Millions of New Zealanders attempt to access Child Porn sites – Ben Heather [UPDATED]

Yes, that’s what I though too:  What?

See for yourself:

mk

This doesn’t pass the BS test.  MillionS of Kiwis means about one in two, perhaps one in three of us are trying to access Child Porn web sites.

What the hell is going on here?  

Experts say New Zealanders seeking child pornography are increasingly demanding younger victims and more violent abuse.

“Some people confuse these images as being virtual, but they are real images, they are crime scenes,” said Alan Bell, national director of ECPAT, which is dedicated to ending the commercial sexual exploitation of kids.

Last week the world’s two biggest search engines, Google and Microsoft, announced a crackdown on online paedophiles, introducing new search filters and technology to wipe indecent videos.

“the world’s two biggest search engines, Google and Microsoft”?

You mean, Google and Bing, perhaps?  And Baidu is the 2nd largest Search Engine, world-wide.  There are some non-English speaking countries in the world you know.

In New Zealand, a bill creating tougher penalties for online child sex abuse trading passed its first reading in Parliament last Thursday.

The Department of Internal Affairs has already blocked 34 million attempts within New Zealand to access at least one of 582 child sex abuse sites blocked by government filters since 2010.

As an aside, are you aware that the DIA filters the Internet?  It isn’t compulsory, and it depends which ISP you are with.

orcon

Although many of these attempts are generated by pop-ups, malicious software and a small group of heavy users, the sheer number was described by one cyber security expert as “mind-boggling”.

And the number is rising, with roughly a million requests a month within New Zealand being blocked in the first half of this year.

A small group of heavy users.  Yet the first line of he article states “Millions of Kiwis are bombarding blacklisted child-sex-abuse sites”.

For these statistics to be true, and for Ben Heather not the be accused of stretching the statistics for maximum effect, it would surely mean that you and I and pretty much everyone has been trying to access Child Porn site over the last three years.

Problem is, apart from “a small group of heavy users”, we don’t even know our Child Porn access attempts are being logged against our account.

I started this article with the idea of making fun of Ben Heather as a hack.  The headline is sensational, and doesn’t truly reflect the intent of the article, which essentially means that “millions of popups” are driving these requests on Kiwi computers.

I was going to suggest to Ben and Fairfax that this violates principle 5 of the New Zealand Press Council Statement of Principles.

It is a panic inducing article that paints most New Zealanders as people who are intentionally looking for Child Porn.

But I’ve also become concerned with the idea that somewhere in our Government’s data centers lies a file with my name on it, and another with your name on it, listing all the attempts that have been made on your Internet access account(s) to any of these known CP sites.

And the thing is, in spite of Ben’s spin, I suspect that 99.9999% of us aren’t even aware that this data is being held against our names.

After all, the real perpetrators are “a small group of heavy users”.

A proper journalist, trained and skilled, might want to find out what happens to this data.  Who can access it?  Is it shared outside of the DIA?  What conditions have to be met for this to be done?  Does it expire or does it stay on your account for the rest of your life?  What are the implications of sharing your WiFi with friends and visitors?  What about public Internet access, motels, commercial hotspots?  Can anyone request to see the data collected against their own name/account under the Privacy Act?  Is there a process to have this data corrected?  What constitutes sufficient proof to deny I have any knowledge of accessing such sites knowingly?

Will someone find themselves in Family Court in an ugly custody dispute, to suddenly find their DIA collected CP site blocking logs thrown at them as “proof” they aren’t a suitable parent?

There you go Ben.

I’ll give you a week to do some real journalism.  Feel free to drop me an email with a pointer to it instead of being a scare mongering hyperbolic repeating churnalist of press releases.

UPDATE: Thy have changed the headline now…power of social media.

changedheadline


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