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Paedophiles on IRC? #99444 01/10/04 11:56 PM
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In the last few days an FBI tip-off to the Australian Federal Police resulted in a nationwide swoop on somewhere between 150 and 400 suspected paedophiles who were caught in possession of material pertaining mostly to child pornography. The suspects include many people employed in trusted professions such as clergy, doctors, school teachers and police.

The evidence collected so far includes offending video clips and still images stored on around 300 confiscated computers as well as chatroom and messenger logs and links traceable to child porn websites based in Russia and other former eastern bloc nations. Other confiscated equipment includes movie production equipment and miscellaneous computer equipment for running servers and distributing the offending material.

Four of the suspects, to date, have committed suidicide (good!) which probably goes some way towards admitting guilt. One suspect who is a school teacher on the outer urban fringe of south western Sydney admitted to installing a video camera behind a mirror in a student change room and admitted to collecting, storing and distributing the footage. A doctor (unsure of exact location) was nailed for using one of his consulting rooms as a studio to film child sex movies.

I, as an oper on a community based IRC network, have never actually banned anyone for such activities, largely due to a lack of hard evidence, though I do realise it exists and that no particular established network can assume that they arn't affected by the presence of paedophiles. Having said that I didn't realise the problem was so wide-spread. Paedophilia would rank as the most henous of all crimes and the fact that some of the most trusted people in the world community are involved makes the matter worse.

Has anyone here seen evidence of IRC-borne paedophilia? How is one to determine that a user is committing a crime or about to commit a crime and not necessarily just talking dirty? More to the point, I can't see how this is easy without infringing on people's privacy, another thing I consider important. The most severe case I have seen was where someone was labelled a paedophile and later I found that the 'offender' and the 'victim' were over 18 and merely cybering (dirty talk) and the 'victim' simply didn't like the 'offender' and wanted to set him up.

Re: Paedophiles on IRC? #99445 02/10/04 12:18 AM
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sparta Offline
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it happens. i have seen ppl sending pics on teen channels.. and yes i know it was on kidds, he sent me a pic (a old dude), i sended the info from that user to the police, IP addy, host, date/time, along with the rest of his whois info.. so it exists.. sad but true..


if ($me != tired) { return } | else { echo -a Get a pot of coffee now $+($me,.) }
Re: Paedophiles on IRC? #99446 02/10/04 12:34 AM
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"Has anyone here seen evidence of IRC-borne paedophilia?"

Sort of. A channel I used to op in often got 'perverts', but most of the offenders did all the offending in PM, therefore, I would load a clone and say something like "12/f/florida, asl?" on the main - I often found people telling me they were 23 (or older) and, thinking I was 12, asked me all kinds of sexual questions, sent me dirty pictures etc. - obviously then promptly perm banned.

"How is one to determine that a user is committing a crime or about to commit a crime and not necessarily just talking dirty?"

Crime is such a yucky topic, due to all the different laws, particularly in this area of the law. I would assume 'one' is not to assume anything, but rather, leave it to appropriate law enforcement agencies to do something about it? These people are not caught because someone on IRC tips them off with some Query logs, it's all credit card records, intelligence, etc.

It's a disgusting thing, and it's something which everyone knows can (and does) occur in online chat rooms, IRC being no exception - hence the constant "don't give out your real name, address, phone number" advice splashed everywhere. It was, supposedly, one of the reasons MSN closed their chat rooms to the majority of the world too.

I know some people believe anyone under the age of 13/14 (or older perhaps) should be supervised by their parents when online. This is, in practice, a fairly ridiculous and impractical notion for the average mother/father, and even less applicable to a user of IRC who may be on IRC for 4-5+ hours at a time. It's more sensible, IMO, to educate people as to the dangers. However, realistically, this still won't work too well - "Smoking kills" and "Smoking causes a slow and painful death" is plastered over cigarette packets, it doesn't stop people smoking. Speed cameras don't stop people speeding. In the same way, a 13 year old isn't going to stop talking to their 33 year old friend on IRC because they might be a paedo, because the age barrier is not as big an issue - there are plenty of really really nice 30+ year olds out there who I talk to online all the time (myself being 16), none are paedophiles though.

Privacy is an important thing to retain, but those that really want privacy so badly they want to make a big song and dance over it, I would assume, have something to hide? If police suspected I had child pornography on my computer and wished to search my computer, I wouldn't even ask if they have a warrant. I've got nothing to hide. Agencies (i.e. FBI, Police, etc.) should always have to inform you their searching your computer, no underhanded crap, but I don't see the issue really.

So, as I see it, it's not as bad as the media would like to make out (as far as online chat rooms are concerned, which they constantly seem to mention), but the problem is never going to go away, with or without the Internet or IRC.

