Feeds

BT's pay-as-you-go paedophile detection

It's the police wot takes the pain

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

New hybrid storage solutions

BT is charging the police £130 a pop for searching information about suspected paedophiles using its services to access the Web.

The phone giant says it is making the charge to recover "part of the costs" incurred in making the search and maintains that it makes no money on the deal.

The charges were revealed on ITV's Tonight with Trevor McDonald programme, which outlined police procedures for identifying people involved in paedophilia on the net. When a suspect has been identified online, the officers contact BT to obtain their names and addresses, which BT will provide for £130.

The parents of murdered schoolchild Sarah Payne, condemned BT for hindering the work of police officers.

In a statement, they said: "We think this is absolutely disgusting. We are trying to protect our children, their safety shouldn't have a price attached to it - this service should be provided free of charge. BT makes enough profit as it is. How can it possibly justify charging the police for this critical information?"

A police officer speaking on the programme noted BT's
legal entitlement to re-coup any costs incurred, but said the company was on shaky moral ground.

He said: "While BT have every right legally to recover the cost of carrying out searches, they must surely balance this out with the ethical questions involved here. Surely they would want to make sure that paedophiles are not operating on the Net just as we are striving to do."

BT makes the charges to the police in its capacity as network operator - it says comparisons with other ISPs are not meaningful. A spokeswoman told us: "It is not a case of looking up the name and address in a database. It is actually a very complicated procedure."

She compared it to the recent case of a man accused of blackmailing an executive at Thames Water who was eventually traced to a laptop in Turkey. "Every time a user dials in he or she is assigned an IP address. Unless the user has a dedicated line it will more often than not be a different IP address, which in turn could be assigned to hundreds of people in a day."

Demon Internet, a leading ISP, says it makes no charge for this kind of information, but revealed plans afoot to introduce some stardard fees across the industry.

The Internet Crime Forum, an organisation comprising ISPs and the police, is looking at working out a fair cost scale, a spokesman for Demon said. "The police recognise that tracking down this kind of information is not a simple matter." ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Quit drooling, fanbois - haven't you SEEN what the iPhone 6 costs?
How keen will buyers be when exposed to the real price?
Ex-Autonomy execs: HP's latest wad blows apart fraud allegations
Top bods claim IT titan's latest court filing is smoking gun of 'reckless aggression'
Forget silly privacy worries - help biometrics firms make MILLIONS
Beancounter reckons dabs-scanning tech is the next big moneypit
Elon Musk says Tesla's stock price is too high ... welp, NOT ANY MORE
As Nevada throws the SpaceX supremo a $1.25bn bone
Microsoft's Office Delve wants work to be more like being on Facebook
Office Graph, social features for Office 365 going public
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.