Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Cyber criminals

I know i do tend to go on about this and will continue to do so until i see for myself a dramatic drop in the amount of kids photos being posted on blogs. This story was too good an oppurtunity to preach to those not yet converted. Thanks to BBC News.

Blogging 'a paedophile's dream'

Legislation is being formed to tackle online groomingOnline journals and camera phones are a "paedophiles' dream" which have increased the risk to children, the Scottish Parliament has been warned.
The Justice 1 Committee is examining a bill to create the specific offence of "grooming" and bringing in 10-year jail terms for meeting children for sex.
A forensic psychologist spoke about the dangers of online journals, or blogs, and pictures posted directly online.
Rachel O'Connell said adults could use weblogs to learn about children.
Dr O'Connell said that the emergence of moblogs - mobile weblogs - allowed even faster transfer of pictures to the internet using mobile telephones with cameras.
You have children uploading pictures, giving out details of their everyday life because it's an online journal
Dr Rachel O'ConnellForensic psychologist
She said: "This is just a paedophile's dream because you have children uploading pictures, giving out details of their everyday life because it's an online journal."
The psychologist, whose research and work with police and other agencies has included posing as a child on internet newsgroups, said predatory adults could use an RSS feeder program - a syndication tool - to be instantly e-mailed any picture when it was added to a blogging site.
"The parameters of grooming are now about to alter whereby they don't necessarily have to have contact with the child," she said.
'New dimension'
Dr O'Connell is director of research at Central Lancashire University's Cyberspace Research Unit.
She described a scenario where a group of paedophiles could exchange information on a child's movement, potentially leading to an abduction.
"This is what we're facing, in that situation you have no prior contact with the child," she added.
Labour committee convener Pauline McNeill said: "It takes it to a whole new dimension for us - I'm beginning to wonder if we've really begun to tackle the protection of children with the bill before us."
'No guidance'
Ms McNeill said the committee may have to consider issues beyond the current bill, a view echoed by Nationalist and Tory members.
Dr O'Connell said there was "absolutely no internet safety information or guidance whatsoever" on most blogging sites as their whole point was about giving out personal information.
"It's going to become a huge issue," she said.
She backed the Protection of Children and Prevention of Sexual Offences (Scotland) Bill, but also urged greater collaboration between law enforcement and technology developers and more parental information.
Deputy Justice Minister Hugh Henry said ministers and the public wanted to be sure the law was "robust".
"We want to ensure that our laws allow for early intervention to help prevent predatory sex offenders targeting and abusing children," he told MSPs.
"The provisions in this bill will ensure that the police and procurators fiscal have a robust package of measures to deal with predatory sex offenders before they go on to commit physical assaults on children and other victims."

In Australia we have ( most states) ew legislation set in place for "grooming" and so far prosecution has been very sucessful in Queensland.
I have seen so many photos retrived from computers, i have lost count. Australias high tech crime unit are flat out in returning evidence for trials on time.
I shall continue to keep posting sporadically on this subject as i know first hand just how popular this crime is.


Blogger Madi said...

A hypothetical: One of those scumbags, a pedophile comes to visit you with his spouse. She's in denial and he's never been convicted. What do you do? What do you say? I'm not sure of the answer.
Keep up the good work, sis, of bringing these issues out in the open.

9:53 PM  
Blogger No_Newz said...

No real way to avoid sickos. They are everywhere and find kids anyway. The only thing we as parents can do is make our kids aware and keep close watch over them.
Lois Lane

1:21 AM  
Blogger Green-Eyed Lady(GEL) said...

This is a critical and vital issue one that is of great import to me. I've been on a mission for several years about this, even before the internet. Yes, keep posting!!!!

The invention of camera phones and subsequent implication on privacy on many levels, literally made me sick. In our home, we've set up restricted usage for each of our children's accounts. They are appalled that so many of their friends do post their photos and ID info (not of my kids) and do so, nonchalantly.

Pedophiles and other criminals can determine when people are gone for the window to commit crimes, via chat or email info. Many people leave messages on their chat that they "have gone out to pick up milk", etc. It's similar to criminals canvasing the obitutaries and robbing those folks' homes while they are at the funeral service.

I will not even post a pic of myself for similar precautionary measures. Too many kids feel their "friends only" live journals are safe, when they are not. Those friends from school or community can zip off info and/or pics to *anyone*, a fact lost to many people.

5:05 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

Blogs are such an incredible source of intelligence on individuals. You can look at any random blog and find out where a person lives, their politics, their hobbies, habits, etc. It's a profiler's dream world. Because of this, I think discretion is quite important in keeping a picture away from the rest of the information. We make it easy enough as it is; we need not giftwrap anymore.

8:00 AM  
Blogger Jennyta said...

I read that article myself and I agree, it is a whole new way for those who are of that mind to gain contact with children and young people. They are beginning to be popular in schools over here as a vehicle to encourage pupils to write but as Green-eyed Lady says, even though they are only available on the school's intronet, there is nothing to stop other pupils copying and publishing photos and info. elsewhere.

4:43 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Madi i know the hypothetical your talking about and trust me if i were living down there i'd make it my mission to have him prosecuted. I'd be willing to bet everything i own he's a repeat offender...he'd have to be at his age. You don't just start at 50. I'd also bet he has been in trouble with the law re petty crimes, most sex offenders have. I don't give a toss what his spouse says...even if she is a close friend, my concious would never let me live it down knowing i could have done something.
It's a sad state of affairs globally that people feel they have anonimity because they are in the privacy of their own homes whilst on the computer.
Cyber crime is relatively new and only recently being exposed and talked about.
By posting your kids pics just just providing sex offenders with greater oppurtunity to offend without leaving the comfort of their armchairs.
The laws in Australia are tightening every day. People that work with kids to the age of 17 such as myself must have 2 police background checks..state and federal, if you pass you are then issued with a "blue card", this gets updated every 2 years and more police background work is done. No teacher can teach without one....even parents who listen to kids read in school...help with craft etc must have one. Scout leaders, day care centres...all have to be screened.
Kids photos are not allowed to be posted on schools web sites without parents permission.

9:22 PM  

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