Investigators blind on P2P child abuse
Encryption on the rise too
Child abuse investigators plan to focus efforts on the use of peer to peer networks to distribute images, following a "wholesale move" in sex offenders' online behaviour .
The "vast majority" of paedophile activity online now takes place on public and private P2P platforms rather than commercial criminal websites, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) said today.
"Our focus must now be on tackling this as a priority," the agency said in its annual report.
However, the report pointed to a major gap in intelligence about P2P networking by paedophiles, which is usually hidden from view and technically difficult to track.
"The scale and nature of P2P file sharing involving child abuse images is currently impossible to establish," CEOP said.
"It is a mode of abuse and image distribution that remains largely unseen to the general public and indeed to the victims themselves."
The agency received only two reports from under-18s of paedophile activity on P2P networks in the last year. It said it was reliant "to a very large extent" on reports from internet industry sources and other non-public sources.
Offenders are also increasingly turning to free encryption software in an attempt to evade detection, CEOP said, meaning reports take longer to process and analyse.
The strategy document said: "It has long been recognised that child sexual offenders practise deception, disguising and masking their activities to achieve their aims.
"This is increasingly pertinent with certain developments in technology that offenders have adapted and adopted to suit their purposes. The key developments that are particularly suited to being exploited by offenders are wireless technology (which we have reported on previously but about which we are now receiving increasing reports) and the use of 'off the shelf' encryption."
The problems caused to investigators by encryption include both scrambling of stored data using software such as TrueCrypt, and disguising their location and identity when transmitting data using anonymous networking techniques such as Tor. However, CEOP indicated it expects innocent everyday use of such technology to increase too.
"There is a general trend for people to become more aware of their privacy when interacting online and perhaps the likelihood that manufacturers will move towards everyday encryption as standard," it said.
Despite CEOP's observation that the vast majority of paedophiles exchange images via P2P, yesterday it was revealed that the Queen's Speech in October will include laws to force the minority of small ISPs who have not done so to implement the Internet Watch Foundation blocklist of abuse websites. Small firms providing less than five per cent of internet connections have declined to implement the IWF blocklist, citing costs and arguing it merely hides the problem.
CEOP nevertheless hopes ISPs will help with its new focus on P2P.
"Co-ordinated responses between governments, law enforcement agencies and the communications and internet industries, mutually aiming to disrupt an offender's activity and deny them access to the services they need, will be vital to the future of child protection in technically converged environments," it said. ®
CEOP admit 'commercial CP' is a myth..?
At least CEOP are now 'fessing up to the media-friendly myth of a 'vast commercial CP industry' (at one time estimated by police officers to be worth $billions globally. That's progress - a tacit admission that they've been feeding the tabloids porkies all along.
I don't know whether there's any truth in the claims now being made about P2P filesharing networks. Who does? But that's CEOP's modus operandi and always has been: put these kind of blanket statements (as if they were fact) into the public domain and refuse to elaborate or explain, whilst ensuring it's a serious criminal offence for anyone, including journalists, to investigate their validity.
For years CEOP have been banging on about large 'global networks' of organised paedophiles - ever since the tragedy of Ore, to be honest. The tabloids lap it up, with never a critical word, and CEOP make their next £5million+ annual budget review. The danger is that the longer these clowns play to the gallery, the more pressing becomes the need for another Ore-type expose to justify all that expense - and I think we're all becoming more gradually and reluctantly aware what a complete farce that has since been revealed to be (the class action is imminent).
CEOP really need to get their priorities in order. Chasing down lonely middle-aged men for looking at images on their home computers in the privacy of a back bedroom is not the same as investigating and arresting men and women for organising the rape and sexual exploitation of young children, no matter how many times they tell us it is.
