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[P]
Putting kiddy porn lovers to shame

By MadDreamer in News
Thu May 04, 2000 at 12:25:34 PM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)
Freedom

Zeropaid.com a site with resources for Gnutella has posted a "Wall of Shame" with a list of Gnutella users that download supposed child porn files from their servers. The files are decoys, meant to lure porn traffickers in. Is embarassment an effective way of combatting the growing trade in child pornography on Gnutella? Is this morally right or is it misleading? MSNBC has the writeup.


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Related Links
o Zeropaid.c om
o "Wall of Shame"
o MSNBC has the writeup.
o Also by MadDreamer


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Putting kiddy porn lovers to shame | 37 comments (37 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
Interesting approach. I can not se... (none / 0) (#10)
by Mrs Edna Graustein on Thu May 04, 2000 at 06:55:54 AM EST

Mrs Edna Graustein voted 1 on this story.

Interesting approach. I can not see a better way of dealing with them by groups smaller than the government.
--
And if any of you put that in a .sig, I'll hunt you down and kill you twice. ;-)
Rusty

Gutted for the people that got list... (5.00 / 1) (#1)
by hattig on Thu May 04, 2000 at 07:58:12 AM EST

hattig voted 1 on this story.

Gutted for the people that got listed I suppose (if they care) but what about the people that were just plain curious and have no tendancies towards this kind of behaviour anyway?

It is the old trick method though - you are tricked into doing something wrong and then punished for doing the wrong, where you wouldn't have done anything wrong in the first place normally. You know, the sort of thing where the police leave a car parked in a busy car park with the boot open and a laptop in the boot... Get the dumb people who don't think about the setup, boost the police's crime figures and ignore the intelligent criminals etc.



I'm interested to see what people t... (none / 0) (#11)
by Marcin on Thu May 04, 2000 at 08:20:53 AM EST

Marcin voted 1 on this story.

I'm interested to see what people think of this. :)
M.

I was afraid to follow more than on... (4.50 / 2) (#3)
by HiRes on Thu May 04, 2000 at 08:29:22 AM EST

HiRes voted 1 on this story.

I was afraid to follow more than one or two links, under the fear that they'd tag me as a pr0n surfer.
--
wcb
wait! before you rate, read.

Hmmm, interesting... ... (4.00 / 1) (#7)
by pdubroy on Thu May 04, 2000 at 09:45:48 AM EST

pdubroy voted 1 on this story.

Hmmm, interesting... To me, this seems like an appropriate way to deal with people who are using tools like Gnutella for "inappropriate" uses. If we ever expect governments to accept the internet as an anonymous and free medium, we must show that there is a method for dealing with illegal (or, more importantly, immoral and socially unaccepted) actions. Of course this doesn't stop a group of child-pornographers from banding together and creating "k1dd13pr0n-n37"...

I doubt that this is really going t... (none / 0) (#2)
by fvw on Thu May 04, 2000 at 09:50:37 AM EST

fvw voted 1 on this story.

I doubt that this is really going to change anything (and I'm pretty sure I'm glad about that) since a) half the porn on the net is named veryyoungteen.jpg etc. b) if you use gnut for instance, it will download the much-searched-for material, and put it in a cache, thus seeing to it that the material in high demand is always available. This also means that it's not sure you chose to download that material, it could be the caching mechanism.

Re: I doubt that this is really going t... (none / 0) (#30)
by joeyo on Thu May 04, 2000 at 10:39:27 PM EST

woah.. gnut will do this? which version? I thought this was a freenet feature...

--
"Give me enough variables to work with, and I can probably do away with the notion of human free will." -- demi
[ Parent ]

Re: I doubt that this is really going t... (none / 0) (#37)
by fvw on Sun May 07, 2000 at 05:10:08 PM EST

The two most recent versions will any way. Nothing quite as fancy as freenet btw, but it's caching, and it's nice. Good enough.

[ Parent ]
Privacy invasion, if even for the '... (4.00 / 1) (#14)
by dgay on Thu May 04, 2000 at 10:19:41 AM EST

dgay voted 1 on this story.

