Saturday, February 08, 2020

Teachers and school employees are indeed vulnerable to false or made-up allegations

I don’t think I’ve talked about false accusations against teachers and school employees before, but it not surprising that in practice it seems like it is “guilty until proven innocent”.

Here is a National Education Association page on the problem (2008) called “Defend Yourself”. 
Here is a more recent piece, by Neal Davis Law Firm, from 2018.  

Monday, January 13, 2020

Expulsion of Saudi trainees from Pensacola air station connected to c.p. possession

David Shortell and Evan Perez of CNN report on the expulsion of more than a dozen Saudi-immigrant sailors at the Pensacola Naval Station.

Social media examination has shown association with jihadist organizations overseas, but also child porn was found on some of their computers.  This seems to have been a particularly disturbing find. It is also inconsistent with our understanding of the usual interpretations of religious law under Sunni Islam.

Apple has not been willing to provide decryption for the FBI to look at remains of cell phones, as Tim Cook says this would be a form of “cancer” for civil liberties and privacy.
The examination followed a shooting by one sailor in December 2019.  This tracks to the usual idea that violent crime or terror often includes an interest in c.p.
 I visited Pensacola in November 1998, and actually went to the Brownsville Assembly of God and witnessed "slaying in the spirit".

Thursday, January 02, 2020

What if someone sends you a marginally (il)legal photo "privately" on social media? Maybe this really gets legally tricky

Recently an older article from Forbes, from 2014, about John Grisham, crime thriller novelist (“The Firm”), was recirculated on Twitter. The article indicated that many older men convicted of possession of child pornography, apparently with honey pot stings online (likely P2P), have never personally disturbed children and would not, and are often 60 years old or more (and usually white).  So this is a crime of bad karma, where the sin is said to be the demand (like with drugs).

It’s true that most cases that make the local media involve people found to have large “collections” after police get warrants.

New Years morning, I received a private Facebook message with a photo from “Happy Nude Year”, probably as a joke.  The photo showed young men, in full frontal nudity, which would have been illegal (under federal law in the US) if any nudity occurred on anyone under eighteen at the time of photography.  I saved it offline on a USB thumb drive but not on the computer.  Trend Micro did not object to the JPG file.  Theoretically, a hidden impression could still exist on the solid state drive.
It is generally considered “safe” to view adult porn sites if from lawfully operated content providers who are required to verify ages of all actors (as at least 18) if in the US, Canada, or most other western countries.  Likewise, bars and discos, with age admission restriction policy related to alcohol consumption anyway, can normally show nude videos safety as long as the films come from reputable providers who obey these laws.

I would be less sure about a random photo provider, when a Google search did not identify any particular source.

A possibly noteworthy oddity about the photo was that none of the men (all white) showed chest hair, which statistically implies that some of them were likely under 18 unless all had been waxed or otherwise depilated.  It that the hidden and ironic point of a photo like this?  This gets quickly to sensitive stuff about race and identity and the law.

I would suspect that eventually cloud providers will check for watermarked images, whose NCMEC count has increased because of recent international busts (some connected to trafficking).  But the risk could be that some Internet users could get “infected” without realizing it.  A coming problem?  
This deserves further checking.

Facebook ordinarily does not permit even adult nudity on public posts (except for special purposes like medical or breast-feeding). 
For this post, I picked a picture with no people. 

Friday, December 27, 2019

California law requiring therapists disclose patients admitted downloads of c.p. now can be challenged in court

The California state supreme court, voting 4-3, has allowed to go forward litigation of a 2014 law that requires therapists to report patients who admit to downloading child pornography even though they did not disseminate it.

Therapists argue, reasonably, that this would stop people from seeking therapy.

Maura Dolan has a detailed article in the Los Angeles Times (paywall) Dec 26.

I recall there had been some controversy about the law at the time and I recall hearing about the proposal in 2013.
But the issue also reminds me of the “confessions” that James Holmes in Colorado made to his therapist before the violent theater rampage in 2012, and that the therapist thought she had a serious ethical dilemma.

Picture: Sacramento at night, my picture, Sept. 2018 

Monday, December 23, 2019

New York Times reports major c.p. busts of hosted sites based on the detective work of Canadian non-profits

Gabriel J. X. Dance has a long and detailed and heavily formatted front-page article (“Fighting the Good Fight”) in the New York Times today about hosted sites (as opposed to social media platforms) serving child pornography.  Most of these are hosted overseas, surprisingly in Europe (such as the Netherlands) where everyone thinks censorship and illegal content laws are stricter.

The article makes it appear that Cloudflare hides these sites from law enforcement, a claim that the CEO will surely challenge.

A number of non-profits, formed by victims, have hunted these sites down. Some of the non-profits are in Canada, with one of the largest in Winnipeg, Manitoba (north of Minnesota and socially and culturally similar) and it uses a detection program called Arachnid.

The busts will add to the count of watermarked images that NCMEC can check against.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Another look at Tumblr's porn ban a year ago

Recently, there have been some conversations where people remember Tumblr’s porn ban of Dec 17, 2018 (about a year ago), TOS document here

Vox had explained the action in a piece by Aja Romano that day.  
Apparently the reason was related to Apple’s pulling an iPhone app after child pornography was detected.  This was quite damaging to the company.

There are other possible reasons.  Banks are getting skittish about doing business with companies with high risk exposure, and porn poses that kind of risk.  Bostwiki had explained this in a video a few days ago. 

And during 2019 there has been at least one major international bust, which will add more watermarks to NCMEC’s database for companies to check against, for uploads, email attachments, or even conceivably cloud storage.
I included a Wochit video about this in yesterday’s GLBT blog posting that talked about several quirky topics.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Parents need to be careful about kids' video game playing (NYTimes series this week)

Nellie Bowles and Michael H. Keller have a detailed and disturbing series starting in the Sunday New York Times on December 8, 2019, “While they play online, children may be the prey”.  The series is called “Exploited: virtual ‘hunting grounds’”. 

The article starts online with chat samples, and describes intrusions into kids playing video games, often those “made for kids”, sometimes from Discord servers, as discovered by some alert parents.

The story reminds me of a New York Times article by Kurt Eichenwald about Justin Berry in 2005. 
The video above by Chubbyemu describes how a young man dropped dead after playing video games for 73 hours unstopped. He died of acute pulmonary embolism.  In South Korea people are treated for gaming addiction.