Police to monitor net chat rooms


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Mil Novecientos Once
June 9, 2004, 07:12 AM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/3789279.stm

Police around the world are planning to monitor conversations on internet chat rooms so they can stop paedophiles from grooming their victims over the web.
The idea emerged at a two-day summit in London of the Virtual Global Task Force, set up six months ago to make the internet safer for young people.

Police in the UK, US and Australia will make use of the different time zones to monitor the web 24 hours a day.

If a dialogue is potentially dangerous, officers may warn both online parties.


The National Crime Squad in the UK and the FBI in America are heading the effort to set up the full-time surveillance.


If we can get to people who are starting off along this road, then we can work with them before it becomes an ingrained pattern of behaviour

Tink Palmer, Barnardo's


They are both involved in the Virtual Global Task Force, along with US Customs, the FBI, the Canadian Mounted Police, Australian Federal Police and Interpol.


The group, which aims to improve international policing of the internet, will reveal further details of the initiative on Wednesday.

One proposal is that a symbol may appear on computer screens to let chatroom users know that they are being overheard.

BBC crime correspondent Neil Bennett said police may then intervene if, for example, someone is being asked for their name and address.

He says the police are also stepping up efforts to persuade banks to withdraw credit cards from people who use them to pay for child pornography on websites.

Other partnerships


Tink Palmer, policy officer at the children's charity Barnardo's, welcome the idea of monitoring chat rooms to help prevent criminal behaviour.

She said if paedophiles knew their internet conversation was being observed by a police officer it could stop them "in their tracks".

"If we can get to people who are starting off along this road, then we can work with them before it becomes an ingrained pattern of behaviour.

"People say 'what about civil liberties?' but you have a virtual world out there - we have to police that to make it as safe as we can," she said.


The National Crime Squad, which initiated the virtual task force, has worked in partnership with overseas agencies to combat paedophilia before, most notably on Operation Ore.

Police sting

Operation Ore was launched in May 2002 after US investigators found customers around the world were accessing images of child abuse from a Texas-based site.

It has identified over 7,000 suspects and led to more than 1,200 convictions in the UK alone.

The operation also led to the development of the task force's international police sting, known as Operation Pin, last year.

Forces in countries including Britain, Canada and Australia set up sites appearing to offer child pornography.

But instead of finding the images they want, users are told they could face 10 years in jail and may have their details circulated to 180 countries.

__________________________________________

Paedophiles must rot in jail and burn in hell, but not at the expense of my rigths.

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La Pistoletta
June 9, 2004, 08:15 AM
I believe Clinton signed something in 1995...rings a bell?

Henry Bowman
June 9, 2004, 09:38 AM
This story is from the UK, not the USA, so the US Constitution does not apply. Human rights are universal, but where is the expectation of privacy in a public chat room? No different than having a load conversation among a group of people on the street corner.

La Pistoletta
June 9, 2004, 10:11 AM
But is says "the US"? And besides, what if the server that the conversation is on is private property?

Furthermore, they make it seem like pedophilia itself is a crime, when only acting it out is. It's like saying "heterosexual charged with rape".

GigaBuist
June 9, 2004, 10:14 AM
This doesn't even sound technicaly feasible.

NavajoNPaleFace
June 9, 2004, 10:21 AM
Here in Arizona the Phoenix PD and State Patrol (Public Safety) have task forces that do nothing but go into various chat rooms and etc.

The problem I have with this is that they are unimpeded in HOW they go about getting evidence against you.

They can pose as a legal aged female and then make some comment like, 'What if I were really fourteen?' and if the other person doesn't scoot right away or shows any curiosity (even in a surprising moment).....busted!

Like the vast majority of people child stalking and molestation disgusts me and those dangers need to be taken out of the societal gene pool but proper methods need to be employed or the next thing we know any method can be used and for any other type of instance known to mankind.

dev_null
June 9, 2004, 10:23 AM
1911:

This is hardly news. They've been doing it for years, especially on AOL chats. They also -- or so I'm told -- ask ISPs to monitor usenet binary feeds (like forums for sharing files, especially music or, in this case, graphics) and voluntarily supply LE with info on who's accessing pedo binaries. I have no doubt they're doing the same with other feeds since 9/11. I would imagine Big Brother would love nothing so much as to make the above mandatory, thus saving themselves the expense of maintaining the infrastructure to do it themselves. These are the same people who also want to log all your purchases in a gigantor database, JIC you're buying something they don't think you should have. Maybe they can call it "Colossus" (obscure movie reference).

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Standing Wolf
June 9, 2004, 06:47 PM
...so they can stop paedophiles from grooming their victims over the web.

Virtual shampoos? How many gigabytes is a hair cut?

thefitzvh
June 9, 2004, 07:04 PM
I don't believe that one has any right to privacy on the internet. Same with free speech.