Privacy invasion, if even for the 'correct reason', is wrong. I just went to the sight and it is scary. What else are the watching/logging and NOT telling the public about. Unfortunately, because gnutella is supposed to be 'cool' most people will look the other way at their Big Brother tactics. This just sounds too political for me. It's like politicians always talking about "It's for the children's safety". How about the movement to turn in kids who acted strangely in school? I am not a proponent of kiddie porn, but I don't like any network watching it's users for any reason. Where will it end? The best case is that we just get targeted for marketing eventually and everyone knows how annoying this is. Thanks to MadDreamer for bringing this to light.

Re: Privacy invasion, if even for the '... (none / 0) (#24)
by fluffy grue on Thu May 04, 2000 at 04:39:54 PM EST

Yes, I agree totally. One of the sysadmins here likes to spy on peoples' network usage (HI IVAN!) and has even admitted to this fact. Thing is, I go to a few sites which some people think are pornographic or objectionable, when from my point of view, it's artistic (after all, this particular site about body modification as an art form). This particular site has actually been banned in Germany for being indecent, as their uptight censor-types are claiming that it SHOVES pornography down peoples' faces (which I personally beleive to be completely untrue) and that it's full of pornographic content (but all of the pornographic content is kept safe behind a password-protected members-only area, and only adults can become members; now, there are some thumbnail pictures of genitalia available outside of that area, but they're certainly not pornographic in nature, they're just a display of various body modifications done to them).

It sickens me that people think it's okay for peoples' privacy to be stomped on as long as they're doing bad things. Maybe they should read a dream I had.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

How much i hate kiddyp0rn, i still ... (none / 0) (#5)
by Raymond on Thu May 04, 2000 at 10:26:51 AM EST

Raymond voted 0 on this story.

How much i hate kiddyp0rn, i still don't think this is the way. If you want to catch the bad guys go work as an policeofficer. Playing your own judge and executioner is not the way to go in a modern democratic society...
----- Someone you trust is one of us...

It's plain nazi. And then some file... (none / 0) (#8)
by nictamer on Thu May 04, 2000 at 11:13:00 AM EST

nictamer voted 1 on this story.

It's plain nazi. And then some filenames are NOT pedo, just plain porn like: schoolgirl.jpg, young.jpg, youngest-ass.jpg, etc ... Just claiming someone is a pedophile just because of this is ridiculous. Whatever.
--
Religion is for sheep.

While I agree (in principle) with G... (4.00 / 1) (#9)
by Rasputin on Thu May 04, 2000 at 11:39:09 AM EST

Rasputin voted 1 on this story.

While I agree (in principle) with Gnutella's attempt to eliminate kiddie porn from their site, I would worry about people being inadvertantly caught by this. Especially when, as seems likely, law enforcement starts using the entries as a starting point for investigating. A cop that downloads these files to see if they are illegal (not knowing about the Wall) gets investigated by other cops as a possible pedophile. Once that accusation is made, your life is ruined, guilty or not. This is another area where privacy goes head to head with reasonable law enforcement requirements. I honestly believe no one here supports kiddie porn (although, this being a wide cross-section of several societies, there's certainly a possibility) yet most here would support complete anonymity on the internet for privacy reasons. Unfortunately, law enforcement cannot stop the exploiters of children (and technology) in an environment where complete anonymity is possible. This situation, like most things in life, is about trade-offs and compromise. I think Gnutella is trying to do something, and I hope they quickly resolve some of the outstanding issues. Certainly they are doing more than most, which is (IMHO) not a "Bad Thing"(tm).
Even if you win the rat race, you're still a rat.

This is tricky. On one hand, you h... (5.00 / 1) (#6)
by dvicci on Thu May 04, 2000 at 11:51:23 AM EST

dvicci voted 1 on this story.

This is tricky. On one hand, you have the privacy issues, and on the other you have the legal and the moral. Brief internal weighing of these issues brings me to the thought: If you'd be ashamed or embarrassed if you got caught doing it, then don't do it. It's really that simple. Really. Follow that advice, and you'll have nothing to worry about. However, if you're searching for child pornography as a legitimate research project, or as part of an investigation, or for any other reason that you aren't ashamed of, then it follows that it won't shame you to have your time of download, IP address and domain name displayed on a public page. You may still be upset b/c your activities are being displayed for the world to see, but yours were valid, legitimate reasons, so what's there to worry about, right?

keep on trucking with gnutella!... (none / 0) (#12)
by thelaw on Thu May 04, 2000 at 12:01:23 PM EST

thelaw voted 1 on this story.

keep on trucking with gnutella!

