back to article Google, Microsoft to drop child sex abuse from basic web search

Google and Microsoft have bent to political pressure in the UK – by agreeing to tweak their search engines to not only make it a little harder for sickos to find child abuse images online, but to also prevent regulatory intervention. UK Prime Minister David Cameron said that "significant progress" had been made since the …


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  1. James 51

    Title is too long

    "If the search engines are unable to deliver on their commitment to prevent child abuse material being returned from search terms used by paedophiles, I will bring forward legislation that will ensure it happens."

    What a moron. Just because he passes a law doesn't mean that the impossible is magically made possible. The technical challenge is worthy but immense and I doubt short of proper A.I. could ever be fully automated.

    On a seperate but related note, If the article is accurately reflecting the PM's views, he seems to confuse search engines not returning the nasty results with the nasty content being removed from the web. Getting search engines to not return the results is only a part of a large battle and that seems to be ignored.

    1. Ragarath

      Re: Title is too long

      Do you really believe it is hard for the search engines to track what is being used to search for these images/content? They don't even need to work out what the terms are. I am sure all the child protection agencies around the world can give them plenty of examples.

      If you do, can you please explain how they can track you for advertising without needing this A.I.?

      They may not get everything, but if the paedophiles swap to saying cucumber instead of <INSERT APPROPRIATE SICK TERM HERE> then they are not going to be finding the content they want very quickly.

      Yes it only gets the easy fish as who really would put this on the public internet. But it helps.

      1. James 51

        Re: Title is too long

        Keywords can trigger ads but people aren't trying to obfuscate the meaning of the content of an email or search when they're emailing customer support for product support or their friends to organise a night out. An ever evolving slang would be very difficult for an automated system to keep up with and we haven't even touched on stenography.

        A.I. because context is king. Remember the album cover of a baby swimming in a pool that got flagged? Even people make mistakes and computers are generally as dumb as bricks. They need to be guided by the hand unless you're going to allow fuzzy logic to open you to legal action when you block legal material.

        Addresses for these sites could be made available in dark net chat rooms without having to go through search engines. It's only going to make things difficult for the most technologically ilteriate.

        Every little helps but for the amount of resources being put into the problem, this is pathetically little return.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Muphry's law in action



          1. James 51

            Re: Muphry's law in action

            I know, same way I spell spelling spieling.

        2. Robert Grant Silver badge

          Re: Title is too long

          Yeah agreed, and I bet it wouldn't be too hard to automate altering videos invisibly so they give different hashes each time they're copied.

        3. Ragarath

          Re: Title is too long

          Addresses for these sites could be made available in dark net chat rooms without having to go through search engines. It's only going to make things difficult for the most technologically ilteriate.

          Why make the addresses available in dark net chat rooms? Why not put the address on the dark net? Seems silly to put a site where everyone can see it and then advertise elsewhere. If your advertising elsewhere, display elsewhere to help avoid detection.

        4. Havin_it

          @James 51 Re: Title is too long

          >Remember the album cover of a baby swimming in a pool that got flagged?

          What you think you're talking about: Nirvana - Nevermind (never heard of this actually being "flagged" in any mainstream context).

          What you probably are talking about: Scorpions - Virgin Killer (tweenage girl in pornesque pose, which got Wikipedia blocked by the IWF a couple of years back).

          If my supposition holds water, you're conflating waaay unrelated shit just as badly as they do. Apologies if not.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @James 51 Title is too long

            In 2011 it was flagged by Facebook and removed. It was later reinstated, but the fact is, James 51 was correct in that it was flagged in a mainstream context.

    2. danR2

      Re: Title is too long

      Encryption would prang the hidden watermark. And, as someone has said, evolving code would bypass filters: eg. cool David Cameron.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Title is too long

      Paedophilia will never be defeated until it is treated as a mental health issue rather than a criminal issue.

      1. JLV

        Re: Title is too long

        >Paedophilia will never be defeated until it is treated as a mental health issue rather than a criminal issue.

        Respectfully partially disagree, depending on the specifics.

        Your statement is usually applied to drug consumption, and I agree with it. But drug use does not automatically victimize others, barring usually minor property crimes, which can be addressed on their own "merits" by the criminal system.

        Real-life pedophilia by definition involves a child as a victim and the crime is extremely serious in nature. It deserves the full force of the law.

        If you were referring to someone who only looks at images or videos, then, yes, we should first aim to cure or curb their mental dysfunction. Recidivists, providers, chat room pervs and all sorts of other considerations would warrant prison sentences however. And even a viewer should be limited in the interactions they can have with children.

        i.e. The fact that the perpetrator victimized, or intended to victimize, someone directly should escalate the issue from mental health to criminal justice.

        Someone should be able to walk into a police station, show a bunch of kiddy porn on their laptop, and ask for help. If that's all they did, they should not go to jail and we in fact should find ways to encourage that with partial amnesties.

        As far as the Google/Bing changes go - all for it, if done correctly. It might keep someone with a compulsion to look for this material clean if they can't get easy access. And it will make life slightly harder for the active sickos. Not least, having to use unusual channels to search should require more organization between pervs, making it easier to roll up a bunch of them when there is an investigation.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          A view from the other side

          >>Paedophilia will never be defeated until it is treated as a mental health issue rather than a criminal issue.

          >Respectfully partially disagree, depending on the specifics.


          I think the OP was specifically talking about viewing only. The so-called "victimless" side.

          It is NOT victimless, but the victims are not (just) the children in the pictures.

          Anon, because I personally have been affected by this.

          I started looking at "illegal" pictures online when I was 13. I was otherwise a completely normal (though quiet/geeky) child, in a completely normal family. I was in a boys school, and it didn't seem wrong to be looking at girls my own age. I never told anyone about it - I was terrified of what they might say.

          Later on, I was hit by the "system".

          At 19, I was still looking at these images, and was suicidally depressed about the situation. It almost killed my degree. But I got rid of them, got over it, put it behind me, finished my degree and got a job.

          Some years later though, the police called round, about some log files containing my IP address from a long time ago. I told them about my past issues, and that the files were long gone. They were less than sympathetic and I was on bail for two years while they inspected my computers.

          Eventually I was told that traces of the files remained (though provably old), on an unencrypted portion of the disk, and that I was to be charged. The terrifyingly clueless judge threw the book at me (despite the prosecution correcting him that the charge of "making" images actually refers to downloading them, not taking them). I lost my job, spent some traumatic time in jail, and was driven back to suicidal depression. I was put on the sex offender's register for 10 years, and banned indefinitely from using "any computer or device capable of accessing the internet" (including phones, TVs, fridges..) This ban was obviously over the top, but took nearly a year to overturn. I am only just getting my life back on track.