Common sense cannot be denied, more especially when we consider that there are fewer and fewer instances where credit cards are used, that any CP is actually paid for. It cannot be difficult for CEOP with all their international contacts and expertise to target the real online criminals; the men and women who actually create the CP itself. Instead, they choose to waste taxpayer money imprisoning men who have done nothing more than look at an image on a screen, ruining their lives, those of their families and creating a modern-day scapegoat with no chance of rehabilitiation, no comeback whatsoever. Just for looking at a picture. It's cheap, it's cowardly and it's a disgrace.
I have no doubt CEOP will get their way with new laws designed to fully-enable DPI (deep packet inspection) across UK networks. It may already be happening. Just hold up the 'think of the children!' banner and you'll scare politicians into doing anything (including signing away all our personal freedoms). It's a sorry state we're in, to be sure. Yet still the Paedogeddon careens around this land, funded by Government, endorsed by Police and lauded by the gutter press, leaving in its wake fear and chaos for any ordinary person unfortunate enough to get themselves in its way...
For all our cowardice in the face of such mob-handed idiocy we get the kind of 'freedoms' we deserve...
Although the abuse of children for sexual pleasure is illegal and morally, imho wrong. I am sure pedophiles although aware of this, see their involvement in such activities as sexual gratification much more than they see their activities as a criminal offence, morally wrong and damaging to the victims. So from a pedophiles point of view legislation against child abuse and the trade in child porn images is something that denies them sexual gratification rather than protects children.
No matter what measures are taken by the state or society to curb such behaviour, pedophiles will resort to ever more covert methods to get their sexual gratification. Legislation and controls will not stop the trade in child pornography, it will just drive it deeper underground.
Do I have a solution, other than destigmatising pedophilia, encouraging those who find children to be their only source of sexual stimulation to own up, seek guidance and help, and for the public at large to actually show some kind of respect for those who admit to such sexual urges and actively seek help, No I don't.
Yes it is a heinous crime but to just vilify, exclude from society, penalise and punish pedophiles will only drive them further underground. At the risk of being flamed I suggest pedophiles are accepted for what they are and helped by society to overcome that which makes them so hated. For some there will be no cure, no solution and incarceration maybe the only answer.
I can understand a knee jerk response of string them up by their balls, but all this does is rid society of one pedophile, it is not a solution and again the more pedophiles we string up the further underground the remaining will go.
If the taboos surrounding, and public disgust of pedophilia were not so rigid, perhaps more pedophiles, at least those who do experience some kind of guilt for their actions would come forward and seek help.
In the name of saving the children all I can see for the future is even tighter controls and heavier penalties with pedophiles being further ostracised and too scared to seek help. As a result we will all suffer as our civil liberties and rights are further eroded.
I am not at all suggesting that society go out and hug a pedophile, what I am saying is that society should be more tolerant, accepting and supportive of those pedophiles that do seek help to rid themselves of such destructive sexual desires.
Ban on Tents & backyard sleeping next?
If they want to catch the real pedos, perhapse they should look here http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&oi=video_result&ct=res&cd=1&url=http%3A%2F%2Fvideo.google.com%2Fvideoplay%3Fdocid%3D866739408240639313&ei=VLqnSve-E4TYNduv8bEP&rct=j&q=conspiracy+of+silence&usg=AFQjCNGIQ_UYxa-5tXkGAHMcyFsnDPnx2w
Conspiracy of Silence - Highest Quality Version
& there are more calls to international media attention that document proof that many high profile politicians are pedos and traffic children but I don't see you going after those. Perhapse you should watch conspiracy of silence & research first before you say that a internet protocol is bad simply b/c it could allow the transfer of content not deemed acceptable. Ya know what, so could telephones, cars, people, etc. Perhaps we should just ban the whole world from everything since it could be used for bad purposes.
Also the latest child abuser camped out in a tent in his backyard & the police even got calls & knew he was a child molester but still allowed him to have children around. He had been raping one for many years even + had 2 kids with her.
So should we ban tents & sleeping in the back yard & have the fbi watch every backyard in the world b/c it could be used to molest children?
I will let common sense prevail, unless the reporters of this story are against everything also.