Back on May, following up the conviction of Stuart Hazell for the murder of 12 year old Tia Sharp, Amanda Platell of the Daily Mail wrote a piece claiming that child porn could be readily found using Google search terms that were noted in the trial.
Of course it was all bollox and the ‘child porn’ noted by Platell was found to be a commercial adult video. The supposed ‘child’ was either 18 or 19 depending on which month her birthday fell. Her age was properly recorded and is available for checking as required by US law.
But the damage was already done and Daily Mail readers and campaigners were easily convinced by Platell’s bollox piece. And so a new evil was born, easy to find child porn just waiting to be revealed by a few search terms in Google.
And now it appears that David Cameron was one of those who believes everything he reads in the Daily Mail.
In a press release David Cameron announced a series of censorship measures to placate the Daily Mail and its readers.
- All internet users will be contacted by their service providers and given an unavoidable choice on whether to use website blocking. The changes will be introduced by the end of next year. As a first step, the system will be mandated for new customers by the end of 2013. The subscriber making the choices will be subject to age verification and further updates to the blocking options may only be made by the account holder.
- Website blocking to be applied to all new mobile phones
- Prohibited possession of extreme pornography will be extended to scenes of simulated rape.
- The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) is to draw up a blacklist of ‘abhorrent’ internet search terms to supposedly prevent paedophiles searching for illegal material.
- All police forces will work with a single secure database of illegal images of children.
- Videos streamed online are to be subject to the same R18 censorship rules as those sold in shops.
- There will be stronger powers for watchdogs to investigate the hidden internet — heavily encrypted forums and pages that allow abusers to cover their tracks
- Adult content will be banned on public WiFi
- Ofcom to oversee this implementation of these measures.
In a separate move, Twitter is to use Microsoft’s PhotoDNA system to check all uploaded pictures against a database of known child abuse images.
Cameron will say:
There are certain types of pornography that can only be described as ‘extreme’ … that is violent, and that depicts simulated rape. These images normalise sexual violence against women — and they are quite simply poisonous to the young people who see them.
The government today has made a significant step forward in preventing rapists using rape pornography to legitimise and strategise their crimes and, more broadly, in challenging the eroticisation of violence against women and girls.
I have a very clear message for Google, Bing, Yahoo and the rest. You have a duty to act on this — and it is a moral duty. If there are technical obstacles to acting on [search engines], don’t just stand by and say nothing can be done; use your great brains to help overcome them.
You’re the people who have worked out how to map almost every inch of the Earth from space; who have developed algorithms that make sense of vast quantities of information. Set your greatest brains to work on this. You are not separate from our society, you are part of our society, and you must play a responsible role in it.
We are already looking at the legislative options we have. This is quite simply about obliterating this disgusting material from the net — and we will do whatever it takes.’
Offsite Comment: Cameron becomes a bit of an embarrassment on the world stage
22nd July 2013. See article from forbes.com
Cameron’s Bizarre Warning To Google, Bing and Yahoo Over Child Pornography
There are times when I’m not sure that the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, actually understands this technology stuff. An example is this threat in a TV interview in England today. He’s huffing and puffing that if the search engine companies don’t do what they’re told then they’ll be forced to by law.