My 2 cents.

Regards,


Mentality/Chris
Re: Paedophiles on IRC? #99447 02/10/04 02:36 AM
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Crime is such a yucky topic, due to all the different laws, particularly in this area of the law. I would assume 'one' is not to assume anything, but rather, leave it to appropriate law enforcement agencies to do something about it? These people are not caught because someone on IRC tips them off with some Query logs, it's all credit card records, intelligence, etc.

Quite true. This article in The Sydney Morning Herald says much the same thing and highlights a concern from the Feds that these people seem to be quite brazen about it. One doesn't use their credit card and expect the transaction not to be logged somewhere and they don't even bother stealing details either, despite the fact that hundreds of credit card details would be quite easy to obtain. All one needs is the 16 digit number and the expiry date. A sizeable majority of the transactions are on cards owned by the offenders and in many cases the cards are applied for with the intention that accessing websites is the sole purpose.

Whilst reporting crimes (or the committing of an offence) should always be reported to the police, the course of action I always recommend to chatters, this in itself can present hurdles. Many countries, Australia included, do not have a national police force that possesses a network of stations where citizens can visit to report offences. Crime fighting organisations like the Australian Federal Police usually only tackle large organised crime syndicates, such as is related to the topic of this thread. Otherwise, such forces are usually run by state/territory/provincial governments, local councils or other types of lawful jurisdictions where they exist. As such if it can be established that an offender is outside the jurisdiction of your local police then they will either just log the complaint and leave it or ask you to refer it to the local police where the offender lives. I've had this happen to me before when reporting a user for having an abusive/stalking behaviour towards another chatter. The police simply won't go to those lengths themselves for a misdemeanour. They'll want the offence to be a felony that attracts a lengthy gaol term and a sufficient amount of evidence to back up the complaint. In a way I can understand that this method would reduce the amount of frivolous complaints though when the matter is more serious the paper trail and stuffing around can slow down the required response to activities like paedophilia.

I believe there is also a role for parents to play. I don't think banning children from IRC would be beneficial as they'd just try to access it when their parents arn't looking. Some direct supervision and education similar to teaching children the dangers of crossing roads without looking would be beneficial, though sadly, many parents just give their kids a computer and connect it for them and there ends the parents' participation in the education process.

Re: Paedophiles on IRC? #99448 02/10/04 03:25 AM
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Quote:
Four of the suspects, to date, have committed suidicide (good!) which probably goes some way towards admitting guilt.


(off-topic)
Of those arrested, there's every chance some will be cleared of any wrong-doing (let's just hope not on a technicality). While I believe the names of those arrested are being witheld, it isn't realistic to think these peoples lives will continue normally if found innocent.

Those guilty have screwed up countless peoples lives (personally or by contribution) and deserve everything they have coming, but I hope the AFP will do everything possible to vindicate those found innocent. I 'hope' (though thats probably not the right word) those that killed themselves were guilty.

(on-topic)
We are probably going to see laws making 'just talking dirty' become paedophilia anyway. Australian 60 Minutes are already splashing such a story in the ads. It's probably far more technical than this, but if a 'victim' has no intention of disclosing personal information online, and can be taught to simply /ignore an 'offender', how are they still at risk?

While it's a bit scary to think the only thing between a paedophile and another potential victim is the victims understanding of the /ignore command, is there really another way?

Re: Paedophiles on IRC? #99449 02/10/04 04:57 AM
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It's probably the hardest thing of all - teaching a young child how to resist temptation and then hoping one has done a good enough job of it. Then again I don't know exactly because I don't have kids yet and I come from a generation that didn't experience this sort of thing. While it still happened, the news services were not as thorough as they are today and as such reporting large arrest numbers and statistics on crimes wasn't something the general public expected.

I have to admit that I didn't even hear or understand the word 'paedophile' until adulthood and before that stage I, and probably most other families, didn't own a computer let alone a computer that could connect to any networks. As a fellow Aussie, you'll probably recall Telecom Viatel. That's about all there was I think. We once lived in more innocent times, that's for sure.

As a side note, I agree with your statement that many that were arrested are likely to escape punishment as some may have been wrongly identified or implicated, etc. Like you I hope those that eventually face court and are found guilty are punished severely for it.

Re: Paedophiles on IRC? #99450 02/10/04 11:07 AM
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interesting topic you choose since I do have children. Currently my 13 year old teenaged daughter goes on IRC (only occasionally). Her father and I have told her the dangers of the net and she does NOT accept private conversations from anyone (most likely they are harmless but you may never know). I know in my heart and mind I've done my best teaching her the dangers of IRC but not to be overly paranoid about it. It's hard to draw the line - people who have kids will certainly understand.

