Porn Trip Wires

This story represents an increasingly problematic and rarely discussed issue in the filtering debate, "porn trip wires". Among other tactics such as mousetrapping, smut dealers are now hacking in legitimate web sites to ...repopulate them with adult content. Conclusion, porn brokers are adopting aggressive and illegal means to market. Make no mistake. This issue is entirely new and different than the current debate of freedom to access.

Obviously the smut industry is embracing technology to peddle, more accurately plant, their porn to an unassuming and underage public. Parental chaperones, the choice of the anti-filter crowd, are only as useful as their Alt Tab reflex time.

So here we are. Undesirables are infiltrating our libraries, finding new and more insidious ways to do this. Meanwhile, we librarians sit and watch outsiders take control of our collections, holding fervently to our "principles".

Is anyone in my profession willing to consider filters as a means to stop this?

(the following article is available via Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe. I was unable to find a “free� copy on the web)

PR Newswire
April 5, 2004, Monday

"Websense Research Shows Online Pornography Sites Continue Strong Growth, Increasing by Over 1.5 Million Since 2000, as Internet Porn Vendors Pioneer New Technology"

…Even employees who have no desire to visit pornography Web sites may do so unintentionally because porn companies purchase expired domain names for innocent-sounding Web sites, and use them to redirect Web surfers unknowingly to their own X-rated sites. Victims of this tactic include the Dutch Government and the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. Porn vendors have also successfully hacked into legitimate Web sites to repopulate them with adult content. For example, in Feb. 2004, a New York Assemblyman's campaign Web site was hijacked by a porn vendor named "Bob," and instead of the Assemblyman's home page, voters got "a guide to help find the best porn sites in the world."

According to the National Research Council, an additional tactic known as "mousetrapping" is used by porn companies to automatically redirect surfers to another Web site when they attempt to leave an adult site. This redirecting can repeat dozens of times, and usually requires the user to shut down the browser or restart the computer, which often leads to an increase in employee complaints and IT help-desk calls.

"Today's online pornography companies are incredibly aggressive and do whatever it takes to attract and keep visitors, from hacking into existing mainstream sites to stopping surfers from leaving their sites all together," said Kester. "In addition to putting the company at risk for sexual harassment or hostile workplace lawsuits, Internet porn clogs up valuable company bandwidth as well as wastes IT management's time."

Comments

the kicker is...

Porn purveyors don't want children to see their stuff... mainly because they don't have a credit card to pay for it. However, by attaching their content to an innocent site (whether aimed at children or not) they are trying to get around filtering. The fact that children can find this stuff is more a testament to their advanced knowledge of computers and their parent's lack of knowledge...

Yep, bias prevents one from even "considering"!!!

Great analysis!!!
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[quote] Undesirables are infiltrating our libraries, finding new and more insidious ways to do this. Meanwhile, we librarians sit and watch outsiders take control of our collections, holding fervently to our "principles".

Is anyone in my profession willing to consider filters as a means to stop this? [end quote]
------------

It's true. When the "public" library ceases to respond to the public desires, SOMEONE will step up to the plate. Either individuals in the community will work to reduce library funding, or replace board members via public pressure, or state legislators will pass requirements applying to ALL in the state.

for example: OCALA - Marion County [FL] commissioners may slash the public library system's book-buying budget as a way to prevent objectionable books from making their way onto the shelves.

will filters catch these sites

I don't know enough about filters and am asking legitimately, will filters catch this type of porn? I've had it happen when I'm on a non-porn site that I'll click on link thinking I'm going somewhere I want to be and instead I'll get redirected to a porn site. Would a filter have prevented that - I am not searching or using any type of keyword. I don't work in a public library so I don't know much about how internet filters work other than blocking keywords or actual blacklisted sites. However if you are surfing from a site not officially blacklisted and are redirected to a porn site - will the filter pick that up?

filters, porn tripping/knapping

I don't see too much new here--porn knapping's been going on for years now, I don't think it's anymore aggressive than before.

We are filtered at work, but that doesn't stop the pop ups from happening, even in the classroom. I liked my comp tech's repsonse (and he has two children in our school). He'd rather see the teacher calmly close the offending window, and tell the children that the material obviously isn't appropriate, rather than have the teacher have a total freak out about it. I have to agree with him that being calm about it causes less interest on the kids' part.

