Sunday, July 21, 2013

It's a search engine you moron, it's what it does

Cameron seems to think he has a new hobbyhorse to ride with Google and child porn images. Certainly there's a lot of concern about such images, but, and it's a big but, I don't know what he expects Google to actually do about it.
The prime minister has warned internet companies that they need to act to block access to child abuse images on the internet or face legal controls.
David Cameron told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show search firms like Google needed to do more to block results from "depraved and disgusting" search terms.
Google said when it discovers child abuse images it acts to remove them.
But Labour said the PM's plans did not go "far enough" and criticised cuts to online child abuse policing budgets.
Google is one of a number of firms which recently agreed on measures to step up the hunt for abusive images.
Why do I get the feeling that Cameron doesn't know just how many images the google-spiders actually find and place links to on the various servers around the world? Why do i have the feeling that he doesn't realise that someone has to actually look at and report on such images in order to block them? I wonder if he realises that Google isn't responsible for what is on other peoples servers?
There's also the problem that what might be illegal in one country is perfectly legal in another and whilst most people look down on depravity and child abuse with contempt the cut off age in differing countries is a bit hazy. After all the age of legal consent in the UK is 16, in the USA it's mostly 18, in France it's 15 and in Spain it's 14. So Cameron is trying to push a faux morality out into the big wide world which probably won't work all too well.
Nor would I expect that the real abusers out there will be using public servers anyway, I suspect that the abusers use a variety of tools and forums in countries which don't give a damn what Cameron or indeed Google think.
By all means deal with graphic images of child abuse when you find them, we have laws in place for this. But trying to blame Google for what it does simply won't work. I doubt Google could afford to employ enough people to check every image that comes up on its engine.
But that's common sense and Cameron is being emotive in a vote garnering exercise here. Personally I suspect he couldn't give a damn if his proposals are working or not, this is about votes, not reality.

4 annotations:

Mark Wadsworth said...


Ministry of truth tried tracking down some child porn just to see how easy it is, and he established it is almost impossible. You need all sorts of codes and passwords and know which sites to log onto and it's all paywall anyway.

It's not something you just stumble across quite innocently.

Anonymous said...

This is all about mission creep.

Once they get their law, they will begin to amend it to cover other such things like criticism of religion or certain political views they deem unacceptable. ie The beginning of the end of free speech.

They control the MSM but not the internet. That bastion of free speech and free will that they simply hate.

When you can control what they see, hear and read. You can better control their hearts and minds.

DerekP said...

I think what you say about the MSM churnalism compared to internet journalism is correct. Politicians want us to be given only one (their) story to follow, and not to be given facts which show how stupid, selfish and venal their policies are.

It's worth remembering that without independent internet investigators we would all be simply following the so-called climate policies that ideologues and get-rich-quick scammers are still trying to impose on us. We would never have heard of Climategate or the BBC's 28Gate. The DECC would simply have 'vanished' any possibility of using shale resources.

Couple of current internet examples:
"It seems that the government is looking to find a way to persuade everyone that the science of global warming is solid so that we accept the IPCC report without question."

This from TheRegister shows what a problem the internet is for a manipulative ideologue government (my emphasis):
"But the fact is, Professor Pidgeon wasn't trying to find out what the British public thinks here: he was trying to tell it what to think, using the time-honoured tactic of claiming that "everyone else already thinks this". The good prof - a psychologist, remember, not a statistician - has already said on the record a couple of years back that the government should engage in major social engineering programmes, conducted by social "scientists" like him, to convince people of the need for massive action against climate change."

Look at the poll results there to see how sensible most people are about energy policy priorities compared to our seriously strange politicians and civil servants.

And on page 1 of that report from TheRegister showing how Government is the one pushing up gas prices (again my emphasis):
"These are the "gas prices" that we so often hear of as the reason why our bills keep going up.

Care to guess how much "gas prices" have surged over the last six years, as the average household bill has climbed by roughly thirty per cent?
They are up by just ten per cent. That's strange."

Anonymous said...

Cameron and gang (all of them in the house whatever side the site) are just trying to prove that they are not the biggest wankers in the world. They obviously took this often repeated insult towards politicians as a literal reference to the act not realising most people think they are a bunch of tossers.....and no you Rt Hons I don't mean you throw things about.