          This knee-jerk reaction to censor search terms worries me. It would certainly not have stopped me at 13: I would have been even more excited at the prospect of defeating a censorship filter.

          There have been more and more hysterical "crackdown" efforts against these images online, yet it is becoming more and more prevalent for young children to be on the "abuser" end of things.

          I don't think censorship and surveillance can ever solve this problem (Instead they risk causing even more troubled children to fall into the "system" trap and ruining their lives). What is needed, like the OP said, is to treat porn addiction in the same way as we now treat drug addiction, especially where it involves or leads to underage & abusive images.

          I suspect it would be just as traumatic for a parent to have their child labeled a paedophile, as it would to find out they had been abused.

          (Please note that I have never, EVER, paid for, asked for, distributed, or otherwise encouraged the proliferation of child abuse images. I recognise that this does not make what I did right or acceptable, but a balance has to be struck. Absolutism and witch-hunts are even worse for society than the evils they seek to abolish)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: A view from the other side

            Censorship is never the right answer to anything.

          2. John Smith 19 Gold badge

            Re: A view from the other side

            "It is NOT victimless, but the victims are not (just) the children in the pictures.

            Anon, because I personally have been affected by this."

            What makes you think this has anything to do with "protecting children?"

        2. DiViDeD Silver badge

          Re: Title is too long

          I'm not sure I agree with the 'making it harder to get hold of might make them clean' argument. Although I can't approve of child porn images, simply because there WAS an abuse occurring when the pictures were taken, I'm not sure that restricting access would actually help. There will always be a market for this shit, so the images and videos will never stop, even if their customer base is limited to the very rich, but on evidence relating to 'normal' porn, it would appear that the availability of porn leads to a reduction in sexual offences and the restriction leads to a rise. is an interesting study on correlation (I know, correlation doth not a causation imply!) between the availability of porn and the incidence of (in the study's case) rape.

          The implication is that, starved of fantasy targets for their compulsion, paedophiles will incline towards acting out their desires in real life with real children.

          And while I'm boring everyone: When we learn of a child who has been abused, our sympathies go out to him/her. The child is a victim, whose trust has been viciously assaulted. The child deserves all the compassion we can give them, all the help and therapy available (the help and therapy bit very often doesn't happen due to budget restrictions, of course).

          The majority (I used to have the figure, but the brain cell that held them appears to have died) of adult child abusers were themselves abused as children, so there is a clear cause > effect correlation here. And yet, for the abusers themselves, we have no compassion. They are animals, worse than animals. The only right course is to cut their balls off and bang em up for the rest of their natural. The compassion we had for them as abused children has evaporated to be replaced by raw hatred.

          I wish I had a solution, but TBH, I have a tendency to feel the same way about the abusers when these cases come to light, but it seems to me that we, as a society, or culture, whatever, are failing these children if we are not rescuing them from the cycle of abuse.

          Yes, I know not every abused child becomes an abusing adult, but a higher proportion do. Certainly higher than the proportion of kids who ride bicycles who later join murderous bikie gangs.

          Just my coupla pennorth. Please feel free to ignore/downvote - it's been a long day.

    4. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      And so it begins

      I hear Call-Me-Dave is keen to get GCHQ involved in this.

      Any excuse, eh?

      this has f**ger all to do with protecting the children.

    5. shiftee

      Next week:

      Next week:

      If the researchers are unable to deliver on their commitment to cure cancer, I will bring forward legislation that will ensure it happens

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "dark corners of the internet"

    can we not just put up some more street lighting?

    or visible policing, yes more PCSO's will help fight this evil scurge on our..."wait..what do you mean online?"

  3. Flawless101


    I am staggered, not that trying to clean up the internet from illegal material is a bad thing, but who the hell is going to Google or Microsoft to search for it?

    Surely if this was the case it wouldn't be hard for either of those two companies to identify that this is happening and forward that information on to the relevant authorities.

    This is propaganda for mumsnet, this does nothing to stop the wider issue of stopping child abuse issues on the internet.

    1. Ragarath

      Re: ...

      No it does not stop the wider problem. But that has always been there and the authorities job to search it out.

      What it does help with is the casual find of this material. That let's be honest, if it's on the public internet is going to be a lot easier to tackle than the "dark" internet.

      1. frank ly

        Re: ...

        Why don't they just disconnect the data cables to the dark internet?

        1. tirk

          "Why don't they just disconnect the data cables to the dark internet?"

          "It's wireless!"

      2. RealFred

        Re: ...

        And yet, here we are, trying to limit how they do their job and then complaining how ineffective they are at doing it

    2. John Lilburne

      Re: ...

      Apparently the guy that killed the 5 yo in Wales was searching for "naked kids" and shit.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ...

        "Apparently the guy that killed the 5 yo in Wales was searching for "naked kids" and shit."

        Maybe he was looking for pictures of little goats with their wool shorn off?

        The English language has enough ambiguity and regional slang/phrasing that coming up with a valid list of what terms should be excluded is going to be a nightmare.

        And what about the good old cockney rhyming slang? Imagine the trouble you could get into for saying you're popping down the road for a tasty little Ruby Murray!

      2. DiViDeD Silver badge

        Re: ...

        "Apparently the guy that killed the 5 yo in Wales was searching for "naked kids" and shit"

        A likely very unpopular interpretation follows:

        Maybe he was unable to find what he wanted/needed to whack off to and therefore went out in the real world to make his own. Maybe, if he'd found the images, he would have settled for Mrs Palm and her five delightful daughters and that 5 year old would be alive now.

        I don't know, maybe. But do you know, for certain, that jerking off in front of some images WOULN'T have changed the outcome?

  4. JimmyPage

    Politicians seem to struggle

    with the difference between the contents of a location, and the contents of a location pointed to by another location. Somehow I can't see them developing as C programmers any day soon.

    1. Havin_it

      Re: Politicians seem to struggle

      As a C programmer, I am black affronted! I also have terrible trouble with that bit myself, you insensitive clod!

  5. Bill the Sys Admin

    Mixed feelings on this. The disgusting things that are being blocked in this example is obviously good, but cant help but feel this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to deciding what people see and don’t see online.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      @Bill the Sys Admin

      "Mixed feelings on this. The disgusting things that are being blocked in this example is obviously good, but cant help but feel this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to deciding what people see and don’t see online."

      That's why the TOTC routine works so well.

      Whenever someone talks about "Saving the children" you better ask "For whom?"