At first it seems like a good idea,... (4.00 / 1) (#13)
by Anonymous Zero on Thu May 04, 2000 at 12:11:03 PM EST

Anonymous Zero voted 1 on this story.

At first it seems like a good idea, yay, punish the kiddy porn perverts! But this is easily abused, for example suppose someone is running for a political office and their detractors simply frame them by sending an anonymous tip to the local newspapers that the candidate's IP address is on this list? Once accused with so little evidence it would be hard to prove one's innocence. I think the Internet and its protocols should be inherently anonymous otherwise it quickly turns into a witch hunt. Just look at Metallica is trying to pull on Napster users.

First they came for the pedophiles,... (5.00 / 1) (#4)
by marlowe on Thu May 04, 2000 at 12:25:34 PM EST

marlowe voted 1 on this story.

First they came for the pedophiles, but I did nothing, because hell, the pedophiles had it coming anyway. As long as they where to draw the line, fine. But if it turns out they don't know where to draw the line, well then we've got trouble. Criminals should be put in jail. And *only* criminals should be put in jail. By the same token, people who induldge in shameful behavior should be shamed, and only such people should be shamed. I just hope none of those wankers are clever enough to dummy up an IP address so some innocent sap gets the blame. That would suck.
-- The Americans are the Jews of the 21st century. Only we won't go as quietly to the gas chambers. --

Re: Putting kiddy porn lovers to shame (3.50 / 2) (#15)
by MadDreamer on Thu May 04, 2000 at 01:09:47 PM EST

Now that I've been impartial in the reporting I can feel free to rant:

I find this to be a great method of deterrence. The files are really obvious, and not likely to lure in the average surfer. I mean check out some of the names on these. Do those really look like commonly accepted, legal porn files? They all hit on keywords like 'young' 'teen' or 'preteen'. Just what the pedos are searching for.

The argument that someone could be lured in unfairly by this just doesn't cut it. Is there really a justifiable reason for someone to be downloading 'incest-12yrsold-forreal.jpg'? The argument that some poor patriotic police officer could be caught in it just doesn't fly. If I was a cop searching for kid porn to bust, I'm sure I wouldn't be doing at it home from my own PC through my own ISP. I would be real sure first that everyone else knew exactly what I was doing and why so I didn't get accused of anything wrongly. Besides, if the cops did know of the Wall of Shame, they wouldn't be worried about their IPs showing up there, they'd be busting those that did.

And of course that's the fear that hits everyone when they hear about this. What about getting busted for it? Well come on, the police can't bust you for having a file called 'preteen-hottie.jpg' unless the file is actually underage pornography. So you're not going to get busted for any of these fake files. However, if you DO have any actual kid-pr0n on your computer, it's your own fault when you do go down.

It's a great deterrent, because it works on shame and fear. These are things that stick with someone long afterwards and will probably make them think twice the next time they find a supposed child pornography file on Gnutella or anywhere.

Re: Putting kiddy porn lovers to shame (2.00 / 1) (#16)
by Rasputin on Thu May 04, 2000 at 01:35:49 PM EST

Just a quick example of how this can go wrong...somebody knows about the wall and knows these are not kiddy porn, but is curious about what is there. Add to that the fact that cops will use this as a starting point for investigations, even knowing that these files in and of themselves are harmless (I assume, I didn't look) working on the assumption that people who download these things will probably also download similarly named files that really are illegal.

More ominous, a script-kiddy that thinks you showed disrespect to the Linux mascot spoofs your ip address to download these files...

Something else that occurs to me, these files are really obvious which would lead me to expect you might get a couple of really unaware pedophiles, but the more savvy (and hence more dangerous) will probably avoid such files like the plague guessing that these are bait in some kind of trap.

It's an interesting idea, and a start, but there are definately potential problems.
Even if you win the rat race, you're still a rat.
[ Parent ]

"Young", "Teen", "Schoolg (2.00 / 1) (#22)
by Anonymous Hero on Thu May 04, 2000 at 04:07:54 PM EST

"Young", "teen", or "schoolgirl" porn can easily be legal. There are lots of 18 and 19 year old girls (teens) in high school (schoolgirls). "Barely legal" seems to be an often-used phrase. And "young" is a relative (and subjective) word. If you're 40, you may consider 20 year olds young. "Preteen" or "12yrold" certainly wouldn't be legal, but many of those names DO look like commonly accepted, legal, and POPULAR types of porn.

