Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Because You Should Know

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  • Lyndon Hood,

    OTOH, I suppose it does feel like you're in an open democracy when some guy can just ask them and blow the whole thing open...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    there is a contradiction between the implicit claim that filtering works to stop people seeing stuff, and the claim that a list of said stuff cannot be circulated lest people use it to see stuff.

    To be clear, I do not believe that filtering will stop people who are even slightly motivated to find this stuff.

    However, publishing a banned list may make it simpler for those who will use circumvention measures anyway to know where to start looking. I doubt that will be the major offenders, possibly just curious noobs. Unless the government sniffs every packet, there will always be other ways for the determined.

    I don't know that it's a compelling reason not to have a filter, but it seems to me that preventing child sexual abuse is not a technical matter. I'd defer to the judgement of others about what actually works.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Uh, I hadn't seen the media release when I wrote that. Sounds like they have been thinking things through anyway.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Okay, I've asked a couple of questions of the poor guy whose name is on the email, and he's promised to get back to me. These are they:

    Does the DIA expect or require ISPs to inform their customers that their internet connections are being filtered. Do you have any issues with the fact that the trial was conducted without informing the people whose connections were being filtered?

    Also, given this justification:

    The distribution and viewing of images of this abuse – wrongly called child pornography – is trading in human misery. It is the result of real children being sexually abused and exploited in the worst possible way. Each time anyone anywhere in the world accesses one of those images, the child depicted is victimised again.

    why does the filter cover written and drawn material, where there is no evidence that any child has been harmed in its production?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Which reminds me, is Moore's Lost Girl's available in NZ?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    OMG surplus apostrophe.

    /me kills self in shame.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    In the circumstances the apostrophe might have been, like
    S3arching for M0orez L0st G1rl's????

    Speaking of which
    http://books.whitcoulls.co.nz/lost-girls/ISBN9781891830747

    ...

    I have seen complaints about the use of the phrase "child sex abuse images" to cover images where the abuse is considered no more than the taking of the photograph. Also of images of adults who are understood to be depicting juveniles. And various kinds of artificial image.

    Not that these are good things, I just like to know exactly what we're talking about.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Also of images of adults who are understood to be depicting juveniles.

    This is an area I do have concerns with, because it's a not-unpopular fetish.

    Also, what's a child? If it's 'anyone under the legal age of consent', what do you do with images of fourteen year olds produced in Canada, where 14 is the age of consent?

    I don't wish to in any way imply that the DIA is blocking things which are borderline, just to convey that it's not always easy to identify whether you're looking at a 'child sex abuse image' or not.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    <quote>You seem to be implying that Peter Ellis is a victim of society's failure to offer some form of early intervention to those afflicted with a 'disposition' to molest children. For the record, there is no evidence that the massive injustice dealt to Ellis stems from anything other than a ghastly moral panic. Unless you're prepared to lend your energies to his full and complete exoneration you'd do well to leave the poor guy out of whatever it is that you're trying to prove.<quote>

    Sorry if that was unclear Joe, The Peter Ellis mention was in no way about him per se but by the damage done to him and the children in the process of using the children as pawns in the whole nightmare. It was merely an afterthought to that post, I had hoped the quote directly below the link might have given some indication as to what I was getting at ie' that the alleged victim has twice been an alleged victim. as you say the "ghastly moral panic". I'm not trying to prove anything Joe, I merely mentioned that this victim, whose mother twice made unproven allegations was in turn turned into a victim of sorts because of the 'shame, and hysteria that surrounds the issue. Mention of that case in an argument against the hysteria and misguided and somewhat inadequate measures being taken now to resolve this deeply rooted problem are not essential, but one may argue that it is relevant when taking into account the number of children dragged through that mess.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • buzzy,

    To be clear, I do not believe that filtering will stop people who are even slightly motivated to find this stuff.

    Sacha's hit it on the head here. What's being blocked is a list of URLs. Web addresses, to put it another way. It's not blocking email traffic, peer-to-peer applications, or any of a dozen or so other ways of sending and receiving similar information over the net.

    I think at a high level the idea's laudable, but effectively implementing something to "fix the issue" becomes very complex and, as Emma said, could be the start of a slippery slope - witness the alleged additions to Australia's blacklist that apparently include a dentist's website. I say apparently, because as with the DIA here, the Australian government won't release a confirmed list of sites.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2009 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Sorry if that was unclear Joe, The Peter Ellis mention was in no way about him per se but by the damage done to him and the children in the process of using the children as pawns in the whole nightmare.

    Understood. As for any lingering shame, I hope that some day soon Ellis will receive some form of full exoneration & apology. Until then, Lynley Hood has done a phenomenal job of putting the truth on record.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    he Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, funded with $150,000 in this year’s Budget, will be operated by the Department in partnership with ISPs, and will focus solely on websites offering clearly objectionable images of child sexual abuse, which is a serious offence for anyone in New Zealand to access.

    $150,000
    I wonder what the budget will be for the system focusing solely on websites offering clearly objectionable images murder.

    “If we did, inevitably some people would visit them in the interim, effectively facilitating further offending and making the Department party to the further exploitation of children,”

    That implies that at some point in the future the list would be made available, which would be good.

    possibly

    http://www.englishclub.com/grammar/verbs-conditional_3.htm

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Understood. As for any lingering shame, I hope that some day soon Ellis will receive some form of full exoneration & apology. Until then, Lynley Hood has done a phenomenal job of putting the truth on record.

    I agree. time for class...