  6. Bladeforce

    Lack of good

    parenting leads to a nanny state, fools

  7. Spoonsinger

    Its just another form of racism.


    1. cyborg

      Re: Its just another form of racism.

      Why can I no longer think of the British Isles without the word "padeoph" in front of it?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    We all know where this is going

    OMG think of the children !

    Meanwhile the real agenda of those behind closed doors is censorship and sucking up to the content Mafia.

    Claire Perry - Your ideas may be very noble but you are being used.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: We all know where this is going

      Completely agree with the true agenda behind all of this. However the latter statement is naive. She knows what she is doing like any corrupt politician. Though the corrupt part is statistically quite redundant in the phrase 'corrupt politician' .

      They all know how to play gullible public heart strings for their backers nefarious needs. Think of of the children indeed. That's why the far greater problem of starving children around the globe gets far less government attention , it's perhaps a far less advantageous cause.

      "The people have always some champion whom they set over them and nurse into greatness...This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs when he first appears he is a protector." - Plato

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      Re: We all know where this is going

      "Claire Perry - Your ideas may be very noble but you are being used."

      All because she could not hire someone to set up her browser filter.


  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, if Duck Duck Go doesn't do similar

    Then Google or Bing searches for Duck Duck Go should return a warning?

    1. Old Handle

      Re: So, if Duck Duck Go doesn't do similar

      Indeed. Presumably that's what they meant by blocking "pathways" to illegal content. That's the most alarming part of all this.

  10. paultnl

    This is as useful as banks putting up signs saying "Robbery not allowed"

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Good god!

      I think I'll print a sign and take it to my local Wells-Fargo and see what the branch manager thinks.

    2. TheDillinquent

      This is as useful as banks putting up signs saying "Robbery not allowed"

      Because the robbers are already in the building.

  11. Alan Edwards

    I give it about a month

    I give it about a month before the RIAA/MPAA and their sock puppets start campaigning for piracy terms to be added to the "return nothing" list.

    "If you can use it to block child porn you can use it to prop up our business model".

    Followed shortly by terrorism, then legal porn, and all the companies using it to block their competitors. In a year or so's time, once all the lobbying is paid for, will be the only site returned by Google.

    1. cyborg

      Re: I give it about a month

      Doesn't Disney have links to Apple through via Pixar?

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: I give it about a month

      I don't know who owns the rights to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang but that my get wiped off the internet searches when people type "Child Catcher".

      MPAA shoots self in foot.

  12. Just_this_guy

    I'm suspicious of any politician-led internet tinkering. But all the comments above seem to be saying only that this measure will be largely ineffective. Will it, in itself, actually do any harm?

    1. JimmyPage
      Big Brother

      Harm ?

      Well, effectively, what is happening, is Google (et al) will be distorting reality, by messing with their search results.

      Once you accept the principle, all else is, to quote George Bernard Shaw "arguing about the price".

      Maybe Google shouldn't return searches for politicians names ? After all, there's no need to know what they got up to in the past.

      Or how about searches for government misconduct. Maybe searches for British troops breaking the Geneva convention. After all we wouldn't want to help terrorists, would we ?

      I can actually see this p(l)aying into Googles hands. How long before they offer a paid-for "premium" search facility ?

      1. Squander Two

        Re: Harm ?

        Er, Google already mess with search results. Firstly, they've had personalised search for years, so they don't give you & me the same results for the same search string. Secondly, you are aware that different search engines give different results, yes? There isn't some magical ideal search result that must be returned according to some universal law; there are just results returned by firms who've done a load of tinkering with them according to a million criteria.

        I personally am glad that Google distort reality by messing with their search results. That is in fact what makes their service useful.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "I'm suspicious of any politician"

      Thats better.

      Anonymous because they are always watching...

    3. Suricou Raven


      Directly, no. The concern is what it could eventually lead to. Slippery slope is more then a fallacy - it's a real effect. A warning on google and a little content filtering is all very well, but once google have demonstrated they are willing to block information relating to *one* crime, there will be calls for them to block more.

      Also, even if it does no harm, it isn't going to do any good either - which means it is nothing but security theater. A very publicly but utterly ineffective display to reassure the people that Something Is Being Done.

  13. Crisp

    I'm no expert in criminal behaviour

    But I'm pretty certain that evil pedoterrorists aren't going around typing "kiddie porn" into google to get their kicks. Call me cynical, but I think this is a PR move that's likely to do more harm than good. A false sense of security is worse than no security at all.

    Seriously, who thinks this stuff up?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm no expert in criminal behaviour

      But they may type in Children + naturist / nudist / naked

      It won't stop hard-line, but will slowdown causal browsers

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm no expert in criminal behaviour

        It will also provide one hell of an incentive to legal porn sites to make damn sure nothing illegal appears on them -- something which not all of them are all that conscientious about right now.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm no expert in criminal behaviour

        "But they may type in Children + naturist / nudist / naked

        It won't stop hard-line, but will slowdown causal browser

        I'm a casual browser. I'm not looking for child abuse sites and I don't stumble acroiss them by chance. Some "over 18" models don't look over 18 but that's another story. Also I have no idea what words or phrases could be used specifically to access kiddie porn and don't have perfectly innocent uses too. If you blocked "child abuse" you'd also block "fighting child abuse" and similar phrases dealing with child abuse and its consequences so the algorithms would have to be very clever..

        What I have noticed is that if you make up a domain name for a porn site it will probably exist. If you find one you'll find plenty of links to others so search engines become irrelevant.

        Anyway what all this comes down to is the "something must be done" syndrome and as long as politicians convince ill-informed and technically illiterate voters that they are doing something that's all that matters to them. Goodle and Bing will happily (or unhapplily) play along with the charade.

      3. Old Handle

        Re: I'm no expert in criminal behaviour

        But they may type in Children + naturist / nudist / naked

        But would blocking that be appropriate? Nudism is not child abuse, and neither are naked pictures of children per se illegal anywhere that I'm aware of. And what if they weren't even looking for pictures, just trying to find information on family friendly naturist resorts or something?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nothing new

    They're already filtering: last time I searched for 'images of tory child abusers' google didn't return anything useful - and I'm sure there must be plenty of relevant material on the interwebs.

    1. Anonymous Coward 101

      Re: Nothing new

      Yes, and none of it accurate.

  15. Maharg

    Good News!

    Since Google and Bing won’t pull up the results for child porn, it means that no one can ever find it on the internet, ever. It just doesn’t exist, the Daily Mail, David Cameron and others who have such a vast knowledge on how the internet works have won, there is now no need for the filter/censorship of the internet that the Daily Mail, David Cameron and others who have such a vast knowledge on how the internet works also want to introduce to prevent such evil websites as the those to help with safe sex, drink, drug and relationship abuse, as well as internet chat forums, as they have solved the problem, anything else will be a waste of time and money, and in this time of austerity we should focus on more important things.

