Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Teenager arrested in northern Virginia for c.p. contest on Kik

NBC Washington has a story by David Culver about the arrest of a 14-year-old teen in northern Virginia for sponsoring a child porn contest on the Kik platform, link here.  The tip to Fairfax County Police came from Arizona. 

The spokesperson for Fairfax Police said that kids are turning to Kik (a mobile chat plaform) because “their parents are on Facebook”.  I’m not sure how Kik compares to Snapchat in supposedly erasing messages.  Kik is entirely legal, according to the story (based in Canada), and is normally used for legitimate purposes.  Police said that Kik was cooperating in the investigation, as will most Canadian and European companies.
It’s disturbing that teenagers would embark in something like this with no grasp of the consequences, or of the “karma” problem.  

Monday, March 09, 2015

Canadian police seize whole servers apparently hosting C.P. from P2P, raising downstream liability concerns

Police in Ontario (Canada) have 1.2 pegabytes of data (four times the data in the Library of Congress) from a server hosting company on a belief that it contains a lot of child pornography.  A lot of the material is in “RAR” compressed format, and most of the material seems to be traded over P2P networks.  So this case may not involve conventional shared hosting of websites.

Nevertheless, Ontario is working with the US Department of Homeland Securities and with police in many other countries, including the UK, Australia, and other biggies.  “Customers” in over 100 countrries might be implicated.

Observers are concerned over the “downstream liability” question, and the possibility of prosecuting the server hosting company, at least under Canadian law.  EFF posted a link to the story on “vice” recently.