[ Parent ]
Re: Putting kiddy porn lovers to shame (none / 0) (#17)
by pvg on Thu May 04, 2000 at 02:35:35 PM EST

I'm somewhat surprised at the number of people who find this a reasonable approach. It smacks of cyber-vigillantism to me. It's certainly within their rights to do this but but let's ignore the content for a second and consider the methods. Are you comfortable with people declaring themselves judge and executioner? I think their intent is good but their methods are deplorable. -pvg

Re: Putting kiddy porn lovers to shame (4.00 / 1) (#18)
by sergent on Thu May 04, 2000 at 02:42:25 PM EST

Clearly there's a community here with certain standards... privacy isn't one of them. That shouldn't be a problem in and of itself. I'm not going to pass particular judgement on the Wall of Shame, but I think it's silly to get up in arms about someone doing something like this, since there's nothing in the protocol to stop anyone from doing it (nothing was broken into in order to get the information).

If you want something Gnutella-like that retains your privacy, then design the software so that doing this sort of thing is not technically possible.

Similarly, if you have concerns about your email being private, use crypto, don't whine to the sysadmin's boss that you think he might be reading your email. Just don't try to solve technological problems with social solutions, and don't try to solve social problems with technology.



Re: Putting kiddy porn lovers to shame (none / 0) (#25)
by Inoshiro on Thu May 04, 2000 at 04:48:34 PM EST

"Just don't try to solve technological problems with social solutions, and don't try to solve social problems with technology."

Technological problem: spamming, social solution: law against spamming. It works. Social problem: depression, technological solution: prozak. That doesn't work, because it just masks the issue. So you're only half-right.



--
[ イノシロ ]
[ Parent ]
This comment will be offtopic. (none / 0) (#19)
by MadDreamer on Thu May 04, 2000 at 02:47:48 PM EST

This comment is offtopic, but I have to rant somewhere. I sent this story to that other place first and they declined it. I figured they didn't find it newsworthy. OK, fine, I brought it over here and the people spoke. But then I check it out today and find that they HAVE posted it. The difference? My link to coverage was on MSNBC... the first people to run with the story. The new link goes to ZD Net coverage. Argh. If someone were to post a story where we could all just rant about that other place would people read and comment on it? </rant>
There I'm done.

Re: This comment will be offtopic. (none / 0) (#32)
by ramses0 on Fri May 05, 2000 at 12:39:57 AM EST

I hope that I'm not the only one to notice that k5 has 'scooped' slashdot on about 3 or 4 good stories in the past few weeks. Truly rusty should be pleased to be providing ideas of content for 'that other place'.

--Robert
[ rate all comments , for great justice | sell.com ]
[ Parent ]

Re: This comment will be offtopic. (none / 0) (#34)
by rusty on Fri May 05, 2000 at 02:10:22 AM EST

It mystifies me, considering I have to watch things sit in the queue for hours, while all they have to do is hit "post", but hey-- maybe they're busy editing "Open Magazine" or something. I read an amusing comment over there the other day about how K5 was neat, but often trailed on /.'s heels with news. Cracked me up. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Re: This comment will be offtopic. (none / 0) (#33)
by rusty on Fri May 05, 2000 at 02:08:11 AM EST

If someone were to post a story where we could all just rant about that other place would people read and comment on it?

We've done that here before, and it was mildly entertaining, but not the sort of thing, I think, I'd like to keep on doing. I mean at this point it's become rather fashionable to bag on slashdot, to the point that even the news sites that have just recently noticed that slashdot is a major nexus of activity are noticing the backlash. So, maybe we might have had a little to do with providing a counter-example, and reminding people how it used to be, and why they used to like it over there in the first place. But I think we can all pretty much decently avert our eyes at this point, and allow /. to decay in peace, don't you? :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Re: This comment will be offtopic. (none / 0) (#36)
by MadDreamer on Sat May 06, 2000 at 03:32:16 AM EST

Good point, well said. I was just getting all over-emotional when I posted that <g>. Ignore my fuming anger and just keep up the good work. This site is quickly becoming the first place I check for news, instead of /. of course, originally it was MSNBC, so I'm getting much better!