    Please can everyone explain this to their local MP to ensure we do not waste resources on something that the problem no longer exists.

    1. vonRat

      Re: Good News!

      They Daily Mail often slavers over pictures of scantily dressed 15 year old actresses, so their "campaign" could backfire on them horribly.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

        Re: Good News!

        "They Daily Mail often slavers over pictures of scantily dressed 15 year old actresses, so their "campaign" could backfire on them horribly."


        The last time anyone mentioned the DM's secret code for JB their site crashed for hours with all the search queries running.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Good News!

          "hasn't she grown"

          "big girl now"



          [Anon because it may imply that I have visited Which I have. I mean, do *you* miss out the monkey enclosure when you go to the zoo?]

          [Sorry, real monkeys. I like you.]

          1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

            Re: Good News!

            ""hasn't she grown"

            "big girl now"



            You forgot "All grown up*"


  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Prohibition was conspicuously successful, of course, so it's a great idea to roll it out again to solve this problem.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm Missing Something Here

    Where's the Dr Who angle?

  18. Woodgar

    Collating Search Terms In Reverse

    I can sort of see how this could be done.

    Once Google have been notified that an image contains illegal content, they could see what search terms different users typed in to find the link, and if they do this enough times they might discover a pattern of phrases or keywords.

    They then just ensure that the link never appears in future searches irrespective of the search terms used, and flag up any new searches using the previously established phrases.

    1. btrower

      Google knows -- Re: Collating Search Terms In Reverse


      Google knows that at some point they can/will be replaced for search if they cripple their engine. They are already out on a limb. I switch to Yahoo and Blekko occasionally to find results they don't have or to avoid portal SPAM and I am doing that more lately.

  19. bigtimehustler

    I suppose the other question is, will google actually be doing this worldwide or just for the UK version of the site? Surely eventually they are going to be stepping on freedom of speech issues in countries with more protection, so there is only so far they can ever go on a global level. This just means you can use a VPN to access the US version of google and see your normal results.

    1. Woodgar

      Leaving alone freedom of speech, what's illegal in one country is not automatically illegal in another, so I can't even see this working in principal unless Google use a different filter list for each country.

      1. mcmoanisk

        Then we should make it illegal in those places.

        our western world will step in over conflicts that do not matter at all , SO when it comes to child abuse i think it is the ONLY time we SHOULD step in and force our will on other countries , I don't care somebody's race or religion if they would harm a child then they should in turn be harmed (neutered)

    2. Squander Two

      How on Earth could this infringe on freedom of speech? And which countries provide legal protection for the right to have the link to your child porn returned by a search engine?

      1. bigtimehustler

        Thats not really the point im trying to make is it, in some places filtering out the keywords is could be said to be illegal because you could be searching for open discussion on the subject and not the subject itself. How are they going to differentiate between me searching for articles about historic abuse for example which may include the words "child porn" and me actually searching for child porn? The typing in of search terms does not indicate intent unless you understand the context the searcher is searching for them in.

        My main point is, what one government wants, another may want the opposite, so at the end of the day, people are just going to use the version of Google from whatever country suits their aims.

        1. Squander Two

          Wow, that's a lot of downvotes for pointing out the extremely obvious.

          > in some places filtering out the keywords is could be said to be illegal

          Which places? Seriously, name one.

          Freedom of speech simply does not mean what you are implying it means.

  20. Ted Treen

    Oh well,

    That means that anything to do with Scunthorpe is now going to be unfindable on the webs...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh well,

      "That means that anything to do with Scunthorpe is now going to be unfindable on the webs..."

      It will probably be found somewhere close to Penistone - at least in the minds of the perverted pervert watchers

  21. Nigel 11
    Thumb Down

    The governments of East Germany and the USSR failed ...

    ... to stop their citizens getting access to "subversive" literture, just as soon as the most rudimentary data-copying technolgy became available. They just about kept a lid on the typewriter and carbon paper, but once the photocopier reached the Soviet bloc, they'd lost. (The DPRK seems to have learned this lesson: you can keep your masses down by denying them any technology more advanced than mediaeval, and ruling them in a like manner).

    Yes, Google can remove most of the filth from their indexes, but how anyone thinks they can deal with sheets of paper containing lists of URLS distributed by paedo-sneakernet or peer-to-Tor-to-peer, heaven only knows. The servers will of course be some wholly innocent organisation's PC, running malware.

  22. Brent Longborough
    Black Helicopters

    Isn't Technology Wonderful?!

    Good! Now that's fixed so successfully, here are a few more suggestions for searches that Google and M$ can block on behalf of those in power:

    "MP's Expenses"

    "GCHQ Internet Hoovering"

    "HS2 Budget increase"

    "Social services neglect"

    "Care home failure"

    ... to name but five...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Isn't Technology Wonderful?!

      It'd be kinda funny if, say, "Tory Party donate" became the new shorthand for kiddie porn. Maybe someone should get the word out on... Wherever one gets those kinds of words out, I guess.

      1. Isendel Steel

        Re: Isn't Technology Wonderful?!

        or better yet (insert any political party) donate.

        on second thoughts, this may result in big business / union / personally wealthy controlling the political appointments....

        Might have already happened though.

  23. Squander Two

    I suspect the long-term aim here ...

    ... is to make absolutely sure that no-one can use the "But I just stumbled across these disgusting videos while searching for photos of dogs dressed as bees" defence. If it's near-enough impossible to find the stuff without actively looking for it, that'll make convictions much easier.

    Have to say, I prefer that way of making convictions easier than politicians' usual preferred approach of giving more power to the police and legislating our rights away.

    There is the other issue of conditioning. The Furries have demonstrated unequivocally that sexual preference can be manufactured, and it is obviously in society's interest to inhibit the creation of new paedophiles.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Think of the children!

    Now there's a technical solution for keywords to block search results, expect a court order demanding 'torrent' be added to the list in 5... 4... 3...

    1. Salts

      Re: Think of the children!

      Google already does a bit of this with take DCMA down notices, they then direct you to the link with the take down notice

      In response to a complaint we received under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we have removed 1 result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may read the DMCA complaint that caused the removal(s) at then lists the links google did not returned in their search results, in these cases it makes me smile, the copyright holders probably spend more in lawyers fees than what is lost in downloads.

      However, for child abuse I do welcome any change that helps, the less routes the authorities need to follow/track, the easier it should be to catch the abusers, I hope.

