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German ISP uses file-scanning crawler to bust pedos

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German ISP Uni-X is using a Web crawler called Perkeo to scan news groups for paedophilia and inform federal police where to find the vile material.

The German Feds (Bundeskriminalamt Wiesbaden) can then contact whoever is hosting the filth and attempt to obtain the poster's identity. Thus far the scheme has yielded one creep in Japan who it is claimed posted upwards of 750 files.

Perkeo was developed by German software outfit Autem, and recognizes specific patterns or pixels which indicate kiddie porn.

According to Uni-X, the Feds have been enthusiastic supporters of the scheme. The software does not capture any personal information relevant to the child-raping dirtbags in question, but merely captures the location of the materials for the police to deal with on their own, the company says.

Pedo-hunting is an excellent first application for the technology, but future implementations could be less admirable.

One worries what will happen when spammers, bible-thumpers, corporate lawyers looking for critics to silence, and thuggish organizations like the MPAA and RIAA get their hands on a progie like this, which can peer into the contents of a posted file in search of something objectionable. ®

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