Friday, 30 January 2009

Vigilante Express now boarding at platform 5

As if the 'extreme pornography' law itself wasn't bad enough along comes a bunch of vigilante thugs calling themselves "extremeporn".

Their website starts with the rather worrying statement:-

Welcome to the website of the one and only (at present) enforcers of the 'Extreme Porn Law'

and while parts of the website seem to be somewhat ambiguous - mentioning technologies intended to evade unwarranted censorship and snooping - the overall message is quite clear. If the police won't actively pursue these 'criminals' then they will.

From what I understand of their proposed methods, accuracy is not a high priority. As my techie friend explained it to me, these methods are identical to those being used by ambulance chasing shysters Davenport-Lyons who in November of last year falsely accused an elderly lady in her 70's of unlawfully filesharing gay porn.

In fact apart from their motivation, the only area in which they differ is their intended use for the IP addresses they 'acquire' by these methods. Davenport-Lyons currently use them as the basis of misleading and factually inaccurate threatening letters, while this group intends to submit abuse reports to the appropriate ISP. Which I presume they will expect the ISP to act upon without any supporting evidence whatsoever.

Naturally there is alway the possibility that the whole thing is a hoax along similar lines to that of Think of the Children. Paul Carr's sarcastic and now rather notorious satire on tabloid reporting which was unlawfully closed down in 2002 at the request of the Metropolitan Police following a complaint from an editor at one of the publications being parodied. A copy of Think of the Children can be found <here>

In contrast, this website seems to be missing a significant number of key elements one would expect to find in a hoax - exaggerated claims, elaborate and unworkable technologies, ridiculous demands, etc. The FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) does contain the tabloid-esque statement "Media trials can be just as effective as court ones", but it's not a obvious satire in the way Think of the Children was. The overall tone is much more serious and much darker.

However as a senior physician recently suggested to me in connection with another matter, you should read it for yourself.

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