And with the porn knapping--how exactly are filters going to catch it? Any legitimate site can be taken over, either legally (when they allow their domain name to expire) or illegally (when someone hacks them or buys the domain illegally). You can filter it AFTER you have that first hit...but you've got to have that first hit and it might be a kid.

I have to admit, I don't fully understand how all filters work--I do know the program we formerlh used at work required that sys admin at our school enter the sites we wanted blocked. Our current system does use words--I had trouble looking for something on google that used the word "adult"--I had to backdoor it into the site I was looking for.

Filters are not the answer--keeping an eye on YOUR kids (or the kids one is responsible for) is. Part of that responsibility would be discussing with your child what they should do if they happen upon a porn site (or ANY site that makes them uncomfortable.)

At work, we had a teacher who had her students do a search (I forget the topic) but the first site returned on non safe search google was a porn site (and at the time I realised WHY she got that, because of the search term). I was amazed when she said she hadn't actually sat down and tried the search first. She learned her lesson the hard way.

There is no way we can protect every child from accessing a porn site. Filters don't offer 100% protection (probably not even 50%), nor does parental supervision. However, I have major issues with other people trying to force their values and ideals onto me and my family.

s/

Re:filtering effectiveness

FACT: There is no way we can protect every child from accessing a porn site. Filters don't offer 100% protection

FICTION: (probably not even 50%)

Web filters work in one of several ways... and usually in combination. From this site you'll find this explanation:

Filtering algorithm –How is the filtering accomplished? The best solution is a combination of URL filtering, Keyword filtering, and dynamic content filtering. URL filtering is where a particular URL or domain name is identified and/or categorized as an objectionable site; www.whitehouse.com a known pornographic website or www.whitehouse.org a known website talking about the whitehouse. Keyword filtering is where certain words and phrases are used to trigger the blocking of web sites. Such words might include "sex", "XXX", "porn", "gambling", etc. Dynamic content filtering is where each web site's content is evaluated immediately before it is displayed. Dynamic content filtering can use a myriad of ways to evaluate content; object analysis, keyword analysis, source of objects, link analysis, and image recognition.

Anyone who is serious about this issue can easily get trial or time-limited applications from the filtering vendors and test their effectiveness.

Again, filters are not 100% effective, but they've come a long way. Would you rather have a 10% chance of this stuff coming up on your systems or a 100% chance!!!? You still may have to do the "tap on the shoulder" method, but should be able to spend a lot less time and effort doing it, and also you'll have the support of your local community.

more info

I've told you before . . .

You don't need to go throwing chunks of your budget at censorware producers, and you can bleep out 100% of the smut.

Unplug your computers from the internet.

If you're not going to do that, then don't stand there bitching and pissing about all the stuff you're getting that you don't like.

You keep talking about self-censorship, Tomeboy, but I notice that you aren't doing anything to practice it.

Re:I've told you before . . .

>>You keep talking about self-censorship, Tomeboy, but I notice that you aren't doing anything to practice it.

A recent quote from one of my fans. Enjoy : )

I am not here to win friends or to influence people, I am here to sound off.

Re:I've told you before . . .

At least I will practice what I preach. At least I do not ask any more of others than I ask of myself. At least I do not require others to live by principles foreign to them. At least I do not attempt to suborn, all unwanted, other people's responsibility for their ownselves and thereby reduce them to the status of chattels.

Should I take the high road or low road here??

Oh, what the heck, I can't resist:

  • At least the references I use require more than an ISP, FTP client, and a couple of college kids working in their parent’s basement.
  • At least I understand that citing one's own homemade definitions carries the same credence of that psychic lady I see on late night TV.
  • At least my rebuttals can be made without any off-topic celestial or pseudo philosophical references.
  • At least I don't rely upon vituperative language when I can't make an intelligent point.
  • At least I have the self respect not to chastise others for ad hominems, while using them regularly in my retorts.
  • Most importantly, at least I'm here to expose your LISNews "modus operandi". (Latin, just for you)
  • Re:Should I take the high road or low road here??

    Should I take the high road or low road here??

