Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Against mass surveillance, again

Shorter Times: Everything you know about the Operation Ore child-porn investigation is wrong.
In information given to Interpol and in sworn statements submitted to British courts in 2002, Dallas detective Steven Nelson and US postal inspector Michael Mead claimed that everyone who went to Landslide always saw only a front page screen button offering “Click Here (for) Child Porn”.

According to them, this was the way in to nearly 400 pay-per-view websites, almost all of which specialised in child pornography; ergo, anyone who accessed Landslide and paid it money must be a paedophile.

When Operation Ore was launched in Britain in May 2002, pictures of the web page and its “click here” button were given prominent and sustained publicity. But what passed almost unnoticed eight months later was that after British police and computer investigators had finally examined American files, they found that the “child porn” button was not on the front page of Landslide at all, but was an advertisement for another site appearing elsewhere: thus the crucial “child porn” button was a myth.....When police investigators found no evidence on seized computers, they did not assume the user might be innocent or had sought only legal, adult material. They were charged instead with “incitement”. These charges alleged that, simply by making a credit card payment through the internet, the child porn webmasters were encouraged to continue trafficking.

This is why we oppose ID cards, mass wiretapping, monster databases, CCTV, roadpricing - it's because you can't trust the bastards to get anything right, and you can trust them even less to stop getting it wrong.

1 comment:

The Knitter said...

In Ireland, under the State's data retention legislation, details - but not the content - of every phone, mobile and fax call is stored for three years. This information includes a daily record of the physical location of mobile phone users and data on every number called, the time of the call and its duration.
GardaĆ­ can access such data for any crime, including trivial misdemeanours. Although Minister for Justice Michael McDowell had promised that access to call data would be tightly controlled, access restrictions were never imposed, a situation repeatedly criticised by Data Protection Commissioner Billy Hawkes.

An incoming EU directive will expand the range of information collected to include e-mail and internet usage data. Ireland already has the longest retention period for such data in Europe - three years. A spokeswoman for the Department of Justice said the Department is already challenging the EU directive - which would only allow the State to hold data for two and a half years, shorter than the Irish legislation.

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