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posted by hubie on Friday May 13 2022, @10:56PM   Printer-friendly
from the somebody's-watching-you dept.

From Malware Bytes Blog

On May 11, 2022, the EU will publicize a proposal for a law on mandatory chat control. The European Commission wants all providers of email, chat and messaging services to search for suspicious messages in a fully automated way and forward them to the police in the fight against child pornography.

[...] Similar developments are taking place in the US and the supporting narrative has expanded from domestic terrorism to other illegal content and activity, such as child sexual exploitation and abuse, terrorism, foreign adversaries‚ and attempts to undermine democratic values and institutions.

[...] What most, if not all, of these activities have in common is that you usually won't see the criminals using the same platforms as those of us that want to stay in touch with friends and relatives. They are already conducting their "business" in illegal marketplaces on the Dark Web, or they are using encrypted phone services.

[...] Since client-side scanning technologies may represent the most powerful surveillance system ever imagined, it is imperative that we find a way to make them abuse-resistant and auditable before we decide to start using them. Failures from the past have taught us that it's often the other way around. We learn from our mistakes, but how costly are they?

Also at:
    The Guardian
    Patrick Breyer

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by lentilla on Saturday May 14 2022, @01:39AM (4 children)

    by lentilla (1770) on Saturday May 14 2022, @01:39AM (#1244859)

    Two items:

    • When they say "client-side scanning", perhaps they mean "server-side scanning"? Unless they really do mean "client-side", in which case the best way to do this would be to install a key-logger and scanner on every computer.
    • We appear to be fighting two battles and they become conflated and confused: the first is catching paedophiles and the second is protecting children from paedophiles.

    The second is reasonably easily solved: ban children from the Internet. Children don't get to drive cars, you don't expect to see them in nightclubs at 2am, and when you see them in a beer garden they are in the company of a responsible adult. Human society has been able to keep children separate from the adult world for millennia, and yet we still have a cohesive society and children's human rights have not been impinged. What is so different about the Internet? Young children should not be using the Internet (at least not in the driving seat). Older children should be supervised (like training wheels) as they grow up so that by the time they are teenagers they are mostly OK. We can't (and shouldn't) attempt to supervise every moment of a teenager's life - as adults our job is to listen, advise if necessary and help pick up the pieces when it all goes wrong. This applies whether it is walking home from school, spending time in the library or with friends, and it should also apply to the Internet. The Internet is a place for adults, children can be welcome - as in other adult spaces - providing they behave in an adult-like fashion.

    Catching paedophiles is a matter of good-old-fashioned police work. Scanning everyone's mail will result in a lot of leads, some convictions, and a tonne of false-positives (ruining reputations left, right and centre). The obvious method is to turn convicted paedophiles into "undercover informants". Let them loose in their ugly little pond and use them to dredge up (and convict) their buddies.

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by janrinok on Saturday May 14 2022, @08:27AM (1 child)

    by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday May 14 2022, @08:27AM (#1244934) Journal

    I agree with much of what you say - but when schools insist that homework involves internet research then the parents are tied to a supervisory role at study times.

    There might be security reasons why giving some children phones is a good idea, but try finding a modern phone that doesn't have the internet. Yes, I know that they exist but will would need a massive shift in our day-to-day lives if we expect children to accept them willingly.

    When I was young neither I nor my friends were able to buy pornography but you can bet your last dollar that we all some at various times. Children will always find a way. Maybe that is the parents' fault, but when they are both working just to put food on the table then they cannot be everywhere at once.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 14 2022, @05:50PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 14 2022, @05:50PM (#1244987)

      School shouldn't require the Internet beyond learning to use the internet. There are tons of issues that come up from lack of access in some homes to cyber bullying and outright pedo grooming.

      That being said, things are probably less dangerous now in most respects than they were, but still. There's a reason why kids should be supervised online.

  • (Score: 2, Informative) by pTamok on Saturday May 14 2022, @01:45PM

    by pTamok (3042) on Saturday May 14 2022, @01:45PM (#1244970)

    Banning minors from the Internet strikes me as an excellent idea. You can start using it when you are old enough to vote/drink alcohol/use tobacco products/die for your country/have sex/get married/take out a loan/take responsibility for your actions. What is not to like?

    Obviously the ban will be porous as teenagers have always be able to obtain illicit items, via older siblings and older members of their peer group and 'helpful' adult contacts.

    Of course, there is a small technical problem: how does one determine the age of someone using the Internet? Especially if you want to offer any form of quasi-anonymity?

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 15 2022, @04:21PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 15 2022, @04:21PM (#1245137)

    key-logger and scanner on every computer

    If you count phones as computers, the job is already done. They just need laws to force Google and Apple to share the precious data.