Feeds

ICQ users slammed in priest child porn case

Paedophiles 'thought they were untouchable'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top three mobile application threats

An English Catholic priest has been convicted for downloading child pornography from an ICQ chat-room, used by "dozens of paedophiles".

The Reverend John Wingfield, 56, stored the obscene images on a computer at a Catholic girls school in Kingston, Surrey, where he used to teach. He was put on two years' probation and placed on the national register of sex offender, according to the trial report.

In an interview with the London Evening Standard, PC Neal Ysart of the Metropolitan Police's Obscene Publications and Internet unit said: "People who use the ICQ network do so under the conviction that they are untouchable and cannot be discovered, but this case proves that it is not so."

AOL likes ICQ so much that it bought its developer last year for $325m. ICQ technology forms a key plank in AOL's instant messaging strategy. But Ysart's attack on ICQ exposes a raw nerve in the ISP community. ISPs resist the notion that they can and / or should police all the content posted through their networks.

They are blind carriers - in common with telcos and voice traffic - the ISP argument runs. But some regulators and courts disagree. They say that ISPs are publishers and should be held to account for content published on their networks.

In July, Demon Internet threw in the towel in a landmark libel case in which it was held responsible for defamatory accusations published on a bulletin board it hosted. And last year, Bavaria convicted the former boss of Compuserve Germany, because of porn hosted on its site.®

See also

UK Court rules on ISP liability
Porn ruling raises UK law over Net freedom
Bavaria convicts former CompuServe boss in porn case

The Register's full coverage on Child Pornography and The Web

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.