Case in point: we don't have the right to free speech on this forum, because it's a privately owned forum. Same with internet chatrooms. SOMEONE owns them, and if people want to monitor what's going on in their house, I have no problem with that.

Had a user at work get mad at me because I was logging website activity, and I found out he was surfing porn at work. I fail to see how that's different than monitoring chat rooms.

MHO, worth exactly what you paid for it

La Pistoletta
June 9, 2004, 07:16 PM
But it usually says (with a reference to that which Clinton signed in 1995), "if you are affiliated with law enforcement" or something, then you can't come in.

MacViolinist
June 9, 2004, 07:43 PM
thefitzvh,
The point is that the SOMEONE that owns a server has a right to access all data available on it. The government doesn't own it, therefore it does not have the right. For example, if I PM you, the admin has a right to look at it if he chooses, that is not within the bounds of reasonble expectation of privacy, however if I PM you and the Dept. of Homeland Security tells the admin to show all PM's because there might be terror, drugs, or child porn involved, that is not acceptable. There is an expectation of privacy, or at least there was until the "Patriot" Acts.

mercedesrules
June 9, 2004, 08:34 PM
(MacViolinist) thefitzvh,
The point is that the SOMEONE that owns a server has a right to access all data available on it. The government doesn't own it, therefore it does not have the right. For example, if I PM you, the admin has a right to look at it if he chooses, that is not within the bounds of reasonble expectation of privacy, however if I PM you and the Dept. of Homeland Security tells the admin to show all PM's because there might be terror, drugs, or child porn involved, that is not acceptable. There is an expectation of privacy, or at least there was until the "Patriot" Acts.
Crucial point, Mac! There are many rights individuals have that governments should not have.

For instance, I should have the right to decide who comes into my house, but the government shouldn't shut anyone out of the park, school, bus, voting booth, sidewalk or department of motor vehicles.

MR

thefitzvh
June 9, 2004, 08:51 PM
Macviolinist wrote:

The point is that the SOMEONE that owns a server has a right to access all data available on it. The government doesn't own it, therefore it does not have the right. For example, if I PM you, the admin has a right to look at it if he chooses, that is not within the bounds of reasonble expectation of privacy, however if I PM you and the Dept. of Homeland Security tells the admin to show all PM's because there might be terror, drugs, or child porn involved, that is not acceptable. There is an expectation of privacy, or at least there was until the "Patriot" Acts.

You, sir, are absolutely right. Once again I made the error of equating individual with government.

Error noted. Government shouldn't be able to monitor, but I DO believe the owners of the servers should.

James

Art Eatman
June 9, 2004, 08:52 PM
You own your house and yard, but anybody who overhears a conversation while not trespassing has done no wrong. Same for chat-room snooping.

A sting is a Bad Thing if it induces somebody to do something he otherwise would not have done. That's why care (supposedly) is taken in setting up the "how to" of an operation.

Other stuff I'll leave to the courts...

Art

Third_Rail
June 9, 2004, 09:46 PM
Dev_null, I hear you on the Colossus bit. We're already headed that way.

Skunkabilly
June 10, 2004, 01:49 AM
Cool, where do I sign up?

THR 40 hours a week?

La Pistoletta
June 10, 2004, 07:30 AM
Art Eatman: it's not the same thing. If they overhear you while walking by your house, that's nothing.

But what the government does is go to your front door and demand that you open it so that it may hear what you don't want people to hear. On your property.

Art Eatman
June 10, 2004, 10:04 AM
La Pistoletta: I disagree, insofar as monitoring a chat-room. No different from browsing here at THR. Anybody can do it, and interpret the commentaries as they will. Your monitor serves as a public sidewalk, and the postings are the same as an audible conversation within a house.

Insofar as a sting, only the reason and method make one different from any provocative post. Does the provocation induce you to take action which is unusual for you? If so, "entrapment"; if not, shame on you.

Now, Dev_Null's comment about LEOs interacting with ISPs raises a different issue. It seems to me that going beyond monitoring--which is simply another word for browsing--gets us into the realm of warrants and probable cause and such. That's a matter for the courts.

Art

Oleg Volk
June 10, 2004, 10:39 AM
Eventually, we will have one KGB officer entrapping another over anti-Soviet anecdotes...sorry, a flashback...one HSS officer entrapping another over discussions of civil liberties...or a couple of cops trying to pick each other up, both pretending to be underage.

dev_null
June 10, 2004, 10:56 AM
I agree with Art. A better analogy would be if you had a sidewalk cafe and an undercover officer was sitting at a nearby table listening to your conversation. Of course, in the actual scheme of things (to continue the simile), he'd be interrupting your conversation to ask if you wanted to buy some Rolex watches he happened to have under his coat...

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