Protecting our children from Paedophiles

There’s an article in the Sunday Times today entitled “The Tap Tap of Child Abuse” (http://goo.gl/6sqF34). It alleges that 50,000 people look at abusive images of children every day. As a Father of three this is deeply concerning.

We’re all aware of the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB); now called Disclosure and Barring Service (DRB) checks; required for working with children. Given the frightening scale of the problem, it’s quite clear that looking at information held by the Police does not provide sufficient safeguards (http://goo.gl/KJjAf4).

These vile images are stored both on the: Internet, perpetrators computers and smart phones.

The solution to preventing these people from working with children seems obvious to me. As part of DRB the applicant should consent to all of their digital data being examined. There is plenty of software available to interrogate both the images accessed through the perpetrators Internet Service Providers and their client devices – even if the images have been deleted.

The law rushed through Parliament (Data Retention and Investigatory Powers) giving access by government to our whole electronic footprint is a threat to civil liberties. The politicians where obviously persuaded to lend their support to this measure by information such as the Sunday Times allegations. This recognises the Internet’s success as having established a world without frontiers. It goes against all of the principals of privacy those of us in the marketing world have fought to establish. Namely, that people should opt in or specifically request the information they access.

My suggestion is to establish a global standard of monitoring. Governments’ data monitoring should be policed by a new wing of the United Nations or the Internet Governance Forum (http://goo.gl/h7Jpu8). This body would have two tasks to:

  • proactively look for these heinous images and videos, and
  • create an environment where States that do not comply are considered pariahs.

This could be used to provide the legislative protection for citizens to hold Governments to account if they pried into every aspect of everybody’s life. Governments would be prevented from scooping & examining all our data. The safety net the government is seeking would be established without losing our privacy.

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