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I should note that the DIA has made a change to that letter. Now, instead of saying

    We understand that Internet NZ is happy with our plans

    it says

    Internet NZ has requested further information which the Department will provide.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Continuing to keep shunting things over here, Thomas has an ongoing list of ISPs and their position on the filter. Oddly Telstra seems to be backing away from their original position.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Kerry Weston,

    Slightly off-topic, but this is about a "Safe Adults" database in the UK, causing controversy. Basically, anyone who has any 'regular' contact with children in a voluntary capacity has to be vetted. A step too far?

    UK Home Office and education officials simply cannot understand why anyone wouldn’t want to be vetted. When I challenged the Home Office official in charge of the scheme about a potential rebellion against vetting, he said that if somebody didn’t want to be vetted ‘there must be suspicious reasons for that’. He described the vetting database as like a ‘club’, which all decent adults should want to be part of. What a corrupted view of decency: being on a state database and submitting ourselves to constant surveillance.

    Spiked on Vetting

    Manawatu • Since Jan 2008 • 494 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    How interesting, Kerry. Obviously as a teacher, you are subject to police vetting when you get into any training provider. Our visitors at kindergarten are supposed to sign a book, as are visitors to schools. But to be on a database? A little unusual.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Kerry Weston,

    Hey, Jackie, BTW did you inherit an interest in ceramics, throwing pots etc?

    I feel that kind of thinking - "if you've done nothing wrong, you've got nothing to worry about' style - is very thin edge of the wedge. I don't know about your kindy, but a few years back at my kids' primary school, parent volunteers were scarce. I gave a lot of my time, often in transporting & supervising outings, sports trips and in doing art projects. Obviously we don't want paedophiles working in schools, but you wonder where they'll draw the line. Would convictions for drunk driving, cannabis possession, tax evasion, speeding all make you unacceptable as well?

    Manawatu • Since Jan 2008 • 494 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    What I inherited Kerry was an intense love of Crown Lynn and 60's/70's pottery. I was sent to pottery classes for a long time as a child - latterly with Mrs Becroft down the road -and I loved it but wasn't inherently talented at it. As for the "safe adults" thing, it riles me a bit because for years, even as qualified registered teachers, we weren't allowed to so much as change a child's clothing without witnesses. (Thanks to all the hysteria generated by the Civic Creche case). Thankfully, that's all changed - you have no idea how many modest 3 year olds there are out there, and they really don't want you there, let alone another adult. So I thought that times were changing, for the better, and more common sense. Seems as if that may not be so.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I feel that kind of thinking - "if you've done nothing wrong, you've got nothing to worry about' style - is very thin edge of the wedge.

    Well, given that the Home Office has had a string of high profile cases where highly confidential information about citizens had ended up in the public sphere, I'd say "You people can't do a damn thing right, and I'm extremely worried about that".

    Someone might also like to ask when the Government abolished a basic principle of British justice: That people properly charged with crimes are entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt in a court of law?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Kerry Weston,

    I wanted to be a potter, or more accurately, a ceramic sculptor and did Craft Design in the late 80's, just when ceramics was getting kicked in the guts by cheap imports. Some marvellous potters lost their livelihoods and although I played with the medium for a while, it was no longer possible to consider it as a livelihood. A great shame. At one time we had more potters per capita than Japan. One day we'll wake up and realise how much we lost.

    I still dream of one day earning enough doing something else, but having the luxury of dedicated time to make artworks.

    I well remember the hysteria generated by the civic creche case, it had repercussions throughout society, suggesting someone was an abuser became quite the weapon of choice in custody battles and made professionals such as teachers feel vulnerable. But I don't think people having to prove they're innocent and "decent" is the way to go.

    In connection to internet censorship, that kind of thinking opens the way to having a licence to access the net.

    Manawatu • Since Jan 2008 • 494 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    As for the "safe adults" thing, it riles me a bit because for years, even as qualified registered teachers, we weren't allowed to so much as change a child's clothing without witnesses.

    At about the same time, my partner was a volunteer at our children's kindergarten, running the library there. He wasn't vetted, but there were tight and awkward controls on what he was allowed to do - so if a child tried to sit on his lap, he had to push them off, there was no hugging or comforting allowed. I knew lovely young men at the time who decided not to go into teaching specifically because of the fallout from the Civic Creche case.

    What these authors are doing is admirable and I believe necessary as a wake up call, to stand up and say, this attitude where every single person your child comes in contact with is a suspected paedophile until proven otherwise is damaging and wrong. It's well past time we stopped using 'paedophilia!' as a way to shut down discussion.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4650 posts Report Reply

  • Kerry Weston,

    It's well past time we stopped using 'paedophilia!' as a way to shut down discussion.

    Yes, that strategy is much the same as using possible terrorism to massively increase public surveillance. The UK seems especially OTT.

    I also think govts, including our own, allow certain types of crime to go relatively unhindered (slow to investigate, can't act till you're injured/dead) - crime that directly pisses off the citizenry, such as burglary, domestic violence, gang intimidation, because that encourages outrage from SST types, makes us feel insecure and threatened and all the more pliable when it comes to, say, increasing prison terms. When the citizenry feel threatened and afraid, they're much more likely to agree to, or at least not resist, intrusive, limiting measures "for your own good".

    Manawatu • Since Jan 2008 • 494 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    When the citizenry feel threatened and afraid, they're much more likely to agree to, or at least not resist, intrusive, limiting measures "for your own good".

    At what point would law and order politics jump the shark? Maybe if there was another 1981, or if we had our equivalent of Mark Ciavarella?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    In lo-tech news, "Samoan film censor opens door for lesbian vampires" says the Harold. And then chooses a screengrab of a male-female couple to illustrate the story.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

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