84,000 Child Porn Searches Stopped By Telstra Over Four Months

As abhorrent a statistic as it may be, it's a real one, going by a recent review conducted by the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC). Telstra, one of a number of ISPs on board with the government's voluntary filter scheme, utilised an Interpol blacklist to single out and redirect the offending searches.

As The Australian points out, it works out to be around 700 redirects a day. The stats were clocked over a four-month period, starting in July 2011 and ending in mid-October the same year. Telstra wasn't required to offer up the data, but did so anyway, the report states.

The article mentions Telstra users make up half of the country's numbers and that both Optus and Primus previously admitted they're using the filter too. No numbers from them are provided.

I'm not sure if the voluntary filter is able to handle proxies and other "anonymiser" services, and I would imagine the more intelligent purveyors offer clandestine avenues to view their wares. Who knows how much larger this number would be if these uses were included, as well as the rest of the country's ISPs. Now there's a chilling thought.

[The Australian]

Image: Charles Fettinger / Flickr


Comments

    i often wonder how many of these are accidental misfires

    when im searching the web for the interpr0ns, i often stumble into what i call questionable material. if i feel that what i see is perhaps more underage than 18 (and it does happen), then im quick to close it. how are videos and images regulated by open submission networks like xtube? there is a :"report" button for example... but thats just one website, how do i feel confident that im not stumbling into a site that may host materials that could one day get me into some serious trouble without evidence that i entered with intent to view anybody under the age of 18

    scary thought when you think about it... that next amateur pr0n site you visit may just be on that blacklist without you knowing

      I think this isn't for hits, but searches. Someone who actually types in words intending to get this sorta stuff

        Everyone read the article.... "using a Interpol blacklist to single out and redirect the offending searches" Which means 84,000 of the search's where done by sick F&^%$

      Some poor family dentist had his website stuck on that blacklist for a while too.

      And not all of the blacklist is child porn, some of it is other weird shit (animals, snuf films, that sorta stuff).

      So It's unlikely Telstra blocked 84 000 child porn searches.

    Yes, you have to wonder how many are unintentional. This report doesn't give enough info. The numbers could mean anything, maybe even a false positive error rate as high as 50% or maybe even more.

    But it is good news that the Interpol list is quite adequate, especially since it specifically targets child porn, UNLIKE the government filter that targets everything- all normal porn, stuff they deem "terrorist" and anything else at all that our government chooses to ban: could be movies and songs that have copyright issues here, overseas shopping, whatever, it's open ended so they could include that in the next few years if Harvey Norman and gang kicked up a stink again.

    The main difference between the crappy government filter and the Interpol one is that the Interpol one targets child porn while the government one just uses that as an excuse.

      I'm no supporter of Labor's filter, but where did you hear that it was ever going to filter legal porn?

        this isn't labor's filter, this is telstra doing it's own thing with a list of major kiddie porn sites given to them by interpol; again this is not senator conroy's filter this is different because the interpol list has fewer then a thousand sites on it, while conroy's list has over 2000 on it.

          I'm well aware what the article is about. I was responding to a comment, not the article. "UNLIKE the government filter that targets everything- all normal porn" ... Which it doesn't.

        He did say "normal", not "legal", which would probably refer to Conroy's decision that the filter would block any material that had receive a "Refused Classification" decision: http://www.minister.dbcde.gov.au/media/media_releases/2009/115 . That includes things like a porn-parody of Pirates of the Caribbean - due to stringent rules regarding the need for pronography to be "non-violent erotica" (can't remember the details, but it was RC'd in 2010, and reported on in the SMH).

          He said (emphasis mine) "ALL normal porn". I think it is reasonable to assume that "ALL normal porn" includes ... well ... ALL normal porn. Including ALL legal porn. Which is total misinformation.

          apologies for that, as far as I know the labor filter is for anything RC or refused classification, which some people might think of as their normal porn i guess.

    Anyone know what the browsing population of Australia is each day? eg if there are 600,000 Australians on line and browsing via Telstra each day, 700 redirects isn't a lot, even assuming that none of them are mistakes by the user and interpol's list is 100 percent accurate.

    Does that include attempted hits to porn sites that aren't child porn but are on the blacklist anyway?

    Xtube have an age verification thing and you need to be a member to upload. Pr0ns are serious business, even the free cam sites require identity proof.

