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Latest Online Guardians News:
July 6th, 2003
We have a new look for the site. We hope you like it :)
Online Guardians has decided not to go along with the current
trend of advertising how many suspects we have arrested, or
files, equipment etc that has been seized, to us "fame
" or whatever you wish to call it is not important. The
only thing that is important is the safety of people online
as well as offline but especially the children, they come first
it's as simple and as plain as that.
Children cannot protect themselves from these "predators"
that is why we are here, not to claim we are best at doing something,
or the most members in the world. If that's what other organizations
wish to do fine, we are not "playing" - like our tagline
says Online safety is NOT a game, it's real and so are the predators
With that said I would like to thank our BlackPhoenix team
who do an outstanding and extremely difficult job tracking the
"monsters" as well as training and teaching other
Skirting the Legal Line
When Kid Porn Isn't Kid Porn
Sites loaded with images of naked preteen kids in provocative
poses proliferate legally while authorities go after the real
hard-core stuff. "It's very frustrating for us," an
activist says. By Julia Scheeres.
Online Guardians participated in the above story for Wired
News, to read the full story click
Our dedicated chat server is online, for IRC please use /server
See our recent mention in the register.co.uk article - http://www.guardian.co.uk/internetnews/story/0,7369,681826,00.html
Porn Hunters Unwelcome in Canada?
By Julia Scheeres
Violators of Bill C-15A, which was passed by the Canadian House
of Commons and is pending approval by the Senate, would face
up to five years in jail.
"This legislation would be a tremendous blow to our group
and to the effort to eradicate child pornography from the Internet,"
said David Ellis, the assistant director of BytesCanada. The
Ottawa nonprofit group investigates allegations of kiddie porn
reported through its Internet tipline, using programs such as
NeoTrace to track down the location of servers hosting offensive
images. If the group determines that a tip is legitimate, they
forward it to local law enforcement authorities.
Whistle-blowing groups such as BytesCanada that patrol the
Net for child porn say they're doing a favor for over-worked
police departments that don't have resources to pursue online
vice themselves. But the relationship between cops and do-gooders
in Canada is dramatically different than from that in the United
In the States, volunteers collaborate closely with authorities,
trolling the Net for child porn, offering free computer training
to agents, and even posing as minors in chat rooms in an attempt
to trap sexual predators.
In Canada, the nation's lead child-porn investigator characterized
such volunteers as meddlesome vigilantes.
"We don't ask civilians to make drug buys and report it
to the police and we don't ask them to seek out child pornography
online," said detective Bob Matthews, the head of the child
pornography section for the Ontario Provincial Police.
Online crusaders thwart police investigations by tipping off
pornographers, Matthews said. Furthermore, his department has
arrested several pedophiles who claimed their hard drives were
crammed with explicit pictures of children because they were
collecting "evidence" to pass on to the police.
But Matthews also admitted that child pornography is a growing
problem in Canada and that his department is struggling to keep
ahead of smut peddlers. Between 2000 and 2001, the number of
cases investigated by his team in Canada's most populous province,
Ontario, jumped 250 percent from 169 to 410.
"It's a huge problem and we're only barely scratching
the surface," Matthews said. "We are overwhelmed with
the number of investigations we're doing at the moment and have
more than we can handle without the public expecting us to file
each and every complaint they give us."
When BytesCanada director Rebecca Warren offered to send him
links to online kiddie porn, he threatened to arrest her. Questioned
about the conversation, Matthews was adamant: "If you have
child porn images and we find them on your computer, I don't
care who you are, we are going to arrest you."
He welcomed the pending legislation, which will enable police
to pore through the guts of a suspect's computer for the traces
of visits to illegal websites.
Some observers have called the measure the world's toughest
crackdown on child pornography -- no other country is known
to have targeted the mere act of surfing the Web for underage
The legislation would also criminalize luring children online
for sexual encounters offline, and would allow judges to shut
down sites that publish -- or even provide hyperlinks to -
Neither Matthews or a spokesman for the Royal Canadian Mounted
Police (Canada's equivalent of the FBI) would speculate whether
electronic surveillance would be used to enforce the proposed
"We can't comment on investigational techniques or pending
legislation," said Sergeant Paul Marsh of the Mounties,
who deferred questions to Matthews.
To avoid clashes with Canadian cops, BytesCanada has been forwarding
leads to an American group called Online Guardians, based in
Savannah, Georgia, which works closely with both federal and
local authorities to weed out indecent images of children on
"I think the bill is a good intention, but misguided,"
Online Guardian's director, Cate Donoghue, said. "Working
with volunteer groups could give (Canadian authorities) the
manpower they need to root out the problem."