Tuesday, November 19, 2013

U.S. Profits from Baiting Viewers of Child Porn: Google and Microsoft Take Steps to Re-Program Search Engines to Block Child Porn Images in U.K. but Not in U.S.

Yesterday Google and Microsoft (which operates Bing and Yahoo search engines) announced that they will reprogram their search engines to block more than 100,000 unique terms / phrases associated with illegal child pornography.  When a term is searched that is associated to child abuse a clear warning message from Google and child safety organizations will appear explaining the consequences of the searcher’s actions and pointing them toward expert help. (See numerous articles below) 

This reprogram proposal to protect children, to stop them from being re-victimization by having their abuse viewed time-and-time-again is ONLY being implemented in Britain with future European countries to follow in the next 6 months. 

Why not in the United States?  

Why would Google U.S. and Microsoft U.S. not join in the prevention of illegal child pornography from being viewed, shared and distributed across the Internet? 

Some Americans may complain such action is censorship. 

Some may complain these filters will block legal materials from being accessed. 

But I believe the U.S. is not joining in on this initiative for one reason, MONEY. 

When it comes to criminal offenses, sexual offenses although a very small percentage of the overall crime rate are considered the most heinous and deserve the most severe punishment (according to Lawmakers and Victim’s Advocates). Even though the recidivism rate for sexual conviction is the second lowest of all crimes. 

Every year new laws are proposed and passed in the U.S., there are State laws (50 states) and there are Federal laws (Washington, D.C.). Some crimes can overlap and be charged as State and Federal, like with Child Pornography and Human Trafficking. Resulting in State and Federal Legislators attempting to out-do each other in proposing and passing harsher, longer and more expansive laws.

In 2013 for Virginia the #1 proposed bills was “Sex Offender” related bills, including Child Pornography. 

Funding for Victim’s Rights, Children Safety and Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforces /ICAC (including on-line sting operations) come from both State and Federal Departments. Every year new grants are created and funded to not just support these initiatives but to expand them. MONEY. 

Mandatory minimums aren’t just a problem with drug convictions but they are beyond excessive when it comes to sexual offenses. Currently viewing, possessing and distributing child pornography carry much harsher sentences than producing (being the person who physically abused the child), manufacturing and selling of child pornography. Mandatory minimums guarantee prison beds will be filled for a certain amount of time and right now the viewers outnumber the producers/ abusers. Keeping DOC employees (Prison, Probation, Parole) employed. MONEY. 

Crime Victim Compensation, Asset Forfeiture and Victim Restitution / Reparations are expanding and increasing every year in Child Pornography convictions, more than any other crime in the U.S. MONEY. 

If the U.S. Government really wanted to stop the distribution and viewing of child pornography on-line, the fastest and most effect path would be to find the owners of these websites, to shut-them down and to prosecute THEM, not their customers / members. 

But, instead the U.S. sets up fake websites, hyperlinks, sometimes takes over existing websites to use them as bait, they troll chat-rooms for people who are not looking for minors and snare them into sending a photo or talking dirty, or scheduling a meeting. Just look at popularity of Datelines series To Catch a Predator, the U.S is obsessed with catching someone doing something sexual and illegal. After the website “catches” the “perp” we charge them with numerous felonies (some times hundreds), we splash the case across the media keeping sexual hysteria and fear alive in the parents and citizens of our country plus keeping the faith alive that these programs work. So of course they should be funded. We then ship the “perp” off to prison, seize the “perps” assets, claim a victory in the effort to protect children in the U.S. against the evitable “Internet Predator” and in return more funding to expand the programs occurs.

Google U.S. and Microsoft U.S. aren’t joining this new U.K. initiative to block child pornography websites and searches because the U.S. depends on these searches and websites for new convictions, to keep the flow of money funding the anti-child pornography programs that appear so successful. Without the Internet searches and the websites being accessible /viewable by those typing in the specific phrases then the U.S.’s current and future programs / funding would halt and that’s NOT going to happen. 

Based on yesterday’s Google and Microsoft announcement the safety and protection of children from pornographers is not just a goal in the U.K. but they’ve taken tangible steps to attack the problem at the source. Something the U.S. has not only failed to do for many, many years but refuses to do because it would cost them new convictions, new inmates, new probationers and millions and millions of dollars. The U.S. fight against child pornography and Internet Predators goal has never been to stop the source of the child pornography but to convict the customers. 

I congratulate Britain for taking real steps in protecting children as opposed to the U.S.’s real goal of profiting from entrapment, incarceration, humiliation, bankruptcy and pain.  

Mary Devoy

Google, Microsoft modify Internet searches to exclude more child pornography results, November 18, 2013:
Google and Microsoft have announced plans to censor search results that could direct users to child pornography, responding to pressure from British authorities.
Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said that some search terms related to child pornography will still return results, but British users will see a warning at the top of the search results page. The warning will note that the search returned potentially illegal results and direct the user to charities dedicated to fighting child pornography.
Microsoft did not comment on whether it would expand its effort.

Google, Microsoft announce steps to block child porn. Will they succeed? November 18, 2013:
Google and Microsoft will reprogram their search engines so that 100,000 potentially relevant terms will no longer yield links to illegal child porn images. Details for how this will roll out in the US are not clear yet.
"We're agreed that child sexual imagery is a case apart; it's illegal everywhere in the world, there's a consensus on that. It's absolutely right that we identify this stuff, we remove it, and we report it to the authorities," Peter Barron, a Google communications director, told the BBC. The filters will take effect immediately in Britain and roll out in more than 150 languages over the next six months.
The details of how and when the system will roll out in the United States are unclear, but the algorithm changes are already in place, an industry source says.

Google announces sweeping new plan to block child pornography, November 18, 2013:
Cameron's plan would block online pornography by default for all new UK household internet connections, requiring customers to notify internet service providers if they want to disable the filters.
The search blocks will be launched in the UK first, then expand to other English-speaking countries and 158 other languages over the next six months.
In addition, Google will send funding and engineers to the UK's Internet Watch Foundation and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in the United States to combat “peer to peer” file sharing networks often used by pedophiles.

Google, Microsoft move to block child porn, November 18, 2013:

The Tradeoffs in Google's New Crackdown on Child Pornography, November 18, 2013:

With new algorithms to make it difficult to find abusive images, the search engine ends up blocking a lot of legitimate content, too.