  25. btrower

    Education badly needed

    We all of us have to radically increase our understanding of the issues.

    You can stop all Internet child porn by shutting down the Internet.

    Any mechanism that makes it impossible for people to find something they are actually looking for can be and will be used to limit free speech.

    Any time you see one of these solutions posed, remember that it applies to you as well. Substitute 'government critic' or 'freedom fighter' or 'my community' for the 'pedophile' designation. If you don't want it happening to you, you better make sure you do not set up some blanket rule that will eventually be turned against you.

    It is technically possible to make sure that people you do not want to hear from can't reach you. The fact that we continue to have such a problem with SPAM is testimony not to the fact that SPAM is hard to eradicate, but to the fact that the security and privacy of the Internet is compromised by design.

    Not sure how we implement but I have a notion that we should be able to put all the bad players on notice that they have an amnesty period and if they do not use it to clean up their act then if/when we gain power, penalties will be retroactive to the time of the original amnesty grant.

    I cannot possibly be even in the top 1% of security people and I can see the many obvious problems. No large company could fail to have the expertise to fix this. They don't because they want to take advantage of the backdoors themselves.

  26. John Lilburne

    Over the weekend ...

    ... one website I frequent starting displaying ads for "1000s of Asian Women profiles" curtsey from Google AdChoices,

    Such soft porn sites are normally disguised prostitution, involved with human trafficking, and according to a Duch investigation also involved in child porn distribution. I asked the site whether I could stop these types of adverts appearing and failing to get any response applied adblock to the entire site.

    1. btrower

      Re: Over the weekend ...

      @John Lilburne:


      As someone who is beyond wary about child predators (I have kids and I don't have any illusions), a part of me has trouble having sympathy for the people ensnared by such a sting. As someone who cares about the rule of law, I find it very troubling.

      I am not so conversant with this area of law that I can say for sure, but it seems to me that the above is 'entrapment'. An agent evil enough and clever enough could engineer all sorts of illegal behavior in people with a variable schedule of reinforcement that leads them to ever more illegitimate behavior. All kinds of people who would not otherwise engage in borderline activity could be induced to do so by targeting them when they were vulnerable -- intoxicated, etc.

      We have laws against most things the community finds unacceptable. We also have mechanisms whereby the state can force its way into people's homes to search them, to spy on them, etc. We do not need some sinister agency spending tax dollars to find ways to essentially make thought-crime punishable.

      What really bothers me is the 'ends justify the means' mentality whereby no matter how grotesque our pathway there, as long as we hurt people we don't like, we are fine with it.

      Before we support things like this, we need to at least have a discussion about the ethics involved. It does not matter why you are fostering evil. You are still fostering evil. Today, that is being used unfairly against people you don't like. Tomorrow, it can and will be used against you.

      Vigilante justice is no justice at all.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Over the weekend ...

        "as long as we hurt people we don't like, we are fine with it."

        I seem to remember that approach being quite popular in some European country or other in the 1930's

  27. Whitty

    Microsoft and Google should be rewarded for their virtuosity! Moral perfection is possible! If we can do mathematics we can screen what is allowed on the Internet! We should have done this already! People who have sexual difficulties should be cared for, but not allowed to abuse children! The parents of abused children must be made responsible for the safety of their children! The State is also responsible! Together we can manage this problem! Let's not submit to corruption!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      This episode of "Chinese Communist Party Slogans They Probably Write With Rocks On Hillsides" brought to you by Whitty.

  28. Maharg

    Daily Fail

    Daily Mail article

    Look at this filth! Look at it! It is disgusting! (insert name of young actress/singer/ Daily Mail doesn’t like) has bared all in new (insert photo-shot/music-video/film/pictures-stolen-from-phone-by-daily-mail/etc) this is the kind of filth that is being forced on our children, look at it! Here is another picture! LOOK AT THE FILTH! This little whore is corrupting our children, we have published the pictures so you can see how disgusting it is! Obviously we must campaign against children being able to see this on the TV or internet, or anywhere else except the Daily Mail website and newspaper, where we are happy to publish these photos so children can be protected from seeing these photos. (insert name of young actress/singer/etc) might also be foreign and is affecting UK house prices…

    Editorial by (attempt at) feminist re previous article

    I think the objectification of women is terrible, our poor children are being swamped by images of half-naked women and being told that if they do not have the perfect body they are worthless, this type of shameful exploitation should be stopped. Personally I wish we could all live in the 1950s where everything was perfect, women stayed at home and didn’t have rights and sex was against the law except for once a year until you had two children and…

    Scrolling banner on side of Daily Mail website beside editorial

    Shock at new bikini body!

    New sexy look!

    All grown up! Child star’s is now 16 so we can legally perv over her, see photos here!

    Flabby belly beach horror!

    All skin and bones!

    Officially ugly!

    Sexy Star is sexy and a star! Photos here!

    Judge this middle age women by her looks!

    1. Flatpackhamster

      Re: Daily Fail

      T'aint just the Mail. Mumsnet, which is basically written by Guardian-reading media luvvie mums for Guardian-reading media luvvie mums, thinks that censoring the internet to get rid of kiddy porn won't have ANY EFFECT on liberties.

      Idiots on left and right have united to Ban This Sick Filth.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Result of engineering

    After singificant work Google will now return 100,000 less results.

    Bing said they already achieved that and more.

  30. Vociferous

    No sacrifice too big.

    Pedophiles and terrorists sure are handy, because when it comes to stopping them there is no sacrifice of personal integrity or freedom too big.

    I could point out that this will inevitably lead to a slow growth of ever more banned words, targeting first pirates, then perhaps racists and anarchists, then the next disliked group de jour. And it is just a short hop and a skip from blocking searches to reporting the searches to the police, making this is yet another brick in the Great Firewall of Britain the government is feverishly building. And that this equals laying the groundwork for a future oppressive regime to police the country. But if I said that, I must clearly either be a terrorist or a pedophile, because why else would I oppose measures to Protect The Children(tm)?

    1. Squander Two

      Slippery slopes.

      > this will inevitably lead to ...

      You appear to be under the impression that this is a dictatorship. But it isn't. Slippery-slope arguments don't generally hold here, because we can vote the bastards out, for any given group of bastards.

      Plenty of slippery-slope arguments were made about the ID card scheme too (which I certainly opposed), and it looked like a certainty because, while it was being brought in by Labour, it had Tory support and had been proposed by previous governments of both stripes repeatedly, especially by Michael Howard under Major. And yet all those slippery-slope arguments turned out to be bollocks, because even the first step onto the slope didn't happen in the end, because we live in a democracy and politicians are opportunists who will support what the people want if it'll get them votes. And so they did.

