Paedophiles use secret Facebook groups to swap images, King child abuse probe

February 19, 2016 Comments Off on Paedophiles use secret Facebook groups to swap images, King child abuse probe

Paedophiles use secret Facebook groups to swap images
By Angus Crawford BBC News 12 February 2016

Paedophiles are using secret groups on Facebook to post and swap obscene images of children, the BBC has found.

Settings on the social network mean the groups are invisible to most users and only members can see the content.

Children’s Commissioner for England Anne Longfield said Facebook was not doing enough to police the groups and protect children.

Facebook’s head of public policy told the BBC he was committed to removing “content that shouldn’t be there”.

A BBC investigation found a number of secret groups, created by and run for men with a sexual interest in children, including one being administered by a convicted paedophile who was still on the sex offenders’ register.

The groups have names that give a clear indication of their content and contain pornographic and highly suggestive images, many purporting to be of children. They also have sexually explicit comments posted by users….

The Internet Watch Foundation creates a list of web pages with child sexual abuse content and any found to be on Facebook groups are taken down automatically, Facebook says.

Any other material reported to the social network as inappropriate goes through an internal review procedure to check if it is in breach of its community standards.

Facebook says it removes content that includes “solicitation of sexual material, any sexual content involving minors, threats to share intimate images and offers of sexual services”….

She said: “I was horrified. Thinking that these innocent snapshots of my (then) 11-year-old daughter had become the subject of vile comments and disgusting exchanges between members of these groups was really upsetting.

“But equally upsetting is the fact that Facebook allows these secret groups to exist, unmonitored and unchecked, making them rife for abuse by paedophiles.

“There must be a duty of care to users to make sure that paedophiles can’t hide on these secret groups, stealing and sharing images of children they find online.”

Children’s Commissioner for England Anne Longfield said: “I’m shocked those don’t breach community standards, any parent or indeed child looking at those would know that they were not acceptable.”

She said she did not believe Facebook was doing enough to protect children…. 

Fourth man arrested in Jonathan King child abuse probe
By Ben Mitchell  18/02/2016
A fourth man has been arrested as part of an investigation into allegations of historical child sex offences involving former music mogul Jonathan King.

The 74-year-old was held by Surrey Police, which is looking into claims linked to the Walton Hop Disco in Walton-on-Thames.

King and two other men were arrested in September concerning the allegations of offences committed against boys under the age of 16.

The investigation, called Operation Ravine, was launched in late 2014 to look into child sex crimes linked to the Walton Hop Disco, following a review by Merseyside Police into a previous Surrey Police investigation that was entitled Operation Arundel and which was launched in 2000.

King, a former chart-topping star and TV producer, worked on BBC shows including No Limits and The Great British Song Contest. 

Former Devon headmaster jailed for abuse, Charity steps up removal of child sex abuse images

April 14, 2015 Comments Off on Former Devon headmaster jailed for abuse, Charity steps up removal of child sex abuse images

“The UK-based Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) said it assisted in the removal of 31,266 pages last year, compared with 13,182 in 2013.”

Former Devon headmaster and organist jailed for “cruel and shocking” abuse regime on vulnerable school boys

By Exeter Express and Echo  4/12/15

A boarding school teacher has been jailed for 21 years after being found guilty of inflicting a reign of terror over vulnerable boys for two decades.

John Downing took advantage of the children by sexually abusing them after they were sent away to a boarding school in North Devon where he was a teacher and deputy headmaster.

He preyed on boys by sexually abusing them in the classroom, wash rooms, on beach outings and during midnight feasts which he arranged for a select group who he called his ‘Good Boys’.

Downing imposed a regime of fear in which he regularly beat boys with a slipper or wooden coat hanger.

He punished boys who talked after lights out by making them parade naked in the corridor outside their dormitory and encouraged boys on beach trips to walk around in the nude.

Downing, now aged 74, was a teacher and deputy headmaster of Heanton School, near Braunton, North Devon, from its founding in 1968 to its closure in 1985.

The converted rectory was a privately run boarding school for boys aged six to 12, most of whom were sent there by local authorities because they had problems at home.

This meant they had no-one to turn to when they were sexually and physically abused and their secrets remained hidden for years.

Two of them went to the police in the 1990s but officers decided there was not enough evidence. In the years that followed several got in touch over the internet and fresh complaints were investigated by police….

Downing has been the organist at Torrington church for 50 years during which his activities at the school have remained a secret. He went on to be a teacher at schools all over North and Mid Devon before he retired.

Downing, of Warren Lane, Torrington, denied 39 charges of indecent assault or gross indecency against seven boys aged seven to 12 between 1970 and 1985.

He was jailed for 21 years by Judge Graham Cottle who told him that some of his assaults would now be classified as rape….

Charity steps up removal of child sex abuse images  4/13/15
A child abuse watchdog has said it helped identify and remove more than double the number of sexually explicit web pages depicting youngsters in 2014 than in the previous year.

The UK-based Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) said it assisted in the removal of 31,266 pages last year, compared with 13,182 in 2013.

It said in many cases, each address contained more than one photo or video.

The figures do not necessarily indicate that illegal activity is increasing.

Instead, they may simply reflect that the charity recently began taking a proactive approach, seeking out child abuse imagery rather than just acting on others’ reports.

It was able to do this after the UK’s four biggest internet service providers committed an extra £1m over four years to fund its efforts.

