence - Highest Quality Version

    & there are more calls to international media attention that document proof that many high profile politicians are pedos and traffic children but I don't see you going after those. Perhapse you should watch conspiracy of silence & research first before you say that a internet protocol is bad simply b/c it could allow the transfer of content not deemed acceptable. Ya know what, so could telephones, cars, people, etc. Perhaps we should just ban the whole world from everything since it could be used for bad purposes.

    Also the latest child abuser camped out in a tent in his backyard & the police even got calls & knew he was a child molester but still allowed him to have children around. He had been raping one for many years even + had 2 kids with her.

    So should we ban tents & sleeping in the back yard & have the fbi watch every backyard in the world b/c it could be used to molest children?

    I will let common sense prevail, unless the reporters of this story are against everything also.

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