      So there simply is no inevitability about the things you propose. Right now, the issue is whether to prevent the major search engines, who exercise a massive amount of influence over what people do and don't find on the Web, linking to material that is already illegal -- and the public support that. If, in the future, the issue arises of whether to have people arrested by the police for thought crime if they type "anarchy" into a search engine, I put it to you that any government backing such a move will shed votes like confetti. That issue is not this issue.

      This slippery-slope crap can be used to oppose anything. Here's one I didn't even make up: "If we allow schools to opt out of local authority control, it is just a short hop and a skip from that to forcing poor children out of school and into work." It's been over twenty years, and that one still hasn't happened. Funny, that.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    From the article: "Many have been troubled by the PM regularly conflating the two very separate issues of illegal and legal content online."

    Indeed. It is in this manner that he has won much uneducated and unthinking public support for his 'porn filter'.

    Over the past few days I have been somewhat disheartened to hear, during the course of topical conversation, that many non-IT folk have indeed had the wool pulled over their sheepish eyes by Camerons' obviously deliberate conflation.

    Illegal abuse imagery and legal pornography (whatever you or I may think of the latter) are certainly not equatable, and they should definitely not be confused by way of a deliberate act, especially by a government.

    Whilst it is difficult to justify any argument against taking proportionate responses to hinder any form of access to abuse imagery, it is also difficult to justify the way in which Cameron has deliberately sought to confuse child abuse with legal adult pornography. This is a highly devious tactic, and one that should should have no place in government.

    Cameron has demonstrated a continued willingness - or should that be, a propensity? - to demonise those undertaking legal activities by deliberately confusing them with others who act illegally. For example, tax evasion vs tax avoidance. It is a particular tactic that will likely become more prevalent within the current government.

    Camerons' continued willingness to demonise legal activity is quite disturbing. Moralistic opining is not a valid form of governance.

    1. bigtimehustler

      I totally agree with you on this, under Cameron, everyone has a moral duty, as long as that moral duty is what he says should happen.

      Im pretty sure he uses this phrase in practically every speech he gives lately with anything he knows he would never get outlawed if he tried to take to a vote in parliament, so instead we have a moral duty to do what he says instead.

      1. JimmyPage

        @bigtimehustler - "moral" duty

        chimes with that ludicrous attempt by Harriet Harman (what was her previous occupation ? Oh, yes, a barrister) to subvert our legal system by claiming that it was OK to bash Fred Goodwin, because he was guilty "in the court of public opinion".

        1. bigtimehustler

          Re: @bigtimehustler - "moral" duty

          Indeed it does, I am not anti conservative or anti labour, im more anti all of them! So I agree with you completely.

          1. btrower

            Re: @bigtimehustler - "moral" duty


            Re: "im more anti all of them!"

            Me too. The G7 countries have all drifted into what is essentially a one party system. You can vote all you like but for any practical purpose there is only one choice on the ballot.

  32. Anonymous Coward

    "Once a copy is spotted on the service, all other copies will then be removed from the web."

    Crap, I must be in the wrong place. I was looking for The Register, a *tech* site that prides itself on accuracy and specialty knowledge of the IT field, as well as not blindly regurgitating sources' erroneous talking points. Did the name change? I assume something is wrong because this article clearly wasn't written for a technical audience - but the banner up there still says 'The Register'!

    I don't suppose anyone can shed any light on this mystery...?

    1. Michael C.

      Hear hear. "removed from the web", same old spiel that the general press are splurging out. No fucking clue, expect better from Reg..

  33. Graham Marsden

    So let's see...

    ... someone wants to do some research for an article they're writing on, well, an online tech newspaper, let's call it The Restiger.

    The article is about the prevalence of child abuse images around the world and the number of people convicted for possession of such images.

    So they enter a search term like "statistics for online child pornography arrests" and, oops, "Sorry, that search term is blocked, what you're looking for is illegal, don't worry about seeking help, we've got your IP address and we'll be knocking on your door in 30 minutes..."

    Nope, can't see anything going wrong with *this* brilliant piece of pandering to the tabloids from Cameron...

  34. Bradley Hardleigh-Hadderchance
    Big Brother

    Husbands will have to ask their wives...

    ...if they want to watch porn at home, Cameron _WARNS_ (emphasis mine).

    Scenario 1:

    "Darling, you don't watch any of that nasty smut, do you ?"

    "Why of course not, darling, you are all I need, all I'll ever need, for forever and a day".

    "Thought so darling. That's good. Darling. It's just we got a saucy letter from our ISP telling us they were going to censor our internet, whether we liked it or not, but if we wanted to, we could put ourselves on the NEW PERVERTS SEX REGISTER (emphasis theirs) and everything would be as normal. For now."

    "Oh I don't think we have any need for that kind of filth. I for one, am happy to welcome our new covert/overt censoring overlords."

    Cue mad rush to find cheapest monthly VPN that doesn't keep records.

    "Darling, what is this charge for 9.99 per month made out to 'Vpnz_R_Us' ? "

    "Er, darling, I can explain. But you might like to get a cup of tea and sit down, while I get my story straight, I mean, while I explain everything to you".


    Scenario 2:

    I'm still in shock. I don't know where to begin. I feel as if my whole life has been turned around. Everything I thought I ever knew has come into question...

    I don't know where to begin. The start is as good a place as any.

    My Wife and I have been married for over 14 years. We are soul mates. She is the one for me. And I for her. She is all I have ever wanted. And all I'll ever need. For forever and a day.

    I particularly dislike pornography and the kind of smut that degrades women. The exploitation is the worst we have to offer as a species and it just shows how far we have to go in the human race before we can even start dealing with the very real problems that are now facing us. It's why I don't read the Daily Mail.

    So imagine my shock, when my Wife cagily broached this subject one evening last week after dinner and one too many bottles of Merlot.


    "Yes Darling."

    "You do know that I love you, don't you?"

    "Yes darling. I do."

    "Well, there's something we need to talk about."

    "Out with it, my good lady."

    "Well the other daaaayyyy, I got this very nasty little letter in the poooooost."

    "Really darling, what did it say?"

    "Well those nasty men from our ISP are going to be censoring our internet. Rationing the tap of true knowledge and enlightenment that used to be Man's birthright, one and all. And the only way around it is if we sign up for some silly little SEX PERVERTS REGISTER. No ifs or buts."

    "That is disgusting darling. We shalln't be doing that. Oh no. You know how I feel about those sex people."