    You know, this reply was so funny it took me three days before I stopped laughing and could formulate a well considered answer.

    At least the references I use require more than an ISP, FTP client, and a couple of college kids working in their parent's basement.

    Except you don't read them, do you? When you sit down at the keyboard, salivating at the thought of "debunking" something I've written with a lot of "research", and you comb through Lexis Nexis, you don't do more than skim quickly through those references to make sure they conform to your political prejudices, do you? But you make no effort to study them, no effort to correlate what they say with other viewpoints, and more importanly, no effort to ask yourself how your worldview might need to be changed in light of the information and viewpoints offered in those articles.

    Matter of fact, I'll remind you that I had to set you straight the first time you posted a bunch of titles because you had posted the names of several newspapers that had all carried the same wire service story, but misidentified each one as an individual source.

    At least I understand that citing one's own homemade definitions carries the same credence of that psychic lady I see on late night TV.

    At least I understand that one must define one's terms. I also understand that there is a big difference between offering one's definition of a term and citing one's own previous conclusion as "proof" for a new conclusion. I also understand that referring to a previous work along lines similar to a new one does not necessary constitute such a proof, but can simply be a cross-reference to related material.

    This is one of the fatal failures of censorship; not defining terms at all. Not only not defining terms, but not even allowing any distinctions, such as the difference between erotic, pornographic, and obscene. Just lump them all in together and equate Judy Blume with zoophilia.

    At least my rebuttals can be made without any off-topic celestial or pseudo philosophical references.

    Perhaps; unfortunately, your rebuttals are semi-coherent, flat, dull, lifeless, and without passion. Moreover, it does not support your position that you will not illustrate any profundity to your "beliefs". The lack of depth in your rebuttals is indicative of the shallowness in your thinking and in your soul.

    Then too, your argument is rather specious. I'm sure that if I left a bunch of hidden assumptions (look it up), you'd only be complaining about them instead of the celestial or "pseudo" philosophical points I make to support my arguments. In any event, I notice that you made no effort to refute those points.

    And that's another thing you do. Bitch, bitch, bitch, but never refute. Go ahead, Tomeboy, post some references refuting the supposition the universe has particle/anti-particle pairs to prove that censorship is a onesided "object" that cannot have an obverse. You keep saying it, dogmatically, but you can't offer anything to support the contention.

    Oh, and by the way; your proclamation that something is off topic simply because you can't refute it does not invalidate the point made either. Not to mention that you are in a clear and present conflict of interest in according to yourself the authority to decide what is off topic. If you think I've posted something off topic ask Blake to assign three judges from the pool of Authors to make that determination.

    At least I don't rely upon vituperative language when I can't make an intelligent point.

    Ah. Lanuage prudery. This one ranks up there with the "if it's from a source that offends my political sensibilities then it necessarily cannot be correct" attitude. I'd explain the use of language to you but you've obviously already made up your mind and won't allow yourself to be swayed by the facts.

    At least I have the self respect not to chastise others for ad hominems, while using them regularly in my retorts.

    Tomeboy, you have no ability to differentiate between ad hominen attacks, flat statements, and constructive criticism. Furthermore, the numerous logical fallacies with which your commentaries are rife show that you are in no wise qualified to talk about fallacies at all. Then too your statement flies in the face of your actions.

    Most importantly, at least I'm here to expose your LISNews "modus operandi". (Latin, just for you)

    Ah, yes, the first resort of the staunch Republican: Even before anything fails fall back on conspiracy theory and accord to yourself the intelligence you can't see that other people actually have.

    Most LISNewsterz are a damned sight smarter than you are and don't need you to do their thinking for them. If I post something they can see is fallacious they'll reject it for themselves. If they want clarification, they'll ask. Then they'll make up their own minds.

    Re:Should I take the high road or low road here??

    I'll take the high road this time.

    A wonderfully insightful, gravitating post here Fang! Your words are rich tapestry of wit, wisdom and biting truth that many LISNewzees will be CTRL C'ing for many days to come. I would have never imagined that public exposure could feel so liberating, free. Whew!!! Is my mouse really shaking this much?

    Five stars! More importantly...thank you for caring enough to "formulate" this love letter from the heart!

    Humbled, but so much happier.(still too dull for you?)

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