[ Parent ]
Videotaping jons (none / 0) (#20)
by Skippy on Thu May 04, 2000 at 02:56:18 PM EST

This is rather like the neighborhood watch who videotapes jons picking up hookers and then publishing the tapes or sending them to the cops. The problem is that in the real world you can see that the activity is actually illegal/immoral before shaming the individuals involved. Its much harder to do so online.
# I am now finished talking out my ass about things that I am not qualified to discuss. #
Re: Putting kiddy porn lovers to shame (none / 0) (#21)
by skim123 on Thu May 04, 2000 at 03:58:37 PM EST

Hmmm... getting a HTTP Forbiden Error @ 2:48 CST.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


Re: Putting kiddy porn lovers to shame (none / 0) (#23)
by your_desired_username on Thu May 04, 2000 at 04:31:10 PM EST

Same here, at 14:28 MST (-0600)

[ Parent ]
What if it was other illegal material? (none / 0) (#26)
by mahlen on Thu May 04, 2000 at 05:24:55 PM EST

So what if someone made a site that showed all people who were downloading scans of movies scenes? Or maybe music that they don't own. Since much of what it appears Gnutella is used for is the distribution of material that is illegal to distribute (music, images you don't own copyright to, etc.) shouldn't RIAA/MPAA start a site like this and show and "shame" those people too? All of this material is equally illegal to distribute, no? Would those who approve of the site mentioned equally approving of this kind of, oh, let's say it, monitoring?

mahlen

America is a large friendly dog in a small room. Every time it wags its tail it knocks over a chair.

--Arnold Toynbee

So many people on crack here ... (none / 0) (#27)
by nictamer on Thu May 04, 2000 at 06:41:45 PM EST

I can't believe so many people find this a good idea. This is just plain dangerous and stupid.

First of all, the idea is stupid. You might want to d/l the files just to figure out what it is, to report it to the police in case it's real pedophilia for example. Or you might just be looking for plain porn, which is perfectly fine according to MY moral, and click accidentally on one file (or even download a bunch of them by selected these among others!).

Then, the implementation sucks big time. C'm'on!!! Some files are named youngass.jpg. HEL-LO?? How does this imply pedophilia? Tell me, is a 21 yo ass old? No, in my book it's a young ass, and lusting after 21 yo adults is nowhere close to pedophilia.

Same goes for schoolgirl.jpg, heck, I've had sex with a few high school girls in the not so distant past (I'm 27 now), and it was perfectly legal in my country, as they were over 15.

All in all, this is just another demagogue with noble and stupid intentions, probably a frustrated fundamentalist Xtian from the bible belt, where that kind of vigilantism is considered right. I'm still surprised that it gets so much support here.


--
Religion is for sheep.
Re: So many people on crack here ... (none / 0) (#31)
by rusty on Fri May 05, 2000 at 12:06:01 AM EST

FWIW, I agree with you that this is basically vigilantism. It reminds me an awful lot of the recent rage for "proving your OS was secure" by running a "crack this box" contest. That was a load of crap, and this pretty much is too. There's a good reason the police don't (usually!) do things this way, and it's because a lot of people smarter than us have spent a lot of time thinking about what can go wrong with this kind of entrapment. Just makes me not want to use Gnutella, really.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Very dangerous precedent.. (none / 0) (#28)
by Inoshiro on Thu May 04, 2000 at 07:57:51 PM EST

I can understand prosecuting those who have commited a crime. I do not understand "shaming" people based on keywords (as posted by another fellow) which can potentially be general. I hope these fellows don't set dangerous precedents.



--
[ イノシロ ]
bah...jpg (none / 0) (#29)
by TomG on Thu May 04, 2000 at 10:04:00 PM EST

There is an E in JPEG!



Re: Putting kiddy porn lovers to shame (3.00 / 1) (#35)
by inspire on Fri May 05, 2000 at 06:32:50 AM EST

I can only wonder about the outrage people would express if someone set up a Gnutella node that contained fake Top 40 MP3 files, logged ips, and set up a wall of shame.

It's easy to defend vigilante action against child pornographers, but people tend to get a bit more touchy when the ball strikes closer to home.

Stuff like this sets up a very slippery slope indeed...
--
What is the helix?

Putting kiddy porn lovers to shame | 37 comments (37 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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