    "Well, that is what I wanted to talk to you about darling. You see, I have a secret addiction - it's not that I don't love you, for forever and a day, but, I don't know how to put this - I like to see skinny white girls getting spannered sideways by big nasty black men with 12 inch cocks! There, I've said it."

    "You certainly have darling. How long have you been feeling this way?"

    "Oohoooohhhh, I don't know, since before I met you. It's not that I don't love you. So I was wondering if we could maybe sign up, well YOU actually for that nasty little SEX PERVERT'S REGISTER - the bill is in your name after all. Then that way, I could keep getting my daily dose of smut and tickle myself into a stupor every day before you get home from work."

    I hope by now you are getting the picture of the difficulties I am facing. Obviously I had no idea this sort of thing was going on. Can you see the bind I am in? Do I sign the SEX PERVERT'S REGISTER and keep my wife? Or do I decline to sign it and lose her for ever?



    So many things wrong on so many levels. Politically, Technically, Socially, Sexually, etc. etc...

    If you read that Mail article, you will see them once again conflating the argument with people that use TOR/VPN.

    This is an all out assault. Someone has thought very long and hard about this and they are 'making it happen' with the requisite engineering. They do know how to press those buttons. But it works for them and gives them what they want. Start from a seed of an argument that no right minded individual could disagree with and work up from there until you log on to your state approved terminal with your genitals.

    Many on this very website have been saying for sometime now, it's only a matter of time. VPNs will be illegal to use. Proxies too. Bit by bit they will take it down and take it back. Because they are very very afraid. In fact, I never realised they were this afraid. People this afraid are dangerous.

    One thing I know is, Cameron et all don't give a fuck about the abuse of children. They have the resources to tackle it and 'backtrace' it and stop it. Nip it off at source. But no, they are too busy using it as the main excuse to spy on and curtail all our rights and liberties and freedoms. They are as bad as the very people that rape young children to my mind. They are perpetrators because it suits their sick and twisted agenda. Images of child abuse will still be available in 10 years time. But the use of VPN/TOR for the average man, will not.

    Is there any one out there that can not see what this is really about and where it is really going?

    "Do it to Julia! Do it to Julia! Not me! Julia! I don't care what you do to her. Tear her face off, strip her to the bones. Not me! Julia! Not me!"

    1. TitterYeNot

      Re: Husbands will have to ask their wives...

      Up-voted for making a scarily valid point about what this is really all about, writing a post as if written by several of the late, great John Wyndham's characters, whilst simultaneously including the phrase "getting spannered sideways" and making me ruin my keyboard...

    2. btrower

      Re: Husbands will have to ask their wives...

      @Bradley Hardleigh-Hadderchance:

      Upvote for seriously amusing post with a message.

    3. Squander Two

      Re: Husbands will have to ask their wives...

      > Cameron et all don't give a fuck about the abuse of children. They have the resources to tackle it and 'backtrace' it and stop it. Nip it off at source. But no....

      Seriously? You're claiming that the British Government put zero resources into tracing and locating child abusers? You're delusional.

      > They are as bad as the very people that rape young children to my mind.

      Then your mind is not up to much. Asking a search engine provider not to return particular links is as bad as raping children? You didn't have any second thoughts about that one before you hit 'Submit'?

  35. Bradley Hardleigh-Hadderchance

    I'm off to look up John Wyndham.

    So to speak. Oo er and all that. Missus.

    Is it any wonder we're all so sexually fucked up in this country with the diet of evening time television we were brought up on? I believe there is even a Mr. Dick Emery that posts on here. God help us.

    Now it's child abuse this, kiddy porn that, ad infifuckingnitum and ad fuckingnauseum. (Mind your language)

    It's almost as if they are trying to brainwash us into being sexual degenerates. (My programming is pretty much complete already)

    Anyway, John Wyndham. Didn't he write 'Foul Play Suspected' and 'The Secret People'?

    Say no more, say no more. Nudge nudge...


    A thought just occurred to me. It must be horrible growing up as a child today. You wouldn't trust or respect any adults you came across. You would think one half of them were spying on your private emails, and the other half were spying on your private webcam. And you'd only be half wrong most of the time. And twice as right some of the time. Little buggers don't stand a chance.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cameron, the man pretending to be UK PM claims ...

    There, fixed that for you.

    (Sorry I only just saw it, been doing useful stuff all day)

  37. mcmoanisk

    won't this make it harder to find the endangered children?

    I have one concern about removing it from the search engines, I don't think it will stop the gross people who want to see children abused. I think it will make it harder for the people who are trying to locate these children who are being abused , I think that there should be a toll free anonymous international reporting line for people who come across this vulger content to report these sites and links to the proper authorities so that those authorities may then start searching and hopefully locating and saving what they can of the poor childs life who is in danger. For all I know there is a reporting line , however if there is a reporting line it is not advertised enough for the general public to find it , I am sure if the public had common knowledge of a reporting line that there would be at least 1 billion more people who would make a difference if they had the misfortune to come across such material.

    1. Squander Two

      Re: won't this make it harder to find the endangered children?

      > I think it will make it harder for the people who are trying to locate these children who are being abused

      What, the police? Yeah, they can't work without Google.

      > I think that there should be a toll free anonymous international reporting line for people who come across this vulger content to report these sites

      Well, we have 999 and most other countries have their own versions of the same. Will that do?

  38. Anonymous C0ward

    Who the hell is watching this stuff on Youtube anyway?

    Tip of the iceberg.

  39. Moffy


    Surely there is life beyond google and bing..

    Admittedly Gas companies follow like sheep. one puts the prices up, all put the prices up.. but will all search engines do this? or just the ones that the average household. Duckduckgo?

  40. Danny 5


    You must be pretty fucking naive to think peado's go to Google or Bing to get their daily serving of kiddieporn.

    1. Squander Two

      Re: naive

      Yes, that would be naive, and that is not what is being addressed here.

  41. andy 45

    "...all other copies will then be removed from the web"

    "Once a copy is spotted on the service, all other copies will then be removed from the web."

    Rubbish will they!!!

  42. Nameless Faceless Computer User

    Nothing good will come of it

    Beware of legislation which begins with the premise, "Save the children."

    1. Squander Two

      Re: Nothing good will come of it

      What, all legislation intended to protect children? So you'd oppose the laws that prevent children under the age of twelve being allowed to work as prostitutes, then?

  43. Squander Two


    I see a lot of people in this thread getting very upset about the fact that a search engine will no longer return particular links, but no-one is saying that the sites that those links point to should be legally protected. If you believe websites containing images of child abuse should be allowed, fine, say so. If you don't, why on Earth does it matter whether Google link to them or not?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Censorship.

