Thursday, March 16, 2017

Suddenly, "Oklahoma!" is not OK


An Oklahoma GOP state senator was found in a most compromising situation, as explained in this Towleroad story.

I suppose he could say he was tempted, or that the underage was mature for his age and wanted power over him (which was a point that Milo Yiannopoulos has made before, to the great offense of many people, who don’t know the term ephebophilia).

Oklahoma is OK, except when under the gun for F5 tornadoes.  When I lived in Dallas in the 80s, I got to know the state all too well.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Minors who use streaming sites may invite predators who collect their videos


Local station WJLA in Washington DC reports (Feb. 23) that people have been arrested for spying on minors who use the “Live me” and “Musical Ly” smart phone live streaming apps, for others.

Videos sometimes wind up in child pornography collections and some have been watermarked as known images.

Parents should supervise minors carefully when they use these (minimum age is supposed to be 16).

The Family Online Safety Institute seems to be alive and well, and was also mentioned on WJLA.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Explosive 1993 case about Trump had almost surfaced before election, at same time as Comey letter; more on Milo


A news report on Snopes (Nov. 4, by David Mikkelsen) was provided to me recently, regarding allegations that Donald Trump had unlawful activity with an under-consent-age female back in 1993, link here.   The headline claims that the most recent litigation was dropped in November 2016,  This happened November 4, four days before the election, and ironically two days before James Comey cleared Hillary Clinton on the secondary email scandal regarding the presence of her emails on a laptop associated with Anthony Weiner (himself under investigation for underage activity).

Trump can obviously say this is a dead issue, because legal due process has been followed and has cleared him.

Nevertheless, this is the sort of “scandal”, if factual, that could quickly lead to his removal from office

 
Ironically, this story was brought to my attention just before Milo Yiannopoulos’s world exploded yesterday based on the appearance (typical news account)  of video from the “Drunken Peasants “(sounds rather Bolshevist)  that “appears” to endorse sex between adult men and underage men.  I say “appears” because there is a lot of deception in the way this is being reported, which I won’t try to analyze right here – but see earlier posting Feb. 9),  All of this loops back to my own "implicit content" experience when I was substitute teaching back in 2005, which I have explained before (see main blog).

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Local Washington DC station reports on stepped up efforts to detect child pornography downloading in homes


Local station WUSA Channel 9 (CBS) in Washington DV aired a special report about new tools to detect users downloading child pornography.  The story by Andrea McCarren and 5-minute video are available here.
 
The deployment of the tools is sponsored by the Child Rescue Coalition, “Protection Innocence Through Technology”.

The technology apparently depends on automatic identification of images and videos with digital watermarks provided by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.  It is now possible to scan outgoing emails or image posts (as Google does) or even cloud services for these images.

But this particular group helps isolate IP addresses with larger numbers of flagged images.  They may be servers in businesses or private homes.  The IP addresses are posted to dashboards that are then turned over to law enforcement.  The next step is to get a subpoena from a state court to search the electronics in a home or business.

A location in Gaithersburg MD turned up 2700 files, one in Reston VA over 1000.

Some files tend to have descriptive names that tend to suggest the taste of the collectors, which have included babies or very young children.

There are “step-by-step manuals”, one that was over 170 pages.

A few years ago, Amazon had pulled a self-published “Pedophile’s Guide” after exposure on Anderson Cooper AC360.  

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Milo says that sometimes teens are aggressors in solicitation events in order to gain power over authorities


Milo Yiannopoulos has a rather shocking video from April 2016 where he seems to “admit” to “abuse” of sorts, apparently by members of the clergy, when he was a teenager.

Milo says he was the perpetrator at 14 in order to have “power” over adults (at 4:40 in the video).

That is like the setup of my screenplay “The Sub” which caused a major incident when I was substitute teaching (Main blog, July 27, 2007).  There is more than one point of view about this.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Backpage could cause Section 230 to unravel


Nicholas Kristof, a journalist who focuses on poverty and third-world issues, has an op-ed on p. A31 of today’s New York Times, “A Website Peddling Girls for Sex”.  He’s talking about Backpage.com.

 The visitor can read the details here, but it seems that ads get edited to remove suggestions of underage girls.  Credit card companies have stopped accepting transactions from Backpage. '

Kristof suggests that Section 230 of the CDA should be modified to make service providers potentially liable for underage trafficking, but I thought that this exception already existed. Meddling with Section 230 for this purpose could lead to gutting it for other reasons in a Trump administration, because Trump is not sympathetic to simultaneous online self-expression (despite his own tweeting).

Electronic Frontier Foundation weighs in on the issue today in detail here, in an article by Sophia Cope.   This is a very slippery slope that we’ll have to return to again.

For the sordid details on the Senate hearings and Backpage, visit Techdirt and USA Today.

Remember Ashton Kutcher’s mantra: “Real men don’t buy girls.”

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Best Buy reported by Washington Post as working with FBI to turn in customers possessing child pornography


Tom Jackson has a shocking story on the front page of the Washington Post Tuesday, January 10, 2017, “If a Best Buy technician is a paid FBI informant, are his searches legal?

The specific story concerns a medical professional who turned in his laptop to a Geek Squad Best Buy outlet in California.  The customer wanted the data recovered and the old hard drive was sent to a facility in Kentucky.  A technician found an image of a pre-pubescent female in an unallocated space on the hard drive.  The article notes that a federal appeals court recently upheld “mens rea” in a case like this;  you can’t prove that the customer put it there (it could have come from malware) if in an unallocated area.  Nevertheless, the consumer was indicted in 2014 (after a long delay).

A typical Geek Squad repair order contains the language “I am on notice that any product containing child pornography will be turned over to the authorities.”  I have seen this on my own orders.

There would be a question as to how a technician sees an illegal image unless he looks for them.

 Most repairs would not cause a technician to have a legitimate reason to look at drive contents.  (Compare this to photo shops when technicians develop pictures, which used to lead to some child pornographt prosecutions.)  But it would sound plausible that the FBI could enter into an agreement with a business to conduct a sting operation against a customer for which there is some prior reasonable suspicion.  Images viewable in thumbnails from Windows explorer would not normally be that easy to parse at casual, happenstance first sight.

There are good questions as to what could be viewed as c.p., and when authorities would move on a content item.  Images might have come from overseas, and have been produced legally according to the laws of the originating country, but would have been illegal to make in the US (if the actor was under 18).  There are vagaries in the law as to how explicit an image needs to be to inspire gratuitous pruient interest.  It’s possible that an image (screenshot) from a film, of minor nudity legal in a medical context or war or extreme poverty overseas, could be captured and kept for prurient personal purposes, and be viewed as illegal, but I haven’t heard of this actually happening with a specific prosecution or indictment. Theoretically, legal problems could occur with a possession of an image from a video included in another website but not made public on its own.

Update: Jan 11

WJLA-7 reported the story tonight and says it is possible that the image could have been in an unopened email. But it probably would have needed to be in some kind of preview mode. I don't preview my emails automatically and mark many as spam and don't open a lot of them.  But I have no idea what could be in unopened emails..