I was watching some tele last night and I saw a commercial for this website: http://www.cybertipline.com
It’s a website that takes tips about online sexual predators. They will asses and forward your tip to the appropriate authorities. I say good for them. But I also say, they may need some help.
I am sure many of you are at the very least aware of the handful of bills submitted to congress that are or were intended to protect children from online sexual predators. The most recent bill is the “Keeping the Internet Devoid of Sexual Predators Act of 2007” also known as the K.I.D.S. Act, submitted in Jan 07. But there are so many detractors to the bill, that even lowly litigators are saying it would be hard to catch and prosecute anyone based on this latest effort to protect children. Some even see it as a thinly veiled threat to the civil liberties of EVERY internet user. Who knows, the govt could be legitimately trying to help, in a scary Frankenstein like way, but with this administration its at best a tossup. Either way, they are doomed to fail due to complete ignorance about even the basics of the internets, that series of tubes we all love.
Unfortunately, even convicted pedophiles can seek sanctuary in the relative anonymity of the net, especially if they are savvy to modern privacy techniques and applications. However, a white hat hacker could find these scum, or at least find their IP address if the pedi is willing to IM and swap pics. Even a novice white hat could send out a precompiled RAT to one of these bastards, but most RATs that are readily available on the net are easily snagged by both paid and free antivirus apps. That’s why those who can code their own apps would be optimal, but beggars can’t be choosers.
Some say that being online is not akin to breaking the physical proximity laws that prohibit convicted pedophiles from coming within 100 yards from school, but us net jockeys will realize that hanging out in a net community can sometimes be just like sitting right next to a “buddy” or some-other term for online “friend”. Hackers in general know not to trust just about anyone online. Sadly, a large portion of American parents are apparently less informed about what can happen if you just start clicking around the net willy nilly. If these parents were more informed, then one would assume that these educated parents would tell their kids to treat people on the net just like they treat strangers on the street. However, it would seem that many parents are either unwilling or just plain don’t bother to NOT let the TV or Playstation or the Internet babysit their children. Because, these parents don’t tell their kids not to take candy from strangers on the net, we are all at risk to lose the freedom that we have enjoyed for so long.
The wheels of “justice” are slowly ambling towards taking away the freedom, that allows those of us who DON’T break the law or maliciously attack others via the net, to NOT be monitored while we shop at Amazon or read our favorite blogs. While this process is happening, hackers and security specialists alike could simply take it upon themselves to show the ignorant Ted “Series of Tubes” Stevens of the world that the people who they are actually stepping on are the people that could help them the most, of course only with permission from the proper authorities. Those who are willing, could offer their services to private organizations, like cybertiponline, and remove these stains on the net that endanger all our personal freedoms.
There are plenty of white hat’s that already do this. In fact, I am sure you all have heard about Kevin Paulson, from Wired Magazine, and his code that found more than 700 registered sexual predators that were using myspace. He eventually got the police involved and snagged some bad guys. If it can happen once, it can happen again, a hacker can help catch a pedophile through the “proper” channels of authority.
Just a thought. I sent them an email asking if they would consider employing cyber security specialists. I’ll update if they respond.
Keeping Information Free Empowers the People to Protect Themselves – Me