      ...because Google will apparently be blocking *search terms*, not *search results*. Searching for "gruesome murder on Fleet Street" doesn't only return results containing instructions on how to commit murders from the comfort of your barber shop; likewise, searching for "child pornography" will certainly not return *only illegal things*. And as the terms get more ambiguous, the results will necessarily become almost entirely collateral damage rather than actual web sites which have images of child abuse - which I have to believe are vastly rarer than those which do not.

      This is a bit like not wanting people to read the word 'shit', and, to prevent it, not allowing them to search for any string including 'hit'. Not only will it not work, the huge majority of prevented results will have been innocuous.

      1. Squander Two

        Re: Censorship.

        > because Google will apparently be blocking *search terms*, not *search results*.

        Nope, I just reread Schmidt's statement, and you're wrong.

        "We've fine tuned Google Search to prevent links to child sexual abuse material from appearing in our results. ... these changes have cleaned up the results for over 100,000 queries that might be related to the sexual abuse of kids."

        I think you're conflating "target" with "block". Search terms are being targetted; results are being blocked. In just the same way as Google already do for hundreds of other reasons, then, such as spam. Funny how tech people are less outraged about Google blocking spam than about them blocking child porn.

        I'll add that I found the piece by googling "google child abuse uk government". The term "child abuse" is clearly not blocked.

  44. Suricou Raven

    I am unable to view pages two and three.

    The content filter at my workplace blocks them.

  45. The Alpha Klutz

    im confused by the news

    So microsoft and google will do this for the UK government but they wont pay any tax?

    somethings fishy.

  46. shovelDriver

    No Search Terms; No Results

    Okay . . . if we modify search algorithms to prevent the finding and publications of search terms for pedophilia - or any other subject - who defines the terms?

    And how is that different from censorship?

    Because . . . if you can't search for the stuff, you can't search for the violations. Nor can you do any legitimate research into the problem, or into how effective the techniques are, nor what the results will be.

    What's not good for the pedo is also not good for the researcher, the doctor, the cops, the prosecutor, the defense attorney. Shall we just then make the presumption that anyone who ever types a prohibited word into a search engine is guilty? If so, where will it end?

    1. Squander Two

      Re: No Search Terms; No Results

      > if we modify search algorithms to prevent the finding and publications of search terms for pedophilia - or any other subject - who defines the terms?

      This is an old problem, not particularly related to the Web. Who defines porn? Who defines the difference between soft and hardcore? Who defines what constitutes child porn? Who chooses the age of consent?

      The answer is: politicians. And you are free to write to your MP if you think they're doing it wrong. And they do regularly review these things and tweak the definitions in response to feedback from the public and law enforcement agencies and the real world in general. Which makes the answer: society. Which, I have to say, is not all that scary, and is certainly not the dystopian totalitarian tyranny a lot of people round here seem to think.

      > Shall we just then make the presumption that anyone who ever types a prohibited word into a search engine is guilty?

      As mentioned elsewhere, no, because we live in a democracy.

      > If so, where will it end?

      It ends when someone proposes a measure that loses votes either because it's unpopular in the first place or because it goes horribly wrong and thereby becomes unpopular. It's not a slippery slope.

  47. Harry Stottle

    The "Cure" for Paedophilia will be VR

    First off, major kudos to the AC who shared his own judicial nightmare with us.

    this is actually a prediction I made before the turn of the century. (

    Once VR is genuinely full immersive (a la "Matrix" rather than the cheesy VR helmets which we will sneer at in years to come) and operating at so called "gestalt" speeds (so we genuinely have no sensory means of identifying fact from fiction other than the ability to step back out of the fiction), human sexual desires of all kinds will be much more deeply fulfilled by the VR world than the real world could ever manage.

    This will be equally true for paedophiles. They'll be able to whistle up whatever they need to satisfy their lust to a much greater level, in much greater safety and, importantly, with zero impact on any other human beings. A major consequence of this will be the end of the recruitment cycle which research tells us is responsible for the perpetuation of paedophilia. If "real" humans stop being abused in their formative years, they'll stop becoming paedophiles themselves and the problem will gradually fade away.

    The only obstacle I see to technical progress to such a solution are the Authoritarians continuing down their road towards "thought crime" where they have begun to criminalise such things as creating your own images (even drawings or paintings based on your own imagination) if such images are of subjects which, in the real world, would involve child porn ( Taking such an extreme legislative position crossed the rubicon and defined the first legally recognised "thought crimes". We should have had riots in the street but, of course, we didn't because it was only those nasty peedos, so who gives a shit? The next steps will be the criminalisation of thoughts about blowing up Parliament and the like. Just the sort of thing which will make a lot of us want to blow up Parliament...

    In any case, even if I'm right and VR eventually eliminates Paedophilia, other problems, of course, will arise in its place. Like: how is the human race going to procreate if everyone is getting their rocks off in VR? And, before you reject that option as wild speculation (also part of the same essay) check out what's happening in Japan right now even before we get the serious technology...

    1. Bradley Hardleigh-Hadderchance

      Re: The "Cure" for Paedophilia will be VR

      Harry. Can I call you Harry? Harry Kiri?

      Sorry, bad cultural reference joke.

      Er, I'm all for it - anything that protects the kids. Seriously. But you do know that shit you posted is highly illegal don't you? If I got caught with a scrap of paper with a doodle on it, in my pocket, and some deranged sicko decided it depicted the image of a young girl/boy engaged in a sexually explicit pose, then I could be strung up as one of them there threats to the nation - your common paedophile.

      How exactly do you think they would feel about an immersive experience in full 3D? With a fully rotational throb-stick connected via USB3? Worse again, with detachable stereo hairy mitts?

      I'll tell you how they'll feel: Front page of the daily mail and a dark dungeon for 30 years. Whilst being prodded by sticks by a one off visiting party of O.A.P.s on a 'special' provided by Paul Dacre.

      They are not interested in reducing the harm to children. They have the technology. They are openly bragging about it.

      You and I and a thousand others are agreed on this matter. Let those that have sick and under-developed fantasies play them out in a neutral environment. Sublimation might have been the term Freud used. But it don't work like that. As many people as possible need to be made as guilty as possible, as quickly as possible. Everyone shall be a criminal. You have probably broken some kind of law by proposing/positing this concept, and I for agreeing with you.

      Any anyway, Mr. Kiri, never mind young people in Japan stopping having sex. That is the easy part! Try prising their mobile phones/5G devices out of their clammy little hands. That is when you will realise what type of fight you have on your hands.

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