Thursday, March 06, 2008

Jim Gamble - It's Not About The Technology

The penultimate keynote is by Jim Gamble from CEOP - the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre. This is an overview of CEOP and some information about the myths around online child abuse. CEOP has to have a police officer as its head. The police are very good at making mistakes

  • start from a position of ignorance:
  • fear what you don't understand;
  • keep what you fear at arm's length;
  • Psions weren't allowed in NI policing for fear that someone could access the data on them - instead information was in filofaxes which were just as easy to use and had no protection of the data inside them;
  • Police move from ignorance to arrogance;
  • The arrogance:
    Police technology must be bigger, better and a different colour and not interoperate with anything else.
  • Oh, and the difference between God and a Chielf Constable is that God doesn't think he's a Chief Constable (good gag);
  • Moved to a position of understanding and often get seduced by technology.

The police were seduced by the internet - police thought they were too stupid to deal with it. The Wonderland Club existed because they felt that it was OK - they are others like me. Access test was to provide 10,000 child abuse images.

The police are good at having a party - and they had a big party after the Wonderland Club were caught. Normal pornography can be accessed - it's a moral problem, not a legal problem. Operation Ore against Landslide Productions. 94% of 2,500 people arrested by Ore pleaded guilty - the police didn't know what to do with the volume of material in Ore.
Myths around internet child abuse
  1. The internet is different - somehow magical - and if a child avatar is abused in Second Life that's OK, right?
    The internet is just another public place and it's defined by the character of the individuals which occupy it. When young people are in a public place where others are operating to a commercial imperative. The internet is a fantastic place to be a young person - build a business, extend friendships, but it needs a civilised element.
  2. "I was only looking"
    If there's a doubt, who deserves the benefit of the doubt? The child or the person looking at the images of 2 year old to pre-pubescent children? "Reasearching a book or a part in the play" aren't excuses. Henry Hayler (portrayed in 61 Pimlico) was arrested in 1874 and had tens of thousands of images. Don't use the world "Child Pornography" - would a rape victim be the victim of Adult Pornography or rape? Don't confuse this with normal sexual behaviour or normal sexual development. Paedophiles try to normalise this and don't like the phrase "child abuse" because it makes them abusers.
  3. Why track people abroad? Isn't it OK if people abuse others abroad?
  4. Why bother, isn't it too big?
    How do you police it? The suggestion of policing makes behaviour change, something like a picture of a speed camera on a road where there may not be any cameras.

CEOP was created as a functioning agency based around intelligence - the CEOP most wanted web site - gives relevant information to the public.
462m unique users on MSN - police can approach Microsoft and kids can use the CEOP logo in MSN.

Protection isn't about ICT and more sophisticated technologies, it's about behaviour, good citizenship.

How do we educate this generation of children so that they bring their children up to be wise. People will always get around image blocking and other technologies - this is about people.


Later on, others who've heard Jim Gamble speak say that they've never heard him do the same presentation twice - and this was an accessible, blunt, very well delivered and different angle on a subject which many in the room probably thought that they knew all they needed to know about, thanks.

1 comment:

  1. I watched him speak to a Commons select committee on the subject of child protection and he seems like a very straightforward, dedicated character.

    The work they are doing at CEOP looks to be a glowing example of what can be done in the public sector without outlandish expense (taking into account the size of the task they face).

    It was particularly impressive that he refused to "name names" when asked which application providers had been dragging their heels in bringing in child-protection tools - he clearly has his own ideas of the best way to tackle the problem and wouldn't risk politicians with less experience stomping all over it.

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