    Holy shit...

    It seems odd to get so many hits with a voluntary filter. Surely people who opted in for the filter aren't then going looking for child porn.
    It would be funny if it turned out that it was someone or some organisation actually just testing the system with an automated bot/script.

      I think it means that the ISP opted in, not the customers...actually, it's ambiguous.

    700 redirects a day. Gotta love the complete lack of supportive evidence to back any of this and what that actually means.

    700 redirects could merely be 1 site that has 10 ads on it trying to load up a blacklisted advert at the same time. Perhaps the site has a reload script on it to try on failed ad load... This number actually seems very small and insignificant.

    And I love how the internet is seen as THE place where all things dark and creepy happen. I'd say more than 700 old perves tried to sneak a peak at underage girls in any given mall in any town/city in the country in any given hour of the day.

    What is the purpose of all this? To show how good it is to have blacklisted sites and that we should all rally up and support global internet filtering so that a handful of muppets don't access child pornography?

    Who decides what is considered illegal? What people govern all this? Where is the transparency in any of this?

    I wonder how long until making comments like this is illegal.

      Perhaps we should all wear kitty bells on our statues which make a ring every time we pull it out so that everybody can hear carnal activities are going on.

      Who's doing the research to counter the ALCR to possibly show that the constant highlighting of this sick and twisted industry of child porn may in fact actually be promoting it by creating a taboo / black market paradigm?

      When will these fucks learn... war on terror... war on drugs... war on sex... is it working you morons? its like they have jellybeans for brains.

    I say bravo to Telstra. Each redirect is a potential saving of an accidental viewing of illegal material. This shouldn't be extended to other sorts of searches, though (as in material that isn't illegal and merely questionable).

    "the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.
    That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked,
    and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the
    country to danger. It works the same in any countryā€¯
    Hermann Goering

    I like how all the commentators on this board all immediately deny the plausibility of this finding, simply because they disagree with the concept of an internet filter.

      There is nothing wrong with expecting plausibility and transparency when revealing "findings" which are aimed at modifying the law and changing our rights.

      Do you discourage freedom of speech and having a personal opinion and using topics to further individual discussion?

      Firstly, I think child pornography on the internet is a non issue. Who really is looking up children porn on the internet? You would have had to of been laying in a cave for 30 years to not know that is complete idiocy in this day and age.

      So I don't buy for a second, that "stopping child pornography" is the real motive here. Lets be honest - Child pron is a crime that nobody would disagree with in their right mind - it is the perfect ally in pushing other laws of internet filtration. I'd say Telstra want to stop illegal downloading and encourage more online movie purchases - a) they'll save some bandwidth and b) they'll make more cash. But go ahead, believe they are good guys out to save the morals of the country and want to make the world a better place.

      In law, once precedence has been made for internet filtering of this, then its that, then that, then that. You think they will stop at just the bad stuff - but thats never the case. Just look at countries like China and North Korea. History shows that time and time again, the masses, which are mostly good people just trying to move through the world and survive day to day, end up becoming slaved to the foundations that are designed to impair the moronic and weak in the world.

        excellent point.
        The way it is put across, to condemn the internet filter is akin to allowing child porn. Nobody wants to be seen to be permissive about child porn, so therefore they dont want to speak up about internet filters.
        If anyone remembers, the same thing was done recently regarding "weapons of mass destruction"....

      The thing is, illegal material isn't just sitting on regular webpages accessible by google. And that's the only thing an internet filter would block. The nefarious stuff is done by other means, and the internet filter wouldn't even TOUCH those things

    Fucking hell giz one day you bash conroy over saying they are using the 'government's' filter then you turn around and say the same thing. at least keep the story straight.

    I suggest you edit the story so it removes any notion of the use of the government filter as it just creates confusion. I clicked the link knowing that it wasn't the government filter that they were using but others clearly do not know that.

    They are probably curious 12 year olds with a school laptop program and no parental supervision

      12 years olds specifically searching for other 12 year olds in porn?

      um....

    I think 84,000 is an error.

    Most websites are hosted on a single IP address and basically they recognise the domain name in the header/packet to identify what site your trying to access.

    So one IP address/server could have a zillion sites on it.

    the other thing and this is common is hackers doing DoSS on the servers that are hosting this material.

    So 84,000 over four months. What's the spread?

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