If the material is hosted overseas, the organisation notifies local authorities and then repeatedly chases up complaints until the material is removed….

The body’s annual report discloses that of the discovered material:
Fewer than 0.3% of the web pages detected were hosted in the UK
56% were hosted in North America
41% were hosted in Europe, including Russia

Google in firing line, Jimmy Savile ‘took his Passion Wagon to Scout camp’, Scots charity demands crackdown on child sexual abuse image

June 3, 2013 Comments Off on Google in firing line, Jimmy Savile ‘took his Passion Wagon to Scout camp’, Scots charity demands crackdown on child sexual abuse image

– Google donates just 90 seconds’ profit to charity policing child abuse
– Google in firing line over net child porn images
– Jimmy Savile ‘took his Passion Wagon to Scout camp’
– Scots charity demands crackdown on child sexual abuse images

Google donates just 90 seconds’ profit to charity policing child abuse
Internet giant pledged only £20,000 to Internet Watch Foundation last year, despite multibillion-dollar turnover
Josh Halliday and Alexandra Topping
The Guardian, Friday 31 May 2013

Google donated little more than £20,000 last year to the charity responsible for policing child abuse images online – the equivalent of 90 seconds’ profit for the internet firm.
The search giant was one of a number of firms, including Facebook and Microsoft, that pledged relatively small  amounts to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) in 2012, despite their multibillion-dollar turnovers.

Facebook made a baseline donation of around £10,000 and Microsoft’s Bing search engine gave about £20,000,  according to the IWF’s own records….

Google was singled out for criticism by Liz Longhurst, whose daughter Jane was murdered by extreme pornography user Graham Coutts in 2003, prompting her to campaign for internet firms to ban such images. She said internet firms must “get their act together” and start tackling violent online imagery. “What annoys me immensely is
that Google won’t block these sites. They say we’ve got to have freedom. All I ask them is where was my daughter’s freedom – tell me that.”

There have been calls for Google to enforce its “safe search” option as the default setting, which would block pornographic material in search results. However, insiders insisted the move would be ineffectual as the stricter setting operates as an algorithm for legal content – and child abuse imagery is illegal, so is covered by extra blocking measures.

Scott Rubin, Google’s director of communications outside America, said the company has a “zero-tolerance approach” on child abuse images and added: “The SafeSearch filter, which is designed to prevent sexually explicit material of all kinds from showing up in your search results, should not be conflated or confused with our dedication to keeping illegal abuse imagery out of our products. We don’t rely simply on filtering
technology to block child abuse images; we go beyond that….

Google in firing line over net child porn images
GOOGLE will come under intense pressure this week to show “moral leadership” and take action against a “tsunami” of internet child pornography.
By: James Fielding  Sun, June 2, 2013

Police are struggling to cope, with reports of online images showing children being abused shooting up by 40 per cent in the past year. Images depicting rape or torture account for 61 per cent while the victims are getting younger, with 88 per  cent now aged under 10.

John Carr, an adviser to the Government on online child safety, said the scale of the problem in the UK is  “mind boggling” with up to 60,000 individuals swapping or downloading child abuse images online. Yet annual arrests have never been above 2,500.  It is estimated 360 million illegal images were seized in the two years to April 2012. In 1995, when the internet was in its infancy, there were just 7,000….

Scott Rubin, Google’s communications director, said: “When we discover child abuse imagery or are made aware of it we respond quickly to remove and report it.”

Jimmy Savile ‘took his Passion Wagon to Scout camp’
PREDATORY paedophile Jimmy Savile is feared to have been allowed unsupervised access to a Boy Scout camp overnight in the motorhome he called his “Passion Wagon”.

By: Mark Branagan Sun, June 2, 2013
Scout leaders are under pressure over allegations that disgraced DJ Savile and his friend Jimmy Corrigan spent the night in a tent just feet from where the youngsters slept. It is alleged the two men visited the campsite, in Doncaster, as part of a fund raising effort by Savile.

Concern about the late Jim’ll Fix It star’s links with the movement have been growing since claims surfaced  that he abused a Scout in his BBC dressing room in 1976.

The new allegations are the latest in a file of evidence into Savile’s sordid past being built up by residents in Whitby, North Yorkshire. The northern seaside town has been visited by Scotland Yard officers working on Operation Yewtree.

The Scouting Association has made it clear that their current safeguarding policy means such access would now never be allowed. It is unlikely today’s rigorous rules would have been in place in the Sixties and Seventies…..  “This was a type of vehicle he is known to have used to commit sexual offences safely and securely without being seen or discovered.”

Scots charity demands crackdown on child sexual abuse images
STV 1 June 2013

A Scottish children’s charity has called for a review of how the justice system deals with people convicted of viewing online images of children being sexually abused.
Children 1st is writing to Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill as part of its demand for a consistent approach to the prosecution and sentencing of such offences across the country.

The charity is also calling for police and the courts to use the full range of powers available to them in cases involving sexual abuse images. The demand is part of the charity’s ongoing See.Hear.Speak.Act campaign on sexual abuse, and comes in the wake of the recent conviction of Mark Bridger for the murder of five-year-old April Jones in Wales last year.

Bridger had viewed images of children being sexually assaulted on his computer. In a separate case earlier this year, the Old Bailey heard how Stuart Hazell, jailed for murdering 12-year-old Tia Sharp, had searched for images of children being sexually abused on the internet. The cases have prompted UK-wide calls for greater action to tackle the problem….

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