I've been lucky - ever since I came onto the IRC scene, I never came across anyone who was *overly* sexual in his or her conversations either in public or pvt. (besides the usual ASL questions).

My daughter did come across 1 idiot who tried to message her but she used the appropiate commands and let me know about it... since he never said anything in public I couldn't come up with a reason to alert authorities. Luckily 1 good *don't message* me in public did the trick.

So yes there probably is paedephiles on IRC but with any luck they will be detected and weeded out (arrested etc) but we can't be too paranoid and suspect everyone. IRC is out there for our enjoyment to meet new people, chat online and make new friendships.

My 2 cents worth,

Talea

Re: Paedophiles on IRC? #99451 02/10/04 03:39 PM
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I think there definitely are paedophiles on IRC, but most people have the sense not to give out their info online.

Whilst I think paedophiles are sick people, I also think it's sick that people will make a person accused of being a paedophile's life hell before they've been proven guilty.


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Re: Paedophiles on IRC? #99452 05/10/04 05:28 AM
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I can think of many things i'd like to do to anyone who abuses kids in any way, but then i'd have to edit my own post for language, so i'll leave it to the imagination. Suffice it to say, none of it would be remotely pleasant.

You can prolly be assured that those arrested werent limiting their "searches" to IRC. Pedophilia is prevalent IRC and IRL. Sadly, many of those nasty ppl gravitate towards jobs that put them in contact with kids. And they are never "cured". They cannot be rehabilitated. Lots of them start off with kids in their own family, or friends families.... and with kids who are way too young to have any clue. some kids are brainwashed into not telling anyone and go on to become someone else's victim. I dont live in a large metropolitan area by any means, but i have dealt with lots of patients where babies as young as a few months old were sexually assaulted by family members. Our small town has had school teachers who set up cameras and assaulted kids in the schools where they taught. IRC is just another way to find their victims

In the US, many law enforcement agencies have ppl whose job is to go online in an effort to find such sickos. From what i've read, they dont have any probs finding them, which to me says there are tons more floating about preying on the innocent. Parents can talk and teach their kids, but many studies have shown that in spite of that, lots of kids fall for the lines that these degenerates spew. Often, they are afraid to tell their parents. Needless to say, a young teen angry at their parents for something doesnt think too clearly in looking for ways to assert their independence or look for attention they are lacking at home.

I think all we can do is report what we find to the legal officials and hope for heavens sake they take some action. In all probability, the reporter may not ever know what action they took (other than a parent of the child involved). Any young ppl who have come into a channel i'm in looking for help, i have told them to not be afraid to tell their parents and taken them to the channels where ppl like CyberANgels are. I go with them for moral support. They are trained to deal with this sort of nastiness without making things worse or doing anything that would get the bottom feeders off on some technicality. I wasnt too surprised to hear about someone trying to "set up" an innocent person, and that idiot should be shot.

If i had reasonable concerns that someone is up to that appalling behavior, i'd report it and let the authorities figure it out. I dont know that i would necessarily ban them from a network immediately, because then how would the authorities know where they went. On the one hand, i for sure wouldnt want them around, but on the other hand, i want them caught.

On another note, altho i realize it would be difficult for busy parents, i really dont think young kids should be online unsupervised, and most assuredly not chatting online for 4-5 hours a day. Parents can do the best job humanly possible, but these are still young ppl with brains perhaps not up to speed yet. Studies have shown that parents are 100% positive that their kids wouldnt go near a stranger. In tests set up, the majority of them fall for the lines they are given.

As adults using IRC, i think one thing we can do is try to become a figure of trust to the young who come to our channels and warn them of the pitfalls in some non-lecturing way. It may help, it may not, but at least some kids might feel like they had someone to go to for guidance if they get in over their heads or are scared.


ParaBrat @#mIRCAide DALnet
Re: Paedophiles on IRC? #99453 09/10/04 06:20 PM
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Well what I posted about -edit- and -edit- are down WHY? wellI just learned that PETE Hampton is a 2 time Pedophiles and a thief. This is a reason why He should NOT be allowed on any server. he still has a server and it is -edit- this is a private server and should not be allowed...............

Mirc is a great thing we need to get these SOB away from Children who do come on here.

Last edited by Mentality; 09/10/04 07:21 PM.
Re: Paedophiles on IRC? #99454 09/10/04 06:44 PM
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His isp are the only people that can do anything about it.


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Re: Paedophiles on IRC? #99455 10/10/04 05:14 AM
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The aim of the discussion I started wasn't to accuse specific people about committing crimes, just a quick yarn about how intense others and myself believe the problem to be. If you have an issue with another internet user and you have some substancial evidence to the same then report it